Dubai eyes bid for Olympics
Dubai, August 7, 2014
Dubai plans to expand its existing sports facilities across the emirate and eyes submitting a bid to host the Olympic Games, government officials were quoted as saying.
Ali Omar, the director of Dubai Sports Council (DSC) sports development department, was quoted by xinhua news agency as saying that submitting a candidature as host city to the international Olympic committee was still on the agenda.
"Hosting the Olympics is a dream. We hope to submit such a bid within the next eight years, God willing," he said.
The next two Olympic Games will be held in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and in 2020 in Tokyo, Japan. The bidding process for the host city for 2024 has not yet started. Berlin has expressed interest in bidding for the Games in 10 years.
Omar said that Qatar did a good job to win the Fifa World Cup in 2022. "Qatar's move put professional sports in the whole Gulf Arab region in the focus of the world's attention," he added. In December of 2006, Qatar's capital Doha hosted the 15th Asian Games as the first Arab city ever to do so.
While Dubai managed to attract numerous international sports competition in various disciplines like tennis (Dubai Duty Free Grand Prix), table tennis (GAC GROUP 2013 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals), swimming or diving, it is yet to host a major global sports event.
With the Dubai Sports City, Dubai harbours a complete district that provides football and cricket stadiums as well as sports academies on an area of 50 million sq ft, it said.
Bringing the Asian Cup to Dubai would also be an option, said Dr Ahmed Al Sharif, the DSC secretary general. He briefed the media on Dubai's achievements of hosting professional sportive events and of enhancing sport facilities and events on health for the general public.
Al-Sharif said in the report that Dubai has built a number of high-tech stadiums, and more stadiums and facilities would be needed across the emirate to bid for a major global competition in sports.