altJune 28 - Dubai's ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum (pictured) has set up a new initiative to investigate the possibility of hosting the 2020 Olympics, it was announced today.

"Dubai 2020", a new initiative, will focus on a number of sectors within Dubai and the wider United Arab Emirates.

A working group has been set up consisting of Government and private sector representatives that will explore the potential of Dubai hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games and World Expo in 2020.

Bringing together these two world events in one place – each for the first time in the Middle East – would be a unique proposition, uniting business, science and technology with sport, education and culture, said Maktoum, the UAE Prime Minister and Vice President.

The proposal reintroduces a concept that existed for earlier editions of the modern Olympics and begins a tradition of connecting these important global themes every 20 years, he said.

Maktoum said “We need to engage our community here in Dubai and the UAE in a discussion about our vision and everyone’s role in our future.

"For this we need a clear, common goal that highlights shared universal human values.

"The Dubai 2020 initiative will look at how we can shape our environment and society for future generations.

"It will address, in an integrated way, the building blocks that underpin social and economic progress - sport, education, culture, business, science, technology, health and the environment.

"These two global events – the Olympic Games and World Expo – give us a sense of common purpose and play to our strengths.

"Dubai is already home to people from different nationalities and cultures who live in friendship and peace.

"And I believe we can deepen this respect and mutual understanding if we work together to achieve something spectacular and meaningful.”

A feasibility study will be undertaken before further decisions are taken regarding making any formal bids to the International Olympic Committee and the Bureau of International Expositions.