POSTED: December 2nd 2011

DOHA 2011: Raising the bar on the Arab Games

Over 80 percent of the opening ceremony tickets have been sold / Doha 2011
Over 80 percent of the opening ceremony tickets have been sold / Doha 2011

Khaleel Al-Jabir in charge of sports / Doha 2011
Khaleel Al-Jabir in charge of sports / Doha 2011

NIKKI WICKS / Sports Features Communications

LONDON: Doha will set a new standard for the Arab Games insists the man charged with overseeing the athletes for the 2011 event.

The Qatari capital, Doha is in the final stages of preparation to host the 12th edition of the Arab Games from December 9-23. The event is set to feature over 20 countries, almost 30 sports, and over 6,000 athletes and officials.

With seven days until the start of the Games, Khaleel Al-Jabir, Director, Sports Directorate for the event said it would be the “first in history” designed to be of world-class standards.

“From the competition venues to the Athletes’ Village, everything will be par excellence,” Al-Jabir said.

For the first time at the Arab Games, the swimming event has been approved the International Swimming Federation (FINA) as an official qualifier for the London 2012 Olympic Games, a detail organisers will be hoping form part of the legacy from the event.

“Arab Games Doha 2011 will set the benchmark for future Arab Games. This event is guided by Olympic standards – there is no room for any compromise on that. For the last decade, Qatar has been organising some great sporting events on a yearly basis, and we believe that the least we can do for all our Arab brothers and friends, is to organise an Arab Games – an event they so eagerly look forward to – of the best possible standards,” Al-Jabir said.

In hosting the Arab Games, Doha will be eager to showcase its ability in hosting major sporting events.

Despite recently losing out to London for the hosting rights for the 2017 IAAF World Championships, Qatar has emerged as a serious player in world sporting events.

As well as winning the hosting rights to the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Doha is also bidding for the 2020 Olympic Games.

In a final push to promote the event, the Arab Game Organising Committee (AGOC) has stepped up its promotional campaign by fixing flags, posters and advertisement boards on streets, public places, towers and buildings.

AGOC is also running a media campaign on local and regional TV, newspapers, websites and social media networks to raise the profile of the Games.

Delegates from AGOC have also been visiting a number of schools and social institutions urging students to attend the opening ceremony.

Today, AGOC announced that over 80 percent of the tickets for the opening ceremony had been sold.

The organising committee has been working with a number of government bodies and authorities – including the Internal Security Forces, the Ministry of Municipality and Doha Airport – to help maintain the positive image of the State of Qatar during the Arab Games.

Keywords · Doha 2011 · Doha 2020 · Arab Games · Olympic bidding

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