Posted on April 08, 2011

H E Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, General Secretary of the Qatar Olympic Committee, addressed the Business and Investment in Qatar Forum held in New York about “Culture, Tourism, and Sports.”

“Sports in Qatar mean a lot. [They] mean a lot for the government. [They] mean a lot for the people because we feel that through sports, we can reach anywhere in the world. I can say something today that I am proud of. If I asked 10 years ago for anyone not from Qatar to locate Qatar or pronounce its name, there would be difficulty. Now after we won the 2022 [World Cup], everyone recognises Qatar. And that is a legacy.”

Sports in Qatar follow the Qatar National Vision 2030. Falling within the national strategy, the country hosts around 30 international events a year in addition to the upcoming 2022 World Cup. “Qatar has been honoured to be hosting this event. We are hosting major events in the coming years such as the 2015 cup for handball and bidding for international athletic events,” he said.

Requirements for infrastructure and other services are necessary to conducting these events, he stressed. He narrowed down two types of investments:

1. Hard Investments, which come in the shape of infrastructure, and is represented in $4bn earmarked for upgrading and constructing venues. One such investment is in a multipurpose facility to host 20,000 people and an Olympic swimming pool.

2. Soft Investments: such as hotels, airlines, and other aspects of the tourism industry. As mentioned in the World Cup bid, Qatar plans to have 110,000 hotel rooms ready. By the end of 2011 alone, 19,000 rooms will be ready.

“There are a lots of requirements for investment in these sectors,” he added, inviting US companies to invest in Qatar.

source: The Peninsula