More Olympic bids with South Africa and Dubai joining

August 1, 2011

Dubai has announced it will concentrate its efforts on the 2024 Games, while South Africa has again emerged as a serious contender for the 2020 event.

The National Olympic Committee of the United Arab Emirates has estimated that 70% of infrastructure to host the Olympics was in already place or in the planning stages. However, with recent uprising Dubai’s Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum has alluded that 2024 would be a more realistic option.

The Crown Prince who is chairman of the planning commitees said “We fully intend to place a bid once I am totally satisfied that we are prepared to host the greatest sporting event in history in a way that would add value to the Olympic Movement itself,” He added: “Our energy needs to go first and foremost to achieving a just and lasting peace for our youth as the bedrock to a future bid which is most likely for the 2024 Olympic Games.”

Meanwhile in South Africa their Sports and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula has stated that a 2020 Olympic bid will be discussed at a forthcoming cabinet meeting. In May, the South African government surprisingly announced it would not support an Olympic bid, preferring instead to concentrate on the delivery of “basic services to all South Africans”. However, International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Jacques Rogge last month stated he believed South Africa is “ready” to host the Olympics prompting renewed speculation about a bid.

“From the ministry of sports, we are quite interested,” Mbalula told Reuters. “So we will go back to cabinet in a week’s time and re-present our case to fit in the information that was not there. In this instance, Durban has put an important bid to us, which is convincing.”