POSTED: February 20th 2012

Doha 2020: Legacy for Qatar and the Middle East as well as the Olympic Movement

Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani outlined Qatar's investment in sports over the next years  / SFC
Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani outlined Qatar's investment in sports over the next years / SFC

LAURA WALDEN / Sports Features Communications

DOHA: The Doha Olympic Dream for 2020 was revealed today as a bold new plan to create a monumental legacy for the Middle East in more ways than one. The iconic Torch Hotel was the perfect setting to unveil the project right at the heart of the Aspire Zone sports city.

Not only would these Olympics be the first Games in the region, but they would also include the area’s first women’s High Performance Training Centre, and the only Olympic-standard Velodrome in the Middle East. Plus 91% of the venues are already built or planned and budgeted as laid out in the Qatar National Vision 2030. The other 9% will be temporary venues and there is no need for new venues keeping infrastructure investment at a minimum.

Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, General Secretary of the Qatar Olympic Committee and Doha 2020 Vice Chairman, said, “I am delighted to present the contents of the Doha 2020 Applicant File on behalf of the whole region, as shown by the support we have received from the leaders of every Gulf Cooperation Council nation and all of the National Olympic Committees that participated at the 2011 Arab Games. 

“This is a bid which offers a great opportunity not only for Qatar and the Middle East, but the entire Olympic Movement. 

“We are presenting a Games plan that dovetails perfectly with the significant investment Qatar is already making in sports facilities and essential infrastructure over the next few years as part of the country’s National Vision 2030. 

“Our focus on utilizing existing venues and those already planned and budged for means that we can have certainty in delivering an accessible and low-cost Games in 2020 if we are granted this honour.

Easy accessibility

The compact layout will feature five clusters and the new transport system and accommodations will allow for spectators to catch a number of events with easier accessibility.

The average travel time between venues for all athletes and media from the Games Centre would be no more than 21 minutes to every single competition venue and this will shorten with transport improvements.

Doha will have a new $21 billion metro system linking to 78% of all sports venues and 50,000 hotel rooms and apartments will be located within 15km of the majority of the venues.

Fahad Juma, Deputy CEO, Technical Bid and Project Management, mastermind behind the bid file, said, “Doha 2020’s accessible five zone hosting plan will deliver an average travel time for all athletes and media from the Games Centre of no more than 21 minutes to every single competition venue. 

"Our plans for transport, accommodation and sport venues together with our affordable ticket pricing policy also mean that spectators will be able to watch several events in a day, making Doha 2020 a truly ‘fan friendly’ Games."  

And almost half the tickets are projected to be priced at less than $25 making them affordable.

Noora Al Mannai, CEO of Doha 2020, said in a statement: “We have also put a heavy focus on legacy.  Our aim is to create a legacy for sport in the entire region empowering a new generation of girls and boys to become active through sport.  We want to inspire change, create sporting and commercial opportunities for the Olympic Movement and build bridges of understanding between the region and the international community.”

Nada Mohammed Wafa Arakji, Qatari national swimmer, added, “Sport has changed my life and I know that if the Games were to come here, many more young lives would be changed for the better.   To swim at Doha 2020, here in Qatar in front of my own supporters, would be special beyond words. 

“Not just for me, but for every aspiring young girl and boy who wants to take up sport in the Middle East.”

Doha is bidding against Baku, Istanbul, Madrid and Tokyo to host the summer Games but the final vote will take place September 7, 2013 in Buenos Aires at the IOC Session.

Keywords · Doha 2020 · Olympic bidding · Saoud bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani · Noora Al Mannai · Fahad Juma · Nada Mohammed Wafa Arakji

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