New Complex To Boost Doha’s 2016 Summer Games Bid

Qatar has announced plans it is building a state-of-the-art “extreme” sports complex at Aspire Sports City to include a water park and a slalom facility for canoeing and kayaking – two key Olympic disciplines.

Hassan Ali bin Ali, chairman of Doha 2016, told Gulf Times the new facilities were part of the Qatar Olympic Committee’s (QOC) “Master Plan for Venue Development” in keeping with the long-term needs of the community. He said, “these plans are in line with the QOC’s mission to make Qatar a leading nation at bringing the world together through sport”.

He added, “more than 70 per cent of the venues already exist and have served as sites for major international competitions, particularly for the Doha Asian Games in 2006”.

Other facilities planned are a new swimming centre at Al Gharafa Club, a “Qatar Dome” at the Qatar Sports Club, a multi-purpose sports complex at the Shaffallah Centre for Children with Special Needs, an Athletes Village and a Media Village.

Ali bin Ali said, “each of these facilities will meet the long-term needs of the community and further advance sport in Doha”.

The new multi-purpose sports complex will be used as the boxing venue for the Games. The swimming centre at Al Gharafa Club will be an adaptable structure that normally seats 4,000 spectators but is designed to be easily modified with additional temporary seating for the Games and then down-sized again in legacy mode, reports the Gulf Times.

Ali bin Ali said Qatar would be conducting design competitions to ensure that the venues were built according to environmentally friendly norms.

According to the Gulf Times, six venues will be temporary, including those for cycling and beach volley, and in each case the venue will be developed around world-class competition facilities.

Ali bin Ali said, “hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Doha in 2016 would inspire the Arab youth better understand the wider world and the youth of the rest of the world gain a true picture of Arab culture and hospitality. Awarding Doha the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games would unleash the power of the Olympic Movement and sport to create understanding, hope and change that could unite the entire region with the rest of the world.

He added, “the heads of state of all the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) countries have pledged their unanimous support for the Doha 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Bid at their summit in Doha this past December. Furthermore, all of the kinds and respective heads of state at the 11th session of the Islamic Summit Conference held in Dakar in March 2008 have signed a declaration in support of the first bid from the Arab-speaking world.

Ali bin Ali and five other officials will be at the SportAccord conference in Athens this week for the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) announcement of the short-listed Candidate Cities.