Qatar is fast becoming one of the world’s most renowned sporting destinations, playing host to recent guests Manchester United who swapped icy UK temperatures to train in the sun at Doha’s Aspire Academy this week.
Manchester United flew to Doha shortly after their draw against Tottenham to prepare for Saturday’s FA cup fourth round match against Fulham.
With Doha’s warm climate - currently around 25 degrees - and the vast amount of training space and facilities at the Aspire Academy, it is no wonder this was the ideal place for the team to train.
The academy training complex boasts seven full size outdoor pitches, hundreds of individual training areas, areas for mental training and sports psychology as well as various training laboratories.
As the host country for international sporting events from tennis, cycling, handball and most notably the FIFA 2022 world cup, more than US$2.8 billion invested into athletic infrastructure, Qatar is certainly a hotspot on the map of sporting destinations. It has had a huge impact upon tourism with 77 hotels 42 hotel apartments set to open by 2022.
Set against the backdrop of vast sand dunes, desert plains and Qatari cultural experiences ranging from camel racing to the market-style souqs filled with Arabian goods, Qatar is a sporting destination with an edge.
There is an array of sport filling the calendar over the next year emphasising how the locals have embraced sport into their culture as something open to both men and women across all ages.
Events include the 10th international men’s fencing Grand Prix, Qatar’s international cycling tour for men and women and the school’s Olympic programme.
It is a destination which combines sport, business and leisure with authentic Arabian culture.
For both men and women there is a multitude of activities on offer from fine dining, art and history, local souqs and not to mention the variety of activities available in Qatar’s natural theme park-the desert.
Qatar has its doors wide open for all, including the occasional premier league football team.