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The purpose of the research was to identify those body characteristics, anthropometric variables, training program factors, and the interrelationship of these which result in swimming teams that excel. It is the first attempt to evaluate swimming activity in the United Arab Emirates, comparing it with swimmers in other countries. The country has been a participant in competitive swimming only since 1972, the year following its independence. This quantitative research examined scientific data of swimmers' performance and the physiological, biomechanical, and technical factors useful in developing programs for improving performance. A comparison was made of the 1990-1991 competitive swimming teams of the United Arab Emirates and West Virginia University. Pre- and post-competition anthropometric characteristics were measured for sprinters and distance swimmers. Training programs (intensity, length, techniques), preparation/experience of coaches, equipment/facilities and individual swimming records were considered. Data showed the WVU team to have anthropometric features, longer training periods, motivational activities, and better trained/experienced coaches which have resulted in higher competitive performance. Twenty short and long term recommendations are being made to the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Youth of the UAE to provide guidelines for raising the country's competitive swimming fitness as well as school and community physical educational programs in general.