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The sports movement in the State of Qatar started during the 1940s of the 20th century. Sports and youth establishments continued to develop and evolve through various shapes and organizations are currently organized under the General Authority for Youth.

General Authority for Youth
On the 12th December 2000, a decree amending some provisions of Decree No 90 for 1990 on the establishment of the Youths and Sports General Authority (YASA) was issued, changing the name to the General Authority for Youth, reorganizing its structure and reassigning its responsibilities. The Authority is formed of a President, a Deputy President, a Secretary General and an Assistant Secretary General.
The Authority is the body responsible of youths' welfare. It is the corresponding counterpart of the ministries of youths or supreme councils for youths and sports and similar bodies in other countries. The Authority aims to draw up the general policy for youths' welfare, prepare the leaders required to implement the programs that could bring about integration and equilibrium in the society.
The responsibilities of the Authority:

  • Establish and organize clubs, associations and youths and sports establishments.
  • Endorse awards and encouraging scientific incentives.
  • Endorse financial draft estimates for establishing and supporting youths-related projects, activities and researches.
  • Propose youths and sports-related legislation.
  • Seek to reach its goals in collaboration with concerned government agencies and semi-government sports establishments such as Qatar National Olympic Committee and sports clubs


The General Authority for Youth undertakes the supervision over scores of youth establishments in the country. They include 21 sports associations, 9 sports clubs in division one and 7 in division two, a cultural club and a scientific club, in addition to various youth centers and sports committees and societies working to sponsor and upgrade youths' talents and aptitudes. The Authority has provided all required administrative and material support for these establishments so that they can meet their obligations and attain their goals in the best possible way.
Qatar hosts several international championships on annual basis, such as the Qatar Open Tennis tournament, Golf Masters International Tournament, Qatar Motor Rally, Athletics Grand Prix, Qatar Desert Horseracing Marathon and Equine Beauty Contests. Qatar also provided the venue for the first time for women tennis tournaments, Qatar International Table Tennis Tournament and Hurdle International Championship in addition to other continental and international sports events.

Qatar National Olympic Committee (QNOC)
Qatar National Olympic Committee was formed in 1979 by the decision of the Supreme Council for Youth Welfare No 1, which stipulated that the Committee undertakes supervision over sports associations, sponsor sports movements and participate in the preparation of sports teams for Olympic, Arab and International events.
The (QNOC) undertakes administrative and technical supervision over sports associations, which were able in record time to form several sporting squads in various games and grades starting from division 1 through youths and youngsters teams.
The (QNOC) supervises the functions of scores of sports establishments inside the country including 21 sports associations, 9 division 1 clubs and 7 division 2 clubs, for which the (QNOC) has provided all needed human and material support to help them to carry out their responsibilities in the best possible way.
The (QNOC) also supervises the activities of Girls Sports Committee, which is responsible to overlook all girls sporting activities and prepare a new generation of Qatari female cadres in the field of youth and sports.
The (QNOC) is preparing to host the Asian Games Tournament, the second largest international sports gathering, scheduled to take place in Doha in 2006.

Girls Sports Committee
A girls Sports Committee numbered by a group of sports-oriented Qatari ladies was formed to supervise all girl sports and prepare a new generation of Qatari female athletes. Qatar is the first Gulf country to permit female participation in tournaments, which gave the country the edge to be chosen as a venue for grand tournaments such as the Asian Games of 2006. Qatari girls pursue sporting activities and participate in sporting events, the latest of which was the 7th GCC marksmanship tournament, and a Qatari lady holds a leading position in the executive council of Qatar National Olympic Committee.
The following bodies belong to the General Authority for Youth:

Center of Environment Friends:

  • Intensify environment awareness among children, youths and grown-ups and familiarize them with the peculiarities of the local environment, its connection to and its impact on society's development and wellbeing.
  • Develop the correct environmental knowledge, skills and behavior.
  • Heighten the feeling towards the importance of environmental awareness.
  • Publicize efforts by the State of Qatar in protecting the environment. Acquaint the public with the environmental activities of concerned public and private establishments.
  • The Center comprises the following 7 units:
  • Environmental Awareness, Environmental Health, Public Service, Sanctuaries and Research, Environmental Heritage, Family Friends, International relations.

