Mena region sports in focus

25 November 2022
As a list of 2022 events and major future event bids shows, Middle East and North African countries are committing an increasing amount of time and energy to support a growing roster of international and high-profile national sporting events

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Region pitches to be global sporting hub

Sport will continue to play an important role in the social and economic development of the region

The Middle East will be thrust firmly onto the global stage on 20 November when football’s 2022 World Cup kicks off in Qatar. 

The month-long tournament, held every four years, is the world’s most-watched single event. Football’s governing body Fifa expects this year’s event to set new records with 5 billion people tuning in, up from 3.57 billion for the 2018 edition, which Russia hosted.

The tournament in Qatar will further cement the Middle East’s position as a global sporting hub. Over the past two decades, the region has hosted leading events for sports including athletics, golf, motorsports, boxing and martial arts, swimming, football, cricket and an old regional favourite, horse racing. 

More is coming. In late 2019, the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) selected Doha and Riyadh to host upcoming editions of the Asian Games. Doha was chosen to hold the games for a second time and will host the event in 2030. The first time the games took place in the Qatari capital was in 2006.

Riyadh will host the games four years later, in 2034. Then, on 4 October this year, the Trojena mountain resort being developed at Neom in the northwest of Saudi Arabia was selected to host the 2029 Asian Winter GamesRead more

Click here to enjoy the November 2022 edition of MEED Business Review.

This package on the region's sporting ambitions includes:

> COVER STORY | Region pitches to be global sporting hub
> TROJENA | Saudi winter games challenges perceptions


Climate, construction and the environment are all challenges that lie ahead for Saudi Arabia's 2029 Asian Winter Games, writes MEED editor Colin Foreman. Read more

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