Image for illustrative purpose only. Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

Dubai: The UAE National Olympic Committee on Friday confirmed that it is planning to bid for the 2024 Olympic Games. The committee also decided not to enter the race for the 2020 Olympic Games.

While a feasibility study into Dubai's capability for hosting the 2020 Games concluded that as much as 70 per cent of the ‘hard' infrastructure was already in place or planned, it was decided a bid would be better timed for 2024, a statement from the UAE NOC said.

Dubai's strategy for sports was laid out by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, in the early 1990s.

Sports facilities

In 2009, Shaikh Mohammad established a Working Group chaired by Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince, which commissioned a group of sport industry experts to assess sports facilities in Dubai. This culminated in a feasibility study conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers and Populous to establish whether Dubai would be well placed to enter a bid for the 2020 Olympic Games or thereafter.

Shaikh Hamdan 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. 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.

"I believe that a concentrated effort must now be made on grassroots sports activities, building our human resources and administrative framework... 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."

14 other cities to vie for honour

Dubai will have to contend with rival bids from Asia, Africa, Europe, North and South America and Oceania should they put forward their tender to host the 2024 Olympics. A total of 14 other cities, including Paris, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Madrid, Kiev and Saint Petersburg in Europe are also likely to vie for honours to stage the sporting extravaganza.

The following is a list of potential bidders for the 2024 Olympics.

The winner is likely to be announced in 2017.

  • Africa: Casablanca (Morocco);
  • Durban (South Africa)
  • Asia: Taipei (Chinese Taipei)
  • Europe: Paris (France);
  • Copenhagen/ Malmö (Denmark/Sweden) joint bid;
  • Amsterdam (Netherlands);
  • Madrid (Spain);
  • Kiev (Ukraine).
  • North America: Toronto (Canada);
  • Philadelphia (USA).
  • Oceania: Brisbane (Australia);
  • Melbourne (Australia)
  • South America: Lima (Peru)