During the meeting, Mr. Al-Qahtani briefed Dr. Rogge on the progress achieved so far regarding all the operational aspects of the Games, the venues preparations, as well as the scope of the 15th Asian Games Doha 2006 being the biggest in the history of the Asian continent. The meeting was followed by a media briefing session which was attended by representatives of the international, Asian, and local media.
On this occasion, Mr. Al Qahtani said
"It is a great honour to receive Dr. Rogge, the highest ranking sporting figure in the world, and to have the opportunity to present to him the achievements that we have made so far on the road to staging the biggest and most memorable Asian Games ever. The Games will boost Qatar's credentials to the world to be one of the major countries worldwide for staging global scale sporting events".
Dr. Rogge commented on his visit to DAGOC by praising the leading role Qatar is playing for sports in the region. "What has struck me most is the role of sports in this nation. This is really a shining example of what sports should be for all the countries".
"Sports indeed here in Qatar is considered not just a physical activity, but as a mean of developing the country as a whole, perfectly used as an education for the population and in particular for youth and this is something very dear to the International Olympic Committee", Dr. Rogge continued.
"Definitely I was very happy about what I saw here and I am very optimistic about the success of Doha 2006 in December next year. From what I hear and from what I saw this morning, I think everything is going extremely well", Dr. Rogge commenting on the preparations in his opening note to the media.
When asked about Qatar being the sporting hub in the region, Dr. Rogge said that Qatar is definitely playing a very important role in world sport. "I think Qatar has intelligently invested in organisations and at the same time taking care of its own athletes. Qatar has been able to attract major sporting events with a good strategy and good legacy and I think that this puts Qatar on the map".
Highlighting the progress of preparations, Mr. Al-Qahtani said: "When we made our bid to host the 15th Asian Games, we said that Doha is eager, capable and uniquely qualified to do the job; and that we could do it in a fashion that upholds and fortifies the tradition of the Game that would further emphasise Qatar's capabilities to host the highest level of international events; as the hub of sports in the Middle East. We are fulfilling this promise and are determined to exceed all expectations".
The 15th Asian Games Doha 2006 will be the biggest sporting event to be staged in the Arab World. It is the second largest sporting event in the world after the Summer Olympics. The Games has prompted a number of multi-million dollar projects to bring Doha's infrastructure up to premium international standards with new roads, hotels and leisure facilities either finished or well underway. The Games is set to attract millions of viewers worldwide having already tied up with the best in the media and broadcasting industry.
"Our aim is to organise a Games event that touches the lives of everyone who is part of it; the athletes and sports federations benefiting from the world class sporting facilities, Asian national Olympic committees, the media, the spectators, the visitors, the volunteers, our employees, the Qatari community... and everyone involved", Mr. Al-Qahtani concluded.
Dr. Jacques Rogge, a Belgian national, is the eighth IOC President. An orthopedic surgeon by profession, Dr. Rogge knows all about being an Olympic athlete, as he participated in the Olympic Games in Mexico in the 1968, Munich in 1972, and Montreal in 1976 representing his country in yachting competitions. He served as President of the Belgian National Olympic Committee from 1989 to 1992 and became President of the European Olympic Committees in 1989. Dr. Rogge became an IOC member in 1991 and Executive Board Member in 1998, and was elected to be the eighth president of the IOC on the 16th of July 2001.