Dubai bid given lift by former Olympic host cities

Officials from London and Anthens, former cities that have hosted the Olympics, agree that UAE has potential to host the Games.

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The former mayor of an Olympic city and a top tourism executive of the London 2012 Games yesterday said they would view favourably a Dubai bid for the 2024 Olympic Games.

“Dubai has developed a lot and there is a fantastic infrastructure,” said Chris Foy, head of the 2012 Games Unit for Visit Britain.

“If Dubai was to stage the Olympics it would be another stage in becoming a world city, a seismic shift for the city and the country to get itself on the world map.”

“Dubai has a lot of experience,” said Dora Bakoyannis, the mayor of Athens during the 2004 Olympics. “There is a very good infrastructure.”

The two were speaking at the Host Cities Summit, which brought together experts in the staging of major sports events.

A recent feasibility study found that “70 per cent of the hard infrastructure” was already in place or planned. Some of that is in Dubai Sports City, where a 60,000-capacity stadium is planned, as well as a 10,000-seat arena.

Hussain Nasser Lootah, the director general of Dubai Municipality, said the city was ready for the biggest of stages. “We are already applying for the World Expo in 2020. Why not host the Olympics – or the World Cup as well? I think Dubai is more than capable of handling such events.”