POSTED: November 7th 2009

Dubai pressing project to join 2020 Olympic Games bid queue

Burj-al-Arab Hotel: renowned symbol of Dubai / lake images
Burj-al-Arab Hotel: renowned symbol of Dubai / lake images

SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT / Sports Features Communications

DUBAI, Nov 07: The ruler of Dubai wants the Gulf state to put all its vast resources into its bid to bring the Olympic Games to the Middle East for the first time in 2020. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of UAE, issued his declaration of intent at the first meeting of the Supreme Organising Committee of the Working Group of Dubai 2020.

Last June saw the first signals of a bid which would use the sporting context to expand the social and economic progress being undertaken.

According to reports from Dubai Sheikh Mohammed directed the group to "work as a one team to enable the UAE to win bids for Expo and the Olympics in 2020." He added: "Nothing is impossible as long as we have the determination for change, not change of determination."

Group members include Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of Abu Dhabi Civil Aviation Authority, Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, chairman of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation and head of the UAE Olympic Committee, Abdul Rahman Mohammed Al Owais, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, and several heads of government departments.

Regional momentum

The 2020 bid will seek to pick up a regional momentum in international sports. Doha bid unsucessfully for the 2016 Olympic Games and Qatar is pressing a campaign to win host rights to football's 2022 World Cup. Abu Dhabi will host football's Club World Cup in December this year and next year.

Presumably, this time, the Olympic bid team will not make the crucial mistake committed by Doha in wanting to shift the traditional schedule time from early August to October out of climatic concerns.

Other 2020 bids are being considered by Italy's Rome and Venice, South Africa's Cape Town and Johannesburg and by Hiroshima and Tokyo from Japan.

Tokyo bid for 2016 and was excluded in the second of three rounds of voting which eventually saw Rio de Janeiro selected by the International Olympic Committee, meeting in Copenhagen last month. However, Tokyo governor Shintaro Ishihara has stated a wish to see the city bid again for 2020.

Keywords · Dubai · 20202 Olympic Games · IOC · Maktoum

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