After helping Qatar's successful bid for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Simon Cory-Wright has no doubts that the Middle East can pursue an even greater dream – that of hosting the Olympic Games.
Speaking on the second day of the three-day Middle East Sports Event Summit, which is being held at The Address, Dubai Marina, Cory-Wright said there are certain challenges – the main being the weather at that time of the year – but if the FIFA World Cup can be held, he is certain a similar success can be achieved with the Olympics.
“The Olympics is really the pinnacle. It’s the ultimate goal. Some people may say that the football World Cup is bigger than the Olympics in terms of TV audience etc, but the Olympics is definitely the biggest event a country can host. There are so many different events, so many participants and officials, it’s at a different level,” said Cory-Wright, who worked with the European Tour marketing team for seven years and now heads TSE Consulting in the Middle East.
“It’s a big challenge. The region has to deal with issues like timing and climate, but I firmly believe that where there is a will, there is a way, and the Middle East has shown time and again that it has the will. With the right solutions, the right creativity, I see no reason why the Olympics cannot come to Dubai, or Qatar.”
Earlier, Cory-Wright was part of the panel speaking on ‘Bid preparation and presentation: Offering something different from the competition’, which also included Giselle Pettyfer, Vice-Chairman, Falcon and Associates and a former IOC Communications Director, and Rashid Al Awadhi, Director of Marketing and Communications, Dubai Sports Council.
Falcon and Associates is a consulting company created by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President of the UAE and the Ruler of Dubai, with a specific mandate to positively influence the conversation about Dubai and the UAE as a place of opportunity for business, culture and lifestyle and in her presentation.
Pettyfer said there was no doubt that the Emirates was fully capable of hosting mega sporting events, or indeed, any event.