Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy and U.S. Embassy in Qatar Conclude Successful Reverse Trade Mission to the United States
Doha, Qatar: 10 February 2014 – The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy and the U.S. Embassy in Qatar concluded a successful Reverse Trade Mission to Atlanta, Georgia and Miami, Florida last week.
The delegation, led by Nasser Al Khater, Executive Director of Communications and Marketing for the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy and H.E. Susan Ziadeh, U.S. Ambassador to the State of Qatar, toured various sporting venues, visited leading institutions, including major broadcasting and transportation centres, and laid the foundation for creating lasting partnerships with innovative U.S. companies as Qatar prepares to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup™.
Qatari – U.S commercial ties have expanded substantially over the last 3 years, with exports growing by 80% from $2.5 billion in 2011 to $4.5 billion in 2013.
As part of the Reverse Trade Mission, Al Khater delivered presentations to American companies in both Atlanta, the host city of the 1996 Summer Olympic Games, and Miami, a new destination on the global network of Qatar Airways in 2014, on the business opportunities the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar™ offers.
Following the Committee’s first fact-finding business mission in the United States on the West Coast in 2013, Al Khater said that the visit to the East Coast this year provided further valuable insights into the hosting of major sporting events.
‘Our trade mission to both Atlanta and Miami was highly successful in allowing us to observe international best practice, not only in the hosting of major sporting events, but also thinking about how these facilities are most efficiently utilised and incorporated in the community for post-tournament legacy,’ said Al Khater.
‘Today, as we enter the phase of delivery of our FIFA World Cup projects on the ground, we also offer opportunities for the very best partners in their respective fields to join us in this exciting undertaking. Over the course of last week we were able to talk to leaders in technology and innovation, for the latest in fan experience, cooling systems, security, transportation and accommodation, and many other areas. Our long list of American partners who we have worked with in the past showcases just how much we value innovation and expertise from this country,’ he added.
As part of the visit, the Executive Director and the U.S. Ambassador to Qatar met with the Mayor of Miami-Dade County, Carlos Giménez, to discuss infrastructure projects, green technologies, trade and investment.
During the week-long visit to the United States, the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy also met with sports and business councils, visited media leaders including CNN and Telemundo, researched temporary accommodation solutions at the Port of Miami, and studied the applications of sustainability and green building ratings to public buildings and sports facilities.
‘The mission introduced Qatari decision-makers to the best in U.S. cutting edge technology, unparalleled services, and time-tested know-how in hosting major sporting events to create partnerships benefitting both countries,’ Ambassador Ziadeh said.
The U.S. now accounts for 20% of Qatar’s imports worldwide, making it the country’s number one import trading partner.
‘Doha and Miami are both waterfront cities,’ Mayor Giménez noted. ‘We have impressive skylines. We are global centres for trade and economic development. And we serve as a bridge between different cultures and different parts of the world.’ With this in mind, he suggested, ‘There is no reason why we shouldn’t explore further linkages between Qatar and Miami. Not only are we honoured by [the arrival of Qatar Airways], but we’re glad because it furthers the connection between two global destinations – and brings your part of the world closer to ours.’
Members of the Supreme Committee’s Technical, Legacy, Security and Accommodation teams, as well as important stakeholders from ICT Qatar and the Qatar Tourism Authority, visited innovative sporting venues to assess the technical aspects of stadium construction, cooling systems, event security and operations, the latest in fan experience and smart phone technology, as well as the legacy use for non-competition events.
‘At the Georgia Tech Aquatic Centre in Atlanta, the delegation learned about the impressive solar-powered venue built for the 1996 Summer Olympic Games,’ said Al Khater. ‘The legacy for the student community on campus was of particular interest since one proposed Qatar World Cup stadium will be based in Education City and giving key importance to renewable energy use and precinct planning. The modular venue for the 1996 Olympic water polo competition was also interesting given our plans for modular components in stadiums, which will ensure no white elephants remain after the tournament.’
In addition, the delegation visited Turner Field Stadium, home of the Atlanta Braves baseball franchise, which was reduced in size from 70,000 to 50,000 seats and converted into a baseball stadium following the Olympic Games, as well as Marlins Park and Sun Life Stadium in Miami.
Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy:
Along with its stakeholders, the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy is tasked with delivering stadia and other infrastructure that will leave a lasting legacy for Qatar, the region and the world. The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy ensures that all preparations for the 2022 FIFA World Cup™ align with Qatar’s other development imperatives, as described in the Qatar National Vision 2030 and the National Development Strategy 2011-2016.
The delivery goals of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy include exceptional program and stakeholder management to ensure the timely delivery of infrastructure and competition and non-competition venues; integrating Qatari culture into all hosting plans, to provide the best possible image of the Middle East when the world arrives in Qatar in 2022; and adopting high environmental standards on all projects, contributing to the delivery of a carbon neutral tournament.
In addition to delivering infrastructure in line with Qatar’s long-term development plans, legacy goals of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy include nurturing exceptional local and international talent and incubating the Josoor Institute, a centre of excellence for the sports and events industries in the Middle East; fostering the development of Qatar’s private sector and streamlining regulatory frameworks; and making Qatari football more competitive and increasing participation in sports in Qatar, the region and globally.
The investments that the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy is making today will pay dividends for generations to come, in line with Qatar’s vision of a healthy and prosperous global future.