'UCI Worlds a chance to showcase Qatar’s culture and hospitality'
October 01 2016 11:50 PM
UCI Road World Championships will be held in Doha from 9-16 October.

On any given weekday, walk into the office of the Local Organising Committee of the UCI Road World Championships Doha 2016 and you will witness a beehive of activity.
Observe a little more and you will see that most of the work is being overseen by a soft-spoken lady, who moves around with a supreme sense of purpose. She is Amani Aziz al-Dosari, Managing Director of the Board of Management of the UCI Road World Championships Doha 2016, and she is on a mission.
With just a week to go for the marquee event, al-Dosari threw light on the preparations. Excerpts from the interview.

The UCI Road World Championships are coming to the Middle East for the first time. What advantages do you see Qatar gaining out of it?
Doha’s role in organising the UCI Road World Championships once again acknowledges us as the world’s sporting capital. It will be further proof that we are capable of hosting any major event, irrespective of how big or complex it is.
It is also a great chance to highlight Qatar’s culture of hospitality. It will give fans a bigger understanding of our country ahead of upcoming major sporting events. Hosting such competitions will also help promote Qatar as a global tourism destination.

Q. How much will the World Championships contribute towards building local knowledge and skills?
The UCI Road World Championships Doha 2016 is a dream-come-true moment for all of us who love cycling in Qatar. It is a great opportunity to build the passion and following for the sport in the country. In addition, it can also be a good exercise in building leadership skills among future generations.
We have many Qatari citizens and children in our various organisational and volunteer teams. They will be closely involved in the running of the show. Working on an international project like the UCI Road World Championships will help them expand their horizons and build a lot of local knowledge.

Q. Over the last few years, how much has the sport grown in popularity in Qatar?
Cycling has started to grow considerably. When the Tour of Qatar races began in 2002, it didn’t attract too many spectators. But nowadays, hundreds of fans line up along the Doha Corniche to catch a glimpse of the mass sprinting finishes.
Similarly, if you go to Qatar’s various parks, you will be amazed to see the number of children riding bicycles. Their parents proudly support them. There are several active cycling communities in Qatar and their numbers are growing steadily. Certainly, these are exciting times for our sport.

Q. Several local businesses have come forward as partners for World
Championships Doha 2016.
Historically, some of the biggest companies and institutions in Qatar have been supportive of us in all our endeavours. Institutions like The Pearl-Qatar, United Development Company, Qatar Foundation, Aspire Zone Foundation, Katara Cultural Village and Al Shaqab have graciously opened up their premises for various activities related to the UCI Road World Championships Doha 2016.
Qatar Airways has made it a lot simpler and cheaper for competitors and fans to travel to Doha. Companies like Al Marai, Dana, Ooredoo, Gulf Crafts and GL Events have also contributed to making this event a success.

Q. Qatar is fielding a young team at the UCI Road World Championships Doha 2016 – what does it mean to Qatar to have such a promising young team?
At 26 years of age, Ahmed Elbourdainy is our senior-most rider. It will be the first major competition for Jassim Al Jabri, 18, and 17-year-old Farhan Farzi. We are very proud to give our young cyclists a chance to compete on the global stage right here in their own country. It is vital for their overall development to compete in such major international events. I’m confident they will make the best of the opportunity given to them, and perhaps even set some new Personal Best times. I wish them luck.

Q. Can you elaborate about the Ride of Champions at The Pearl-Qatar?
The Ride of Champions is a unique race where we give cycling enthusiasts from around the world a chance to live the life of a champion. It will take place on October 15, before the start of the elite women’s race.
Beginning at 7:00/8:00 from in front of the National Exhibition Centre, it will take riders through different parts of the iconic Pearl-Qatar, before letting riders cross the finish line for his or her own ‘champion moment.’ It is going to be a fun event and we are looking forward to it.

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