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Fri 29 Jul 2011 01:35 PM

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UAE says keen to bid for 2024 Olympic Games

Country rules out plan to host 2020 event but says future bid is 'most likely' for the following Olympics

UAE says keen to bid for 2024 Olympic Games
(Getty Images)
UAE says keen to bid for 2024 Olympic Games
Sheikh Ahmed Mohammed bin Hasher Al Maktoum is the UAE’s only gold Olympic medallist, following his victory in the double trap shooting event in 2004. (Getty Images)
UAE says keen to bid for 2024 Olympic Games
A general view of the Olympic and Paralympic rings at St Pancras Station. (Getty Images)
UAE says keen to bid for 2024 Olympic Games
Olympic medals for the 2012 London Games.

The UAE said on Friday that it would likely bid for the 2024 Olympic Games after ruling out a bid for the event in 2020.

The National Olympic Committee of the UAE confirmed that it will not enter a bid for the 2020 Olympic Games despite initially indicating it might.

While a feasibility study into Dubai's capability for hosting the Olympic Games concluded that as much of 70 percent of the infrastructure was already in place or planned, it was decided a bid would be better timed for 2024.

Dubai crown prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, a senior figure in the plans to bring the Games to the UAE, said: "Hosting the Olympic Games in the Middle East would be a dream come true for the entire region, and we fully intend to place a bid once I am totally satisfied that we are prepared to host the greatest sporting event in history in a way that would add value to the Olympic Movement itself, as well as the youth of the Arab World."

He added in comments published by state news agency WAM: "Whilst I am satisfied that infrastructure and Dubai's experience in hosting top class sports events would see us well placed to win a bid, I do believe that much more has to be done in order to leave the lasting human legacy that celebrates the Olympic values."

He said: "Our energy needs to go first and foremost to achieving a just and lasting peace for our youth as the bedrock to a future bid which is most likely for the 2024 Olympic Games."

Dubai's strategy for sports was laid out by Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum in the early 1990s.

It focused on attracting world class sporting events to the region, with Dubai known now for hosting the well established Dubai World Cup, the Dubai Desert Classic and Ladies Masters (golf), the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships, as well as the Emirates Airlines Rugby Sevens, FINA 25m Swimming Championships (2010), UIM Class 1 World Offshore Powerboat Championship, as well as the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon.

In 2009, Sheikh Mohammed established a working group chaired by Sheikh Hamdan which commissioned a group of sport industry experts to assess sports facilities in Dubai.

This culminated in a feasibility study conducted by Price Waterhouse Coopers and Populous to establish whether Dubai would be well placed to enter a bid for the 2020 Olympic Games or any future Games.

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SAM 8 years ago

Great News ! This will bring a lot of hope and cheer for the region. Go ahead U.A.E. You have a lot to offer to the world !

Sports City Owner 8 years ago

I guess that means there is a chance Dubai Sports City could one day be finished.

Non-Muslim 8 years ago

Summer Olympics with 45° to 50° outside air temperature?

Jane 8 years ago

Dubai needs to finish some projects in order to bid for the Olympics, lets hope it doesn't take until 2024 to finish Sports City. Sports City could be used for all sorts of sporting events (and bring in some revenue) if Dubai would just finish the project. In an increasingly unhealthy society with diabetes on the rise, in a car dependant culture, Dubai needs to make exercise and sports a part of everyday life and not just compartmentalise sports to the gym or expensive clubs. Develop sidewalks / pavements along every road, put in trees for shade to encourage people to walk, finish sports city and encourage people to jog, swim, play tennis by offering more facilities as part of parks. In Dubai people stare when you walk somewhere, taxis beep at you and cars do not respect pedestrians, one of the few cities in the world where a pedestrian is treated as a poor person that can not afford a car rather than someone who is wanting to stay fit and healthy by exercising.

British Expat 8 years ago

I think there should be combined Bid for Olympics by GCC, this way they have more chance, not one country alone is big enough to host Olympics and also what would they do with infrastructure afterwards? Qatar will already have many stadiums available after 2022 world cup and by hosting olympics jointly, they can also ensure the Rail network in GCC is developed at the same time. This way they can transport athletes and visitors via high speed link between GCC countries.

Telcoguy 8 years ago

I really see no link between a vanity project (Olympic Games) and a change in lifestyle. Can you point to any Olympic Games that has had a measurable effect on the population of the host country?
So, if UAE (well actually Dubai) wants to host the Olympic Games that is great, I wish then good luck and I certainly hope they will win and avoid that burden to the Spanish taxpayers (Madrid is bidding again, it seems).
If the UAE wants to do something about the poor health of its population that is fine too, but is a totally different issue.
BTW in Marina is much easier to walk now, we have proper sidewalks in most places.

Original Joe 8 years ago

Actually I believe the UAE should bid as a country. Most of the events will be located in Dubai and Abu Dhabi but if the country puts together the right bid they (the UAE government) could probably include events in all the Emirates which would be something different for an Olympic games. Since everywhere is reachable within a few hours drive I believe this could be done and even supported. If FIFA can give Qatar the World Cup with absolutely no infrastructure in place I am sure the Olympics could award the UAE the Olympics when there are already so many hotels available and under construction as well as many sporting venues. Forget a Dubai-only bid, bid a country!!

Jane 8 years ago

I disagree, bidding for the Olympic games is as much to do with changing a countries perspective of sports as it is to do with the vanity of the prestige of hosting it. The point is Dubai does not encourage sport in a public sense, or healthy lifestyles, the Olympics is all about encouraging your population to believe you can achieve something special with sport and fitness and until now the UAE has done little to push sport into the mainstream population as we are all too afraid to be seen sweating in public incase we don't look good and fit in with the pretty people. The UAE is a very impressionable place, it is all about image and I am appalled by the amount of large kids out there, if even the slightest bit of sport fever rubs off on the UAE because of the Olympics it is a positive step. In the UK the Olympics has kick started several sporting initiatives to encourage more people into sports on an accessible level, local newspapers were even advertising for youngsters to join up ..

MM 8 years ago

British Expat & Original Joe, for your information, Olympics is to be for a city not country. Remember the last one, Beijing, the next London... It isn't China or UK. So even if UAE wanted to, it can't host as a country nor GCC as a whole.

Anonymous 8 years ago

To MM, just because it has always been does not mean it always has to your mind a bit. I am sure the UAE could and would first gauge the reaction of the IOC before submitting a bid that would fall flat. If the IOC did not "warm" to the idea of a country bid where all the events are within a few hours drive of each other then the UAE could decide if a Dubai or Abu Dhabi bid had a better chance of succeeding.

No one thought Qatar would win the World Cup but they bid anyway...and look what happened!! Open your mind to what is possible MM!!