Last updated: 29 July, 2011

Dubai retracts bid for 2020 Olympics

Dubai has cancelled plans to bid for the 2020 Olympic Games, saying it has set its eyes on the 2024 games instead, an Emirati government statement said on Friday.

“The National Olympic Committee of the United Arab Emirates today confirmed that it will not enter a bid for the 2020 Olympic Games,” it said in an English-language statement.

“Whilst a feasibility study into Dubai’s capability for hosting the Olympic Games concluded that as much of 70 percent of the ‘hard’ infrastructure was already in place or planned, it was decided a bid would be better timed for 2024,” it added.

Dubai, which has spent billions of dollars building sports facilities which already host international championships in tennis and golf, had initially shown interest in hosting the 2020 Olympics.

Rome, Madrid and Tokyo have so far announced bids, and Istanbul is also expected to do so shortly.

South Africa’s Olympics committee chief said on Wednesday he hoped his government would change its mind and endorse a bid to bring the 2020 summer Olympics to the continent, but a 2024 bid was definite.

The International Olympic Committee will decide in Buenos Aires on September 7, 2013 which city will host the 2020 summer games.