Qatar prepares to host motor sport’s finest in Dec

July 26, 2014 - 12:30:44 am
QMMF President Nasser bin Khalifa Al Attiyah (left) with FIA President Jean Todt

DOHA: The Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation (QMMF) is pulling out all the stops to make the FIA Annual General Assembly week and FIA Gala Prize-Giving ceremony, which will be held here from December 1-5, a memorable affair. 

They are among the motorsport community’s most anticipated annual events.

Hotel St Regis has been selected as the venue where all the meetings and the Annual General Assembly will be hosted. The QMMF celebrated the 10th anniversary of MotoGP at the same venue. 

It will be the first time that the Annual General Assembly takes place in the Middle East and North Africa and more than 6,000 guests, including world champions, heads of clubs and local federations, from all over the world are expected to attend.

As always, the FIA’s annual Gala Prize-Giving ceremony will see champions from every major branch of international motor sport gather together to receive their awards on one star-studded evening. 

On December 1, 2 and 3, several meetings will be held while the Annual General Assembly will be on hold on December 4 and the Prize-Giving ceremony on December 5. 

For the first time, the Prize-Giving ceremony will be divided into two parts. The first part will be dedicated to honouring organisers and various committees while the second part will be for the World Champions, followed by the gala dinner.

Programmes will also be held in other venues of Doha, including the Museum of Islamic Art and Katara Cultural village. Fans will have the opportunity to get autographs of the world champions at Katara beach. Doha beat several countries, like Mexico, Brazil, Australia, Cyprus and Japan, in being chosen as the venue to host this global event. 

The choice was seen by many as an endorsement of Qatar’s efforts, headed by QMMF President Nasser bin Khalifa Al Attiyah, to spur the development of motor sports in the Middle East and the world.

Al Attiyah hopes this global event will be a bright spot in the history of motor sport and will bring international limelight to Doha — as the events will be broadcast live on several sports channels.

“It was a big effort to persuade the members of the General Assembly to approve our request to host this event, especially after many other countries also expressed interest in it, but we succeeded in winning everyone’s confidence, including the FIA,” Al Attiyah said. 

“There is no doubt that the great support of our wise leadership — particularly the Emir H H Sheikh Tamin bin Hamad Al Thani and H H Sheikh Abdullah bin Khalifa Al Thani — and the athletes had a great role in swinging the advantage to our side. And, I think all the unions are well aware of the capabilities of Qatar in the field of sports and the successes we have had in 

successively attracting major international sporting events,” he said. 

“It is also a great opportunity to promote tourism because thousands of people, members of local and international federations and world champions will attend the event. The event will be broadcasted in different countries, which will contribute to the promotion of our country,” the QMMF President said.

“We all hope that this celebration will be a big success and we want to thank Prime Minister and Interior Minister H E Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, H E Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al Thani, H E Salah bin Ghanem bin Nasser Al Ali, Minister of Youth and Sports, and Nasser Al-Khulaifi, Director General of beIN sports channel, for their support,” Al Attiyah added.