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Posted On: 2 September 2011 05:50 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:11 pm

Countdown for Doha Arab Games begins

Khalifa Al Haroon
Khalifa Al Haroon
Your friendly neighborhood Qatari
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With just 99 days to go before the start of the 12th edition of the Arab Games, the Arab Games Organising Committee (AGOC) has confirmed all preparations are on track to a deliver a truly world-class event. The mega sporting event takes place in Doha from December 9–23 this year. Since awarded the games for the first time, organisers in Qatar have vowed to host a sporting and cultural celebration that will benefit all Arab athletes and Arab nations as well as to leave a lasting legacy for all future Arab Games and the local community. Speaking on the celebration of the 99-day countdown, Abdullah al-Mulla, official spokesman and media & broadcasting director, Arab Games Organising Committee, said: “Our vision is to create the ideal sporting environment to inspire Arab athletes and excite fans from all nations. The Arab Games Doha 2011 will bring everything together to make that vision a reality. In 99 days, the nation will welcome the finest Arab athletes and today marks the start of the official countdown to a spectacular two-week festival of sport and culture. “Through Arab Games Doha 2011, Qatar is sharing its unrivalled experience as a successful host of major international sporting events, to create an Arab Games of Olympic standards and values in every aspect. From venues and infrastructure to transport and security, the stage is being set for a spectacular sporting showcase.” The Arab Games 2011 will feature 30 sports and over 8,000 athletes from 22 countries. Sports include team sports such as football, volleyball and basketball to individual sports including athletics, boxing, golf, karate, rowing, shooting, wrestling and weightlifting. As part of the AGOC’s commitment to set a new standard for the Arab Games, Doha 2011 will be the first Arab Games to feature a purpose-built athlete village. The new village will house all athletes, paralympic athletes and officials, and is conveniently located near event venues and training facilities. A further new initiative for the Arab Games will be the launch of Fan Travel Packages to make Doha 2011 the most accessible Arab Games yet. Ticket packages for local fans within Qatar have been tailored to cater to the needs of single fans, groups of friends, and families. The Arab Games Organising Committee is encouraging all fans to show their national pride and proudly support their nations in Arab Games Doha 2011. “In 99 days, Qatar will proudly host Arab athletes from 22 Arab nations. Every effort is being made to ensure our athletes can compete to the best of their abilities. But I call upon the local community to play an important role in supporting the national team and inspiring our athletes”, he said. Qatar’s progress towards its vision for creating a spectacular sporting and cultural showcase that unites Arab communities, has continued with a number of milestones achieved. Organisers have agreed partnerships with a number of high profile Qatari companies including Qtel (Qatar Telecommunications), Al Jazeera Sport and Ezdan Real Estate, all named as Diamond category sponsors in an effort to deliver a new standard for the Arab Games. Recently, the Volunteers Programme for the Arab Games 2011 was launched in collaboration with the Qatar Centre for Voluntary Activities, as well as the official unveiling of the Arab Games mascot ‘Wathnan’. Preparations have continued throughout the holy month of Ramadan with AGOC engaging the local community in many ways to promote the games, including quizzing participants on a popular television show, hosting information seminars, and supporting various sporting tournaments. The 99-day milestone was celebrated by Rashid Hamad al-Athbah, prominent Qatari shooting champion, also known as the “falcon of shooting”, in the world of Arab sports and beyond. Declared ‘Sports Personality of the Year’ by QOC in 2009, al-Athbah has earned top places in International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) championships across the world, including a silver medal in Cairo, Egypt (2009), as well as a bronze medal in Munich, Germany, during the same year. “I am really excited about Arab Games Doha 2011 -- I have participated in international sporting events all over the globe, and it is thrilling to see a sporting event of this magnitude come to my country,” said al-Athbah. “As an Arab, and as a host, I am keen to welcome my fellow Arab brothers and competitive sportsmen to participate in, what I believe will be one of the most dynamic sporting events held in Qatar thus far,” he said.