Doha, March 10: Sports, plays an important role in the lives of people living in Qatar. People of the Middle East generally like outdoor activities. Qatar has a vision to become a leading nation in bringing the world together through sport and hence more attention is given on increasing the popularity of sports in Qatar.
People here like both playing and watching sports. Football is by far Qatar’s most popular sport which is played with passion, but tennis, cricket, golf, athletics, water-skiing, diving, sailing, jet-skiing, drag-racing, rally-driving, horse riding and even camel racing are just some of the other sports played and watched regularly. The camel races and horse races are held in the cooler months.
In hosting and organizing sports events Qatar has already crossed several milestones. Qatar hosted a successful FIFA World Youth Championship in 1995. Asian Games was successfully conducted in Qatar in the year 2006. Qatar is already known for hosting a number of fantastic international sporting events on a regular basis, including the IAAF Qatar Athletic Super Grand Prix, Qatar Moto GP, Qatar Masters golf tournament and the WTA Qatar Open tennis tournament. In March 2010, Qatar is host to the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Athletics.
All these sports events have decisively proven the consummate skill of the Qatari individual athletes and team sports persons. These games events exhibited not only the sporting skills of the immensely talented Qatar sports persons, but also the organizational skills of the authorities in charge of the events. The excellent organizational finish was the result of many years of meticulous planning and sheer hard work. Also, so many national and expatriate volunteers coordinated with each other to make these games a highly successful sporting event.
Both nationals and residents can choose to be an encouraging spectator, or they can be a participant of various sports events in Qatar. Everyone is free to indulge in their favorite sport. Qatar offers world-class sport and leisure facilities. It is home to a number of sport stadiums. There is great football, tennis, squash, and fitness facilities located at the clubs, major hotels and in living compounds. Many private clubs offer single as well as family memberships which are quite costly though.
Many schools in Doha also have both boys and girls competitive sports teams (volleyball, football, basketball, swimming etc.) that also travel to other nations from time to time for tournaments. Children are encouraged in the schools to be active in sports and games. Most of the schools have their own in house sports facilities.
There are expatriate forums and clubs which also conduct sports events such as cricket, football, volleyball, throwball, kabaddi, athletics etc. sometimes during weekends. Some of these clubs have their own sports facilities for conducting the events. These events are also conducted in school grounds. Doha residents do attend these sports events in large numbers and cheer for their favorite teams. It is a wonderful opportunity for the communities to get together and have fun.