Doha will host the 2030 Asian Games, the Olympic Council of Asia announced on Wednesday, while Riyadh was chosen to host the 2034 edition.
“I can now announce… that the city who had the highest vote and will host 2030 is Doha,” said OCA President Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah.
“The second hosting city, for 2034, is Riyadh.”
Sheikha Al Mayassa Al Thani, the sister of Qatar’s emir, congratulated both cities on the decision.
Qatar hosted the 15th edition of the Games in 2006. For Saudi Arabia, it will be the first time it organises an OCA multi-sport event.
In April, Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al Thani, president of the Qatar Olympic Committee, said: “We believe it is time to bid to host it again to welcome all of Asia to our country”.
“We want to put our expertise and capabilities in the service of Asian sport,” Sheikh Joaan said in April.
“Through close cooperation with our friends in the Asian Olympic family, we promise to provide the best possible environment for athletes to present their best and encourage future generations of young people in the Asian continent.”
In 2022, Qatar will host the FIFA World Cup, the biggest football event in the world.
“Qatar has effectively built a nation based upon sport,” Simon Chadwick, professor of Eurasian Sport Industry, told Al Jazeera.
“So a lot of its infrastructure, a lot of its urban developments have been connected to the staging of the World Cup and also other sporting events too like the World Athletics Championships in 2019.”
Chadwick said it is crucial for Qatar to also deliver and host other mega events and that hosting the 2030 Asian Games could help propel Qatar towards a possible bid to host an Olympic Games.
“And I think what [hosting the 2030 Asian Games] will do is it will enable the country to deliver on its 2030 national vision, but also to utilise the infrastructure, the sporting infrastructure it has now created.”