Qatar aims to build $20b sports industry

AFP
February 19,2019

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DOHA: Qatar wants to build a $20 billion sports industry by 2022 as it seeks to develop new markets amid regional political tensions, an economic official in the emirate said.

Yousuf Mohamed al-Jaida, chief executive of the Qatar Financial Centre, said he expected the target to be reached within three years, without specifying how the figure was reached or giving its current value.

Jaida said there would be "a major expansion of sports in terms of targets and in terms of focus". Although well-known for hosting sporting events, and Qatar is likely to bid again to host the Olympics, Jaida said the new approach would go further.

The development of the industry would focus not only on hosting, but increased use of Qatari sporting medical and training facilities considered among the best in the world. One of the ways, he added, would be to cash in on the growing international reputation of the country´s expensive sports´ training centre, the Aspire Academy, who had officials present at the launch Sunday.

Aspire is used by an increasing number of teams, including Bayern Munich and Qatari-owned Paris Saint-Germain, and is a hothouse for many of the local players who recently helped Qatar win the Asian Cup.

"We´re doing this in coordination with Aspire and if you look at the infrastructure that they put together it´s massive, it´s world class and I think we can build upon their success," said Jaida.


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