SPIA 2022 winners crowed at gala ceremony at W Hotel, Palm Jumeirah

A blockbuster ninth edition of the Sports Industry Awards gathered more than 350 guests for a celebratory night at W Hotel Great Ball Room.

Leading practitioners from across the region descended on the Palm to witness victories in 18 categories. Winners in 11 sections were selected by an independent panel of judges, made up of industry experts chosen for their expertise within the Middle East, while four were picked by public vote and there were three special honorary trophies.

The last part was headlined by ‘Sports Personality of the Year’ from official media partner Twitter – who also provided a bespoke branded hashtag. Leading Emirati football commentator Faris Awad took home the trophy.

A huge ovation was reserved on Tuesday for Team Angel Wolf when presented with the ‘Spirit of Sport Award’ for tireless work promoting an inclusive, active life for people of determination. Co-founder Nick Watson delivered an inspirational speech, alongside son Rio – born with a rare chromosome disorder – and daughter Tia.

“Our whole goal is to make sure children like Rio, a boy with determinations, are included in the community,” the father said.

“But that community has embraced us – and that is every one of you here.”

SPIA 2022 was further supported by YouGov Sport, a global sports, sponsorship and entertainment research company which works with sports key stakeholders to unlock meaningful, actionable insights. A representative from Qutek – a company who integrate smart technology into the personal healthcare and wellness regimes of people’s daily lives – was present to hand out gongs.

A gala ceremony was assured by the help of award-winning agency Memories Events Management. The official hydration partner was Mai Dubai.

Notable triumphs included Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2021 completing a double with ‘Best Fan Engagement at a Professional Sports Event’ and ‘Best Sports Event of the Year’.

Mai Dubai x Promoseven Sports Marketing collected ‘Best Sponsorship Collaboration of the Year’, ‘Best Recreation Sports Facility of the Year’ was given to Zayed Sports City and the Mubadala Community Cup presented by Healthpoint received the ‘Best Sports Event CSR Initiative of the Year’.