Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC) this week celebrated the first anniversary of the ANOC World Beach Games Qatar held for the first time in 2019, and which saw Doha welcome over 1,200 athletes from 97 countries for the first ever global festival of beach, water and action sports.
Qatar planned and delivered the games in just four months after stepping in following the withdrawal of San Diego as host city. The games were held immediately after Doha hosted the IAAF World Athletics Championships, increasing the operational and logistical challenges. However, due to the support provided by the State of Qatar, the strong relationship with ANOC and the strength of Qatar’s extensive major event hosting experience and expertise, QOC was able to deliver a successful event.
The games showcased 13 fresh and dynamic sports, selected based on their appeal with young people around the world. With a combination of Olympic and non-Olympic disciplines, Qatar 2019 provided an opportunity for the QOC, and all participating National Olympic Committees (NOC), to connect with new athletes and fans. QOC was able to draw on its strong relationships with many International Federations (IF) to ensure each competition was delivered to the highest standards.
Sustainability was at the heart of Qatar 2019 and QOC maximised the use of existing and temporary venues to minimise the impact of the games on the environment. Only two new permanent venues were built, a bouldering wall and skateboard park, which were built for legacy purposes given both sports will feature on the Tokyo 2020 and Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
According to QOC Secretary General HE Jassim Rashid Al Buenain, Qatar has been fortunate to host many world-class events but the ANOC World Beach Games, as the first global beach multi-sport event, was unique. He said they were very proud that they were able to plan and deliver the games in just four months. It has left a great legacy, connecting QOC with new talented athletes and helped inspire people in Qatar to try new sports and disciplines.
It is these legacy benefits both for Qatar and the region, and the powerful role sport plays in social development that is the driving force behind our desire to host these major international events.
Qatar will host the FIFA World Cup in Qatar 2022 and the Doha 2023 FINA World Championships the following year. Doha is also currently bidding to host the 2030 Asian Games.