The 2017 Asian Para Youth Games will be held in Dubai from December 10 to 14 ©APC

The Opening Ceremony for the Asian Youth Para Games 2017 has taken place at the athletics stadium in the Dubai Club for People of Determination in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The event, which was attended by the ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, began with a parade of more than 800 athletes around the stadium track.

The United Arab Emirates team were the last athletes to emerge, receiving a loud cheer from the home crowd.

Following the parade of athletes, a video was shown to demonstrate the progress made by the UAE over recent years whilst it also celebrated the city of Dubai.

The video also highlighted Dubai and the UAE’s commitment to para sport and the role the Asian Youth Para Games have played in developing it further.

The host team were the last to enter the stadium for the athletes parade ©APC
The host team were the last to enter the stadium for the athletes' parade ©APC

In his opening speech, Asian Paralympic Committee President (APC) Majid Rashed said “We want young disabled people in Asia to be encouraged and excited by what they will see; we want them to believe that there is no limit to what they can achieve.

“We want the barriers between disabled and non-disabled people to be broken down and for there to be real strides made in inclusion in sport and society as a result.”

Mohammed Al Hameli, chairman of the Asian Youth Para Games committee, added: “The United Arab Emirates has become one of the most developed countries in the world and it is now one of the most important destinations for hosting international and regional Para Sports championships.

“We wish all the competitors every success in the Games and a great stay in the UAE in general and Dubai, the capital of sport, in particular.”

The Opening Ceremony closed with a performance by traditional Arabic dancers and a laser show.

Although the official opening of the games took place in the evening, competition started earlier in the day with several goalball and table tennis matches taking place.

The Asian Youth Para Games will run until December 14.