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News 60

Qatar eyes major global sporting role

LONDON (Reuters) - With its lavish Olympic headquarters next to the iconic Savoy hotel in one of London's poshest districts, Qatar is putting its money where its mouth is in a bid to join the world's leading sporting nations.

The tiny oil and gas-rich Gulf state has for the duration of the Games converted an engineering institute on a bank of the River Thames into an adobe-walled traditional Qatari home, complete with wrought-iron Arab lamps and plush furniture.

Luxury department store Harrods is the caterer for the venue, which is only a short distance from another symbol of Qatari ambition, the newly-built and Qatari-funded Shard tower, the tallest building in the European Union.

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