Qatar well prepared to host FIFA World Cup: US mayors

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From left: Chris Barnett, Township Supervisor, Charter Township of Orion; Christina M Muryn, Mayor, City of Findlay, Ohio; Buddy Dyer, Mayor of Orlando; Bryan K Barnett, Mayor of Rochester Hills; Victoria R Woodards, Mayor, City of Tacoma; Harry LaRosiliere, Mayor, City of Plano; and Andrew Ginther, Mayor of Columbus, posing for a photo after a media briefing held at the St Regis Hotel in Doha yesterday.

Qatar is well prepared to host 2022 FIFA World Cup and is expected to set a benchmark in hosting this mega global event, said members of the delegation of American Mayors, who are tremendously impressed with the robust infrastructure created well ahead of this championship.

The delegation of seven mayors of cities from the United States, currently on a visit to Qatar, said that the visit will play a crucial role in bringing the people in Qatar and the US further close.

“I don’t think there has been a city or country better prepared for that (hosting FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022) than Qatar. I think you are going to set the bar for preparation and hopefully execution of a global event like the world cup,” said Bryan K Barnett, Mayor of the city of Rochester Hills, and the President of the United States Conference of Mayors commenting about Qatar’s preparation for hosting 2022 FIFA World Cup.

The members of the delegation met with reporters yesterday at St. Regis Hotel and briefed them about their experience in Qatar. Christina M Muryn, Mayor, City of Findlay, Ohio; Buddy Dyer, Mayor of Orlando, Florida; Victoria R Woodards, Mayor, City of Tacoma; Harry LaRosiliere, Mayor, City of Plano, Texas; Chris Barnett, Township Supervisor, Charter Township of Orion; and Andrew Ginther, Mayor of Columbus, Ohio are part of the seven-member delegation.

Bryan K Barnett, who is heading this delegation, said the resilient people of Qatar have overcome the challenges posed by the blockade.

“The situation (blockade) has brought Qatari people together and has not knocked anyone of mission and that is a tribute to the leadership about creating a clear vision and also to the residents. We all face challenges, some of them are man-made some are not. But the resiliency of Qataris is something to certainly take note of, we are impressed. We hope the situation will resolve itself,” added Bryan K Barnett. 

It was ‘an eye-opening’ visit for the mayors who were in awe of the achievements Qatar has made in a short period of time.

“We all come from cities that are growing but not at the rate and the excitement what we see in Doha. What you have here is truly incredible. We understand, what you are attempting to do, the infrastructure projects, the timelines, and coordination and the leadership that takes, I think that is something that is truly remarkable,” said Barnett.

He termed Qatar’s growth story a role model which can be followed by others. “If you were to design a country, this is the model. You are relatively new, young but you have such a vision. You are creating cities out of blank canvas so it is a really interesting model for us to look at as American,” he said.  

He praised the Qatar National Vision 2030 and the role played by residents and organisations to realise its goals. He also praised Qatar’s lively cultural landscape, which boasts of architectural marvel such as the National Museum of Qatar, the Museum of Islamic Art.

“I love the fact that you all are focusing on the 2022 world cup, I think that will be really exciting for your country. You are doing a great thing on behalf of your people and we can feel that. As an American mayor what has been most eye-opening for me is the way that your government cares for its people,” said Victoria R Woodards.

The members said that these visits will open new avenues for further cooperation between the cities of the two countries.

“We have a deep appreciation for your country, for what you are trying to accomplish. In terms of the city to city or city to Qatar, I think there is going to be an opportunity for us to collaborate. We are going to collaborate in a very meaningful way. We look forward to future opportunities,” said Harry LaRosiliere.

The members were impressed with the all-round growth witnessed by Qatar. “I have learned so much over the course of the last three days and on every front, I have been impressed,” said Buddy Dyer.

Source: www.thepeninsulaqatar.com

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