POSTED: April 26th 2010

Dubai focuses its best minds on strength of bid for the 2020 Olympic Games

The Burj al - Arab hotel: One of the futuristic symbols of Dubai / lake images
The Burj al - Arab hotel: One of the futuristic symbols of Dubai / lake images

LAURA WALDEN / Sports Features Communications

DUBAI, Apr 26: Dubai politicians, sports officials and business leaders are studying the feasibility of a bid to bring the Olympic Games to the Middle East for the first time in 2020.

The ruler of the Gulf state, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, in giving formal notification of the preparatory work already under way, also promised that, in the event of approval for a bid being given, Dubai would be “in it to win it."

Sheikh Mohammed, also prime minister of the United Arab Emirates, said that whatever the conclusions or ultimate outcome, this was a valuable process. Dubai would thus be following the example of Doha, capital of neighbouring Qatar, which bid for the 2016 Games which were ultimately awarded to Rio de Janeiro by the International Olympic Committee.

Thus 2020 is thus the next summer Games which will fall open to bidding. The 2012 Games are in London with the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi and Annecy, Munich and PyeongChang competing for the 2018 Winter Games.

Sheikh Mohammed said: “No matter what we decide in terms of a possible bid, this process will be good for Dubai. It will help us identify the strengths and weaknesses of our transportation systems, our tourism facilities, our sports venues and other vital infrastructure.

“This learning process will benefit Dubai even if we never bid for the Olympic Games."

So much to offer

He added, in comments to the WAM agency: “We have a lot to offer. Dubai already has a well-developed infrastructure and a good track record of staging international sporting events, although admittedly not on the scale of the Olympic Games.

“But we also have to be realistic. The summer heat can be a serious problem for athletes. We will have to take an honest look at our weaknesses as well as our strengths.

“It is important to understand that, as at this moment, there is no bid. All we are doing now is evaluating whether we should pursue that goal. We are conducting feasibility studies to evaluate the costs and benefits of a bid, and our ability to meet the criteria to host the Olympic Games.

“However, I can assure you of this: If we decide to make a bid for the Olympics, we will be in it to win. We would not take such a step unless we were quite serious about it."

Neighbouring Qatar is currently bidding to host football’s World Cup in 2022. Victory for either or even both would represent a historic political achievement for the region.

Keywords · Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum · Dubai · IOC · 2020 Olympic Games · Qatar · World Cup

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