Dubai is aiming to bid to host the Olympics Games within the next eight years, the emirate’s head of sports has claimed.
"Hosting the Olympics is a dream. We hope to submit such a bid within the next eight years, God willing," Ali Omar, the director of Dubai Sports Council (DSC), told the Xinhua news agency, confirming that submitting an application to host the world’s biggest sporting event was still on the cards.
The next Games in 2016 and 2020 will be held in Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo, while the bidding for the 2024 games has yet to commence. The only candidate to have expressed an interest in Berlin.
With Dubai winning the bid to host Expo 2020 and Qatar hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2022, Omar said the two successful bids had put the world’s focus on the region.
"Qatar's move put professional sports in the whole Gulf Arab region in the focus of the world's attention," he said.
He added that Dubai already hosts a number of high profile sporting events, such as the Dubai Duty Free Grand Prix, GAC GROUP 2013 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals in table tennis and other swimming, diving and golf events.
Last year, Lord Sebastian Coe, who successfully managed London’s successful hosting of the 2012 Games, said Dubai should aim to host the event.
"Expo would show Dubai can deliver. There is absolutely no reason why the Olympics should not be an ambition for Dubai going forward," Lord Coe, a former gold medal winning Olympian and organiser of the London 2012 games, said while in the UAE in June 2013.
Dubai may look to host the Youth Olympic Games or the Asia Games as it prepares to bid for hosting rights for the 2024 Olympics Games.
“We’re thinking of hosting the Olympic youth events during this time…which will be a sort of rehearsal for us. At least if not the Youth Olympics [then we’ll bid] for the Asian Games,” said Saeed Abdul Ghaffar Hussain, secretary general of the committee said in September 2011.
Subscribe to Arabian Business' newsletter to receive the latest breaking news and business stories in Dubai,the UAE and the GCC straight to your inbox.