Get ready! The Asian Games are coming to Qatar for the second time in the country’s history.
The Olympic Council of Asia has announced Qatar will be hosting the 2030 Asian Games after a fierce bid battle between Doha and neighbouring Saudi Arabia.
The council also announced that Riyadh, which came second in the vote, will be hosting the consecutive tournament in 2034.
The announcement was made in the Omani capital, Muscat where the 39th Olympic Council of Asia General Assembly was taking place.
Qatar proposed a strong plan and referred to its already-built state-of-the-art facilities and infrastructure for the tournament which Saudi Arabia has yet to build. However, the time frame gives both countries enough time to prepare exceptional tournaments.
Doha has previously hosted the Asian Games in 2006 and Al-Thani claims that the city is “games-ready, right now.”
Last month, a delegation from the the Doha 2030 Asian Games Bid Committee were in Doha for a three day evaluation to promote the country’s interest in bidding for the Asian Games.
Upon their visit, Doha’s 2030 Asian Games Bid Committee explained how the country can guarantee a “gateway to a Magical Asian Games” and provided detailed presentations with interactive visits of the city’s world-class venues.
“Just as importantly, is why this certainty is critical for Asia. What it will mean. And how it will free Doha 2030 up to deliver legacy benefits for the whole of our continent like we have never seen before. If we are awarded the great honour of hosting the Asian Games, I can assure you that we will deliver a magical Games,” al-Thani added.
Qatar had previously hosted the Asian Games in 2006 and Al-Thani claims that the city is “games-ready, right now”.
The committee members had just wrapped up a similar visit to Saudi Arabia which is the only other country in the race to hold the games. The evaluation team said Saudi Arabia has “good potential” to host the Games.
The Asian Games 2030’s logo and slogan “Your Gateway” has been designed to showcase the blend of Qatar’s heritage and outstanding natural scenery, with its vibrant, contemporary and diverse culture, officials said.
This all comes with the backdrop of a possible thawing of relations between the two countries, which could see an end to Riyadh’s blockade on Doha that has gone on for more than three years now.
This week, Qatar’s national Olympic Committee unveiled ‘Project Legacy 21’, Doha’s 2030 Asian Games’ legacy programme, which will use the country’s expertise and experience in hosting international sporting events to provide financial investment and knowledge transfer to various National Olympic Committees across Asia.
Much like the legacy of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the post-tournament aspect of the 2030 Asian Games bid will see Qatar share its expertise of creating a thriving sport phenomenon in the country. Doha will also explore creating training hubs based on Aspire Academy’s programmes across Asia.