Abu Dhabi To Host 2020 Short Course World Swimming Championships

The oil-funded metropolis of Abu Dhabi in the UAE, where robots race camels and the ATM’s dispense bricks of real gold, will host the 2020 FINA Short Course World Swimming Championships, the organization announced on Wednesday.

Screen Shot 2015-07-22 at 8.32.50 AM

That will make it the second time in 10 years that the United Arab Emirates has hosted the short course World Championships, the first being in 2010 in Dubai.

It also shows a huge trend as it will be the fourth time in 10 years that a city in the western Asian region will host the short course World Championships. Istanbul, Turkey hosted in 2012, and Doha, Qatar hosted them in 2014.

Recent And Future Host Cities

  • 2008 – Manchester, Great Britain
  • 2010 – Dubai, UAE
  • 2012 – Istanbul, Turkey
  • 2014 – Doha, Qatar
  • 2016 – Windsor, Canada
  • 2018 – Hangzhou, China
  • 2020 – Abu Dhabi, UAE

Hosting in 2020 will mean that the event will fall just after the 2020 Olympic Games. Between 900-1000 athletes usually swim at Short Course Worlds in Olympic years.

Abu Dhabi has already played host as a stop on the FINA Open Water World Cup, and in 2015 it showed huge amounts of prize money as opposed to other stops on the schedule.

In fact, the Abu Dhabi stop offered three times as much money in US dollars than any other stop.

Although the United Arab Emirates has never shown a large amount of success in the sport of swimming, they have the seventh highest GDP per capita making them an extremely wealthy nation.

With the cost to host these meets largely outnumbering the amount of money that can be made, wealthy nations are beginning to host these competitions more and more often due to the imposed financial burden.


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Joel Lin
7 years ago

TSE sure has some very happy clients in the oi-rich regions of the world where more FINA events are being awarded to.

“TSE Consulting was instrumental in the development of our very convincing bid communication. They enabled us to develop and structure our communication strategy in a way that made our bid unique, outstanding and successful.”
Ahmed Al-Falasi
President, UAE Swimming Federation
reference: http://www.tseconsulting.com/testimonials/uae-swimming-federation-dubai/

Everywhere there is a major bid, TSE is in the mix. Actually, I lied again. I don’t know why I keep doing that today. Everywhere there is a major bid, TSE Consulting is at the epicenter of it where the prism reflects or refracts light… Read more »

Reply to  Joel Lin
7 years ago


Joel Lin
7 years ago

In addition to the Dubai and other Mid East federations, TSE Consulting also lists FINA as a client. Can’t make this stuff up.

Joel Lin
7 years ago

This all goes back to when David Berkoff went to Julio Maglione and said “I’m smart. I have an Olympic gold medal. I can do things. I can be like Sonny. I’m smart and I went to Harvard too, give me a chance.” But then when he went to Cuba to hear bribes for a FINA world championship event, it didn’t go so straight. Then he went fishing in Lake Tahoe and never made it back. The FINA family business started expanding and Johnny Fontane was unhappy he didn’t sing the national anthems in Kazan and there was a Vatican scandal too. But Berkoff never should have gone fishing in Lake Tahoe and we are all still wondering where all… Read more »

Reply to  Joel Lin
7 years ago

Joel, don’t expect any transparency from Mr. Neuburger. Besides being vice President of FINA, he is also a director for TSE Consulting, the firm that helped Abu Dhabi secure these SC Championships. The conflicts of interest and opportunities for influence peddling are astounding.

bobo gigi
Reply to  Anonymous
7 years ago

So if I understand well, he has very good chances to become FINA president in the future! 😆

bobo gigi
7 years ago

2022. Dubai
2024. Doha
2026. Abu Dhabi
2028. Dubai

Joel Lin
Reply to  bobo gigi
7 years ago

Bobo, looks like you were thumbed down for not putting Qatar on that list.

Reply to  Joel Lin
7 years ago

Doha is in Quatar…

(G)olden Bear
7 years ago

This will prove to be a(nother) disastrous choice. #finacorruption

7 years ago

“With the cost to host these meets largely outnumbering the amount of money that can be made”

That seems like a problem… to which the best solution is probably not to host it in countries with poor records of athlete and human safety.

Maybe we need to look into why these events are costing so much (my guess is much like FIFA, we won’t like the answer- lavish demands by FINA officials, etc) and working to make them financially viable for cities to host.

About Mitch Bowmile

Mitch Bowmile

Mitch worked for 5-years with SwimSwam news as a web producer focusing on both Canadian and international content. He coached for Toronto Swim Club for four seasons as a senior coach focusing on the development of young swimmers. Mitch is an NCCP level 2 certified coach in Canada and an ASCA Level …

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