Exploring the driving factors behind the event strategy in Qatar: A case study of the 15th Asian Games

Karin Weber, Jane Ali-Knight

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this paper is to identify the main driving factors behind the recent increase in the event market size in Qatar from a public policy perspective. It reports on a case study of the 2006 15th Asian Games that assisted in further examining both the underlying and implicit motives behind the phenomenon as well as its expected policy implications. This exploratory paper uses a case study approach in which two complementary types of data sources are employed. The qualitative data was mainly obtained from in-depth semi-structured interviews conducted with 26 key stakeholders ranging from middle to senior professionals, academicians, high-ranking officials from the local tourism/sports authorities, and representatives from the private sector. The data was further enhanced by an extensive review and analysis of related documents available in the public domain. Data was analyzed using an iterative thematic content analysis whose findings served to illustrate the theoretical perspectives in the relevant prevailing literature. Findings suggest that Qatar is using events as a way to reimage and position itself as a destination and increase its profile internationally in addition to gaining a competitive edge regionally. Other explanatory factors include: economic sustainability and diversification plans and tourism-related policies as well as social development strategies. Another identified driver is linked to globalization and modernization trends. These driving factors are consistent with the ones acknowledged in the literature on national and urban event strategies and their purpose. The analysis conducted in this paper laid the foundation for much needed future evaluation studies on the country's tourism strategies and trends as well as events' impacts. The treatment of this subject from a governmental policy angle has not received nearly enough attention among scholars of tourism policy and events management. Moreover, considering the growing event market in Qatar, this paper fills the gap in the literature in terms of analyzing the driving forces behind this growth and highlights important issues specific to a relatively unexplored region undergoing rapid development.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-100
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Event and Festival Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 16 Mar 2012


  • 2006 15th Asian Games
  • Event policy
  • Mega-events
  • Qatar
  • Sporting events
  • Tourism
  • Tourism policy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)


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