When you first moved to Dubai, how long were you expecting to stay? For many, myself included, our tenure has turned out to be for longer than we imagined. Fancy kicking about for another 12 years? Why? Well, Dubai is one of the greatest cities in the world (of course), but there’s also the chance that our city could host the Olympics in 2024. I kid you not.
I was at Dubai Airport last week to welcome the UAE Paralympic team home from London. As well as congratulating medal winners Abdulla Sultan Al Aryani, who won gold (yes, I said ‘gold’) in the mixed R6-50m rifle, and Mohammed Hammadi, a silver and bronze medalist on the track, I also met the UAE Olympic Committee. They told me how Dubai seriously thought about bidding for the 2020 Games, before deciding it was too soon, but that we should expect a serious bid for a future event – possibly in 2024 or 2028.
I honestly believe an Olympic Games in Dubai would be fantastic. Road race through the desert roads? Triathlon around the Palm, anyone? By then, golf will be an Olympic sport, as will rugby sevens. We’re halfway there already. Some of the venues could be just as iconic as those in London’s Olympic Park.
Elsewhere, it’s been great to see the cricket stadium at Dubai Sports City packed with 25,000 fans for the T20 series between Pakistan and Australia. Pakistan fans may well have outnumbered the Aussies, but even with uneven support, live sport and passionate fans make a fantastic mix. Let’s keep the packed-stadium trend going. Tom Bushell hosts Sport On 7 on City 7 TV (Mon 8pm) and is Arabian Radio Network’s head of sport.
And another thing… You may have heard of The Grill, a little sports radio show on Dubai Eye (103.8FM) with which I’m involved. We’re back on Saturday September 22, broadcasting live from Barasti from 5pm until 8pm. Each week we’ll have live sporting guests, plus games in which you can win tickets to major sporting events, and plenty of live sport for you to enjoy and us to banter about. It would be great to see you there: no grilling of audience members involved.