As The Media Line (TML) reported more than two years ago Qatar will enter an official bid to host the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics.
Abdulla Khalid Al Qahtani, then director general of the Asian Games, which were being prepared to be held in Doha, the capital of Qatar, told TML that the successful staging of the Asian Games would be seen as a stepping stone in the bid to host the Olympics.
If the bid is successful Doha will be the first capital in the Middle East to host the most prestigious sporting event in the world, which attracts huge numbers of visitors and billions of TV viewers.
The Qatar bid is being launched by the president of the country’s Olympic Committee and the heir to the Qatari throne, Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani. The Cornich area of the city has been festooned with banners ahead of the bid announcement.
The chairman of the Doha bid committee, Hassan ‘Ali bin ‘Ali, told local newspaper The Peninsula that Doha was adhering to International Olympic Committee rules which stipulate that bidding cities must have the support of its citizens before submitting its application.
At the moment the other official candidate cities are Chicago, Tokyo, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro, Prague and Baku. Rumors are also circulating that neighboring Dubai is also considering bidding for the Games.
Working against both countries is the weather factor, since the games are always staged during the summer when temperatures in the region soar above 100 degrees. The Qataris are, therefore, planning to build the world’s first underground stadium, which will seat around 11,000 spectators, at a cost of $20 million. The stadium is expected to be ready in two years and will be used in 2011 when Qatar will host the Asian Cup in soccer.
However, bids from two countries in the Gulf could prove highly divisive in the Arab world, according to analysts at The Media Line.
Wake up to the Trusted Mideast News source Mideast Daily News Email