HOSTING any international event will definitely raise the profile of a city or country, more so if it’s related to sports. Barcelona, Sydney and Beijing, all Olympic hosts, are perfect examples. And South Africa and Brazil won greater acceptance after they organised the FIFA World Cup.
During the last 10 years or so, Qatar has been at the forefront of hosting many big competitions and also successfully bid for mega events like the 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2019 World Athletics Championships.
It was the successful organisation of the 2006 Asian Games that helped Doha boost its profile and establish itself as one of the most favoured destinations of the world’s best, both sports stars and officials.
We conduct several international events annually, across a wide spectrum of sports, leaving a rich legacy, thanks to our government’s long-term vision.
We’re lucky to have a young and wise leadership, always ready to promote sports, often generating a lot of enthusiasm and excitement among our people.
The personal involvement of the Emir HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, himself an International Olympic Committee (IOC) member since 2002, in the ongoing General Assembly of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) rightly reflected it.
Despite his busy schedule, he met with IOC President Thomas Bach and his ANOC counterpart Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah, reviewing ties and exploring ways to boost them. He also attended a reception for the visiting delegates last Monday before flying out to Marrakesh, Morocco, to participate in the COP 22 Conference on climate change.
It was quite befitting that HH the Emir was awarded the Olympic Shield in recognition of his contribution to sports. It was indeed yet another feather in Qatar’s cap.
The delegates from 206 countries were united in their praise for Qatar and the assembly’s flawless organisation so much so that many of them wanted to see an Olympics staged in Doha.
We shouldn’t get carried away by such accolades or rest on our laurels. Let’s continue our good work. Having tried unsuccessfully twice, I’m sure we’ll have our date with destiny sometime in the near future.