Youths Department:
Prepare and supervise the implementation of youth-related cultural and social programs and projects in collaboration with concerned bodies.
Co-operate with concerned bodies to supervise social and cultural clubs, associations and authorities.
Organize contests, festivals, lectures, symposia and conferences in the fields of culture, arts and religious affairs.
Organize general scouting camps.
Organize various youths visit exchanges.

Societies, Associations and Clubs section:
Follow up work of youths-oriented societies, associations and clubs.
Propose actual requirements of financial assistance to be granted for youths societies, associations and clubs after consulting with officials in charge of these bodies.
Recommend on issuing licenses for youths societies, associations and clubs and screen applications for licensing.
Propose liquidation of youths societies, associations and clubs, which fail to reach their assigned goals.
Propose regulations and systems related to various youths activities and supervise regulations presently in force.

Cultural Activities and Programs Section:
Plan, supervise and follow up cultural, literary and scientific activities of clubs and youths centers.
Hold cultural and literary symposia and contests at clubs and societies.
Participate in brotherhood and cultural weeks organized by Arab and friendly countries.
Publish the works of writers, guide beginner writers and organize art and scientific forums locally and abroad.

Artistic Activities Section:
Prepare implementation plans and programs in the field of arts.
Discover and upgrade artistic talents of the youths.
Hold theatrical, musical and artistic festivals and contests.
Contribute in reviving Islamic and Arabic heritage in the field of arts.

Social Activities and Camps section:
Organize public service camps.
Prepare and organize the participation of youths in local, Arab and international conferences, symposia and camps.
Supervise the formation of scouting team.

Department of Sports Affairs:
The department specifies and declares the standard gauge for physical fitness of youths aged from 12 to 35 in order to assess physical fitness and health conditions for Qatari youths.

Doha Youths Center:
The Center was established in 1983 and it comprises the following sections: Computer, Arabic Calligraphy, Typing, Social Activity and Photography, Music and fine Arts.

Qatari Clubs
The first sports club in Qatar was established in 1950, and Law No 6, organizing sports and cultural clubs was issued in1963. Then the Ministry of Education and Youths Welfare Authority issued Ministerial Decision No 11 in 1972, organizing sports clubs. Accordingly, some clubs were merged into one another while Al Jasrah Club was turned into a cultural and social club.
Sports Installations:

  • Khalifa Olympic City: this state-of-the-art city was established in 1976. It comprises a main football stadium with seating for 40 thousand spectators, an Olympic-sized athletic track, an indoors sports hall with a capacity of 1800 spectators, a number of grounds for basket ball volleyball, handball and tennis and a sports medical center.
  • New club houses for sports clubs: 6 modern clubhouses were built between 1982 and 1984.
  • Khalifa International Complex for Tennis and Squash: established in 1992, this modern complex contains an international standard main ground with seating for 4500 spectators, 2 Sub-grounds for tennis each with 750 seats. Main Squash ground with 995 seats and 2 sub-grounds for squash with 228 seats. The complex is the venue for the annual Qatar International Open Tennis Tournament and Qatar International Squash Tournament.
  • Racing and Equestrian Club: The Club contains cameras and time measurement devices, racing track and all jump installations, main platform, terrace for spectators, reception hall, VIP lounge, veterinary clinic and stables for horses.
  • Firing ranges: established in 1992, they fall into four categories: 25 meters revolver with 12 tracks, 50 meters rifle, 2 ranges for amateurs and a range with 2 terrace embankments.

Major youths establishments and social clubs:

  • Permanent Camps:
    • Ras Abu Aboud Permanent Camp: established in 1994 in Ras Abu Aboud area on 40 thousand square meters and can accommodate 500 campers.
    • Al Gharriyya Permanent Camp: established in 1993 in Al Gharriyya area on 3 thousand square meters.
  • Qatar Youths Hostels Society: it contains 16 rooms, public utilities and sports halls, all very well equipped and the facility can accommodate 50 guests.


