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Wed 3 Aug 2011 12:10 PM

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Dubai ‘might shift 2024 Olympics to winter’

UAE Olympic Committee says weather ‘no issue’ to Dubai’s planned bid for 2024 games

Dubai ‘might shift 2024 Olympics to winter’
Dubai has spent billions of dollars on sports facilities to host global events including the Dubai Desert Classic and the Dubai World Cup

The 2024 Olympics could be shifted from their usual dates in August to sidestep the summer heat if Dubai won the rights to host the event, a member of the UAE’s Olympic Committee said.

The Gulf emirate said last week it would likely bid to host the 2024 global tournament after deciding it would better timed than a pitch for the earlier 2020 games.

Speaking to Arabian Business, Saeed Abdul Ghaffar Hussain, the secretary general of the UAE’s National Olympic Committee, said: “History shows that it was shifted before…..the weather is never an issue.”

The panel plans to undertake a number of studies to present to the International Olympic Committee to outline Dubai’s capability for hosting the games, he said.

“This is how it will be presented and whether it has to be put on the actual time during the month of July or August or shifted to another time.”

Dubai, famous for his luxury hotels, has spent billions of dollars on sports facilities that host a number of international events including the Dubai Desert Classic and the Dubai World Cup. 

According to the government, a feasibility study into Dubai's capability for hosting the Olympics found as much of 70 percent of the required infrastructure was already in place or planned

The emirate could compete with as many as 14 other global cities for the rights to host the 2024 games, including Paris, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Madrid and Kiev.

Neighbouring Qatar in December netted a surprise win to host the 2022 World Cup, but has attracted much criticism for its decision not to deviate from the planned dates and hold the tournament during the hot summer months.

Qatar, which spent million on dollars on wooing the FIFA voting panel, plans to use air-cooled stadiums to defeat the desert state’s 50C heat.

Hussain said Dubai was just as prepared as any other bidding city to manage the Olympics, adding the decision to delay its pitch for the games would allow more time to prepare its own Olympic candidates.

“Dubai is ready. Look at the infrastructure in the UAE. We have top-class infrastructure. Okay, we might lack bits and pieces here and there but we are talking about 2024, which is 13 years away from now,” he said. 

 “In my opinion in thirteen years you can build a new generation of sporting [stars].”

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