Doha’s sporting aspirations

May 07,2015

There’s plenty of sporting fare to enjoy in Doha before the 2022 FIFA World Cup rolls around. If you’re a sports enthusiast it might be time to start browsing hotel deals and booking your Middle East accommodation.

If the Qatari capital city wasn’t already on your list of places to visit, there are now plenty more reasons to entice you.

Besides the well-publicised hosting of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar in 2022, Doha has also been awarded the bid to host the 2019 IAAF World Championships. In the 2014/15 season alone, Doha (and Qatar as a whole) will be hosting 43 international sporting events.

Here’s our pick of the upcoming events to book tickets for.

On 15 May, the IAAF Diamond League Athletics season kicks off in Doha for the sixth successive year. This one-day event attracts some of the biggest names in track and field, and is truly a test of their physical prowess in the desert heat. Despite the harsh conditions, the event has resulted in a number of strong performances in previous years.

In October, the World Boxing Championships comes to town. Here technique and skill take precedence over marketing hype and bravado. The tournament takes on the added significance of being the avenue for qualification to the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and places will therefore, be hotly contested.

The AFC U-23 Championship, in January 2016, will be a good dress rehearsal for the impending spectre of the FIFA World Cup. It is the second edition of the competition and, as with the aforementioned boxing championships, doubles as the qualification path for the Rio Olympics. The tournament will feature 16 teams from across the Asian Football Confederation and take place from 12-30 January.

Then it’s time for the UCI World Road Cycling Championships in October 2016. Held in a different city each year, the championships are a showpiece event that attracts the best talent. It’s part of the Triple Crown of cycling, along with the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia. Past winners of the UCI World Race Cycling Championships include Mark Cavendish, Cadel Evans, and Thor Hushovd.

Accompanying the prestigious international events mentioned above are a veritable feast of local events to enjoy, including beach sports, camel racing, motorsports and football – pretty much anything you can think of.

Doha has equipped itself to cater to all sporting getaway needs, so visitors needn’t simply remain spectators the whole time. There is also no shortage of sporting activities for tourists to participate in. These options include kitesurfing, eco-adventure trips, sailing, cycling and much more, so make sure you plan your itinerary early, and enjoy your fill of sporting events in the exciting city.

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