Traditional Sports in Qatar

Traditional Boat Race
This annual event reflects the traditional way of life in Qatar, as traditional boats have and will always remain an integral part of the sense of being of the people, who used to depend on the sea for their livelihood. This race turns this very peculiar and traditional side of the Qatari character into an enjoyable sporting contest dominated by sportsmanship and spirit of the team.
Camel Race
Camel racing is one of the favorite sports in Qatar. No sight is more stable in the memory than a fast running group of racing camels on the sand track with young shouting frantically to push them to go faster all the time.
Falconry, traditionally known as the sports of the well-to-do , has become one of the main interests of ordinary Qataris in recent years.
Horse Racing
Horse racing is one of the old sports most favored in this country. There are a number of seasonal horse race meetings, in which competition becomes more intense with hefty financial prizes offered for winners. The Equestrian Club organizes these events. International Horse beauty contests held in the country are the focus of attention and appreciation locally, regionally and internationally.

Modern Sports
Modern sports have seen during the last decades a substantial evolution and made wide forward strides. The massive Khalifa International Stadium has 45 thousand seats and Khalifa International Complex for Tennis and Squash is a world icon. The new 18-hole Doha Golf Course is a destination for golfers and spectators alike.
While soccer is the most popular game in the country with the national team proving its competence in the regional, Arab and international levels, tennis is rapidly gaining popularity especially after the inauguration of the tennis complex, which contains 17 grounds, a gym, a swimming pool, and other most advanced facilities.
Undoubtedly, the developed sports installations have at least partly contributed to making Qatar able to host some of the most exciting sporting events such as:

Qatar Golf Club, where Qatar Masters Tournament was held, has turned that desolate and arid piece of land extending across the West Bay area into what can be rated as the best golf course in the Gulf area. Doha Golf Club boasts international fame and state of the art equipment and installations.

Qatar Open Tennis Tournament is a prestigious international event, annually attracting scores of the world first class players such as Boris Becker, Andre Agassi, Jim Courier, Michael Stich, Thomas Muster and others.

Qatar Tennis and Squash Federation organizes Qatar Squash International Tournament every year. This tournament attracts the best world players, including Jahangir Khan, Rodney Eyles and Mack Cairns.

Qatar Rally
Qatar International Rally is one of the best well-known events of its kind in the Middle East, by virtue of the highest level participation it gets from all over the world. Competitors, who represent the elite of their class, use the best of their skills and dash off with their vehicles to win this rally.

International Regatta
The Arabian Gulf water with its cadet blue color and the region's deep blue sky provide the most favorable conditions for boat sailing. The International Regatta, nicknamed "Sail the Gulf", attracts the participation of competitors from many countries including China, Russia, Singapore, Thailand , and entries from other countries are increasing every year.

Among the best world well known sporting event is Qatar International Athletics Championship, which is listed in the annual program of, and supervised by the International Amateur Athletics Federation. Qatar is distinguished by being the only Middle Eastern country to organize and host world athletics events on annual basis, and the only Arabian Gulf country to allow the participation of women in athletics competitions.

Desert Horseracing Marathon
Qatar International Desert Marathon is a real test for both man and beast, where competitors do the standard marathon distance of 42 km and 200 meters. The event attracts media people from all over the world to participate in the excitement and the suspense.
All these events and many more other activities won Qatar its deserved name as "the sporting capital of the Gulf".

The State pays a lot of attention for swimming. The Swimming Committee, which was formed in accordance with the 1992 decision of General Authority for Youth, formed the nucleus for Qatar Swimming Federation, established in 1993.
The Swimming School was opened in 1993. Qatar national swimming team participated in all Gulf, Arab, Asian and international swimming competitions.
In the year 2000, Hamad International Complex for Water Sports was established. It contains training, instruction and competition programs and facilities for swimming and diving.
Qatar Swimming Federation organized the 12th GCC Swimming Championship in Doha in 2000 for the first time in Qatar.

Qatar Contacts

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