Monday, 6th December, 2010
Qatar's victorious World Cup Bid Committee team was welcomed back home with Arab pomp and pageantry never seen before in the country.
On Thursday evening, at the home of FIFA in Zurich, Qatar upstaged bidding rivals the United States, Korea, Japan and Australia in a historic vote that awarded the World Cup to the Middle East for the first time.
Led by Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al Thani, the Qatar 2022 Bid Committee's dynamic and charismatic chairman, Qatar scored double digits in all four rounds of voting to win the bid.
After the plane carrying the team landed at the Doha International Airport, Sheikh Mohammed was the first one to step out of the aircraft and waved to about a thousand well-wishers who braved cold and windy conditions last evening. Dozens of women and children held banners and maroon-coloured scarfs to welcome the team.
Sheikh Mohammed was received by the Heir Apparent, H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, H H Sheikh Abdullah bin Hamad Al Thani, and the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy and Industry, H E Abdullah bin Hamad Al Attiyah, at the airport.
Moments later, Sheikh Mohammed was followed out of the plane by H H Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned. Qatar Football Association President Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Thani was also a part of the team that was received by flag-waving fans at the airport.
Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al Thani, who was present in Zurich during the FIFA voting, was also received at the airport. The Qatar 2022 Bid Committee's CEO, Hassan Al Thawadi, and Media Communications Director Nasser Al Khater were warmly hugged by the welcoming party.
Following their reception at the airport, Sheikha Mozah and H E Sheikha Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani were driven away in a vintage open-top Cadillac by Sheikh Joaan towards the Corniche, where thousands of Doha residents had gathered since early evening.
On the Corniche, the entire Qatar 2022 Bid Committee team - led by Sheikh Mohammed - was applauded in a blaze of camera flashbulbs. The Qatar 2022 Bid Committee team was driven along the Corniche on an open-top bus artfully decorated to celebrate Qatar's historic victory in the FIFA voting on Thursday.
After travelling along the Corniche, the open-top bus made its way towards Aspire Zone, where fans greeted the victorious team by taking their pictures by the roadside.
(The Peninsula NewsPaper )