(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) While in Dubai last year Lord Coe told: Expo 2020 would show Dubai can deliver. A model of the Dubai Sports City on display. — AFP
Perhaps Jacques Rogge the ex-International Olympics Committee (IOC) president’s encouraging words in 2010 during his stopover in Dubai spurred the leaders and the people of this dynamic city further to getting convinced that the emirate is definitely capable of holding a big showdown such as the Olympics.
Rogge said: “That Dubai is highly capable of holding the Olympics — the infrastructure the strategic location the facilities and the commitment of the UAE people are second to none.”
From 2011 Dubai has shown interest in making a bid for the hosting of an Olympics. Initially unofficial reports said it would be for the 2020 event but in a short period of three to four months the government said it may go in for the 2024 Games to be better prepared. Lord Sebastian Coe former head of the London Olympics organising Committee and gold medallist in the middle distance had said that Dubai should bid for the 2024 Olympics in a confident manner having the experience of hosting mega annual international tournaments.
While in Dubai last year Lord Coe told: “Expo 2020 would show Dubai can deliver. There is absolutely no reason why the Olympics should not be an ambition for Dubai going forward.”
In recent statements to the media even the UAE Olympic Committee the Dubai Sports Council (DSC) and various international leaders in sports management have praised the emirate’s sophisticated approach to holding sports championships on the international stage.
Dubai could possibly challenge Berlin for the right to host the 2024 Olympic Games as things stand today and it will take some very hard well prepared ground work before the city can match Berlin and the other possible candidates during the bidding process the campaigning and the final presentation before the vote count starts among the IOC member countries.
The next stop for the Games is 2016 in Rio de Janeiro and the 2020 chapter is scheduled for Tokyo.
The bidding processfor the 2024 games is expected to begin in 2015 and the winning host city will be made known in 2017. The only candidate to have expressed an interest is Berlin apart from Dubai.
Ali Omar the director of Dubai Sports Council’s (DSC) sports development department said that submitting a candidature as host city to the IOC 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.”
“Qatar’s move put professional sports in the whole Gulf Arab region in the focus of the world’s attention” he added “Further Dubai winning the bid to host Expo 2020 definitely brings more world attention to this part of the world.”
Some of the mega championships held in Dubai include the Dubai Tennis Championships the Desert Classic golf and the IRB Rugby Sevens apart from the Fina World Championships in swimming the Fifa Youth World Cup and the Fifa U-17 World Cup the 2009 Fifa Beach Soccer World Cup the big ICC sanctioned cricket tourneys world and Asian volleyball tourneys and the Dubai Tour in cycling.
When reports came out that Dubai was potentially planning to make a bid for the 2024 Olympics many government sports officials were cautious before making an outright or official statement.
Shaima Al Zarooni a senior executive board member on the UAE National Olympic Committee said late last year: “We are more focused on Expo 2020 now and on making the event a success.”
On a more cautious note she added “Dubai which won the bid to host Expo 2020 in November is capable of holding the Olympics she added. “Dubai is very well prepared. That’s why Jacques Rogge the ex-International Olympics Committee (IOC) President who visited Dubai in 2010 stated that we are capable of holding the Olympics — ‘It’s because of our infrastructure because of our strategic location because of the facilities and the commitment of the UAE people’.” Shaima said. “We are certainly prepared; if we are capable of hosting Expo 2020 we are definitely prepared to host an Olympics.”