Qatar Goodwood Festival 2022

July 2022 marked another successful sporting partnership between Qatar and the UK.

The annual Qatar Goodwood Festival is a highlight of the British flat racing calendar, bringing together the best equestrian athletes, horses, competitions and racing fans from Qatar, the UK and the world to the glorious Sussex countryside.

The five-day festival is a landmark horse racing event, showcasing both Qatar and the UK’s proud equestrian heritage, continuing to highlight both nations’ passion for the sport, and belief in its power to bring people together.

The Qatar Goodwood Festival provides a special opportunity to experience the strength and unique qualities of Arabian horses and celebrate Qatar’s own rich equestrian heritage alongside partners from the UK and around the world.

Qatar Racing & Equestrian Club (QREC) is the chief sponsor and presenting partner of the Qatar Goodwood Festival. The sponsorship which started in 2015, has invested over £30 million to date in the British racing festival and continues to be the biggest sponsorship deal in British horse racing history.

To commemorate this partnership, His Excellency Ambassador Fahad bin Mohammed Al-Attiyah welcomed the Home Secretary Rt Hon Priti Patel to the first day of the festivities. The Home Secretary joined Ambassador Al-Attiyah along with other distinguished including The Rt Hon Ben Wallace MP, Secretary of State for Defence, for a day of memorable horse racing.

Rt Hon Priti Patel, British Home Secretary  

 Rt Hon Ben Wallace MP, Secretary of State for Defence

 Qatar Goodwood Festival 2022


Throughout the Qatar Goodwood Festival, the importance of horse racing to both Qatar and the UK was reaffirmed.

In an interview with Racing TV and ITV Racing, His Excellency Fahad bin Mohammed Al Attiyah expressed the significance of the partnership between Qatar and Goodwood:

‘It is expanding the partnerships between our two countries in the fields of horse racing.  Qatar and Qataris are obsessed about horses, it is part of our culture and heritage …this collaboration has been happening between trainers and owners and it is the next step up in lifting the collaboration between our two countries. And who wouldn’t want to be around Goodwood, 220 years of festivities around horses, Qatar found itself a good partner with Goodwood to celebrate the love that we share around horses. ‘

 H.E Fahad bin Mohammed Al Attiyah Racing TV


In response to questions surrounding Qatar and the FIFA World Cup, the ambassador was quick to provide reassurances to fans.

The key important aspect is the security aspect [of the tournament] and the fact that we want to create a hospitable environment for all fans from around and we are working hard to provide the right information, ease of travel and making sure the fans will go and have a terrific time.’

His Excellency offered further guarantees, that ‘Qatar will provide the best version of any  [FIFA] World Cup the world has ever seen.’

H.E Fahad bin Mohammed Al Attiyah  ITV Racing

In speaking to ITV Racing Ambassador Fahad Al-Attiyah echoed the sentiments shared by all Qataris regarding horses and horse racing. 

‘[Horse racing] means a lot, ….Qatar has a long tradition with horse racing and the relationship between the Arab and the horse is as ancient as it could be, and because of that we wanted to create greater partnerships and there’s nothing better than Goodwood. ‘

In response to the continued partnership between Qatar and Goodwood, the Ambassador responded by saying, ‘it is going to be a long-term thing, we see that British racing is one of the best in the world and for that reason we want to develop our racing and partner with racing courses, studs and trainers to develop our racing in Qatar, we bring also the added value that by bringing different types of horses and different thinking, it improves the overall performance of the racing industry both in Qatar and the UK. ‘

 FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022

This year was particularly special as the Ambassador of the State of Qatar to the UK hosted the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers Lunch at Goodwood House, along with Secretary General of the Supreme Committee, His Excellency Hassan Al-Thawadi, and the British Ambassador to the State of Qatar,  His Excellency Jonathan Wilks CMG.

The luncheon welcomed representatives from all qualifying nations of the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup along with other guests, including former professional footballer Michael Owen, to celebrate the inspiring work being done to prepare for the tournament in November.

H.E Fahad bin Mohammed Al Attiyah


In his opening remarks, His Excellency Fahad bin Mohammed Al-Attiyah welcomed and congratulated the qualified nations on their success.

‘The road to the World Cup requires extraordinary commitment, effort, and passion, and we’re excited to welcome all of you and your national teams to Qatar this November.’

His Excellency reflected on the importance of being the first Arab country to host such a momentous sporting event and the significant transformations the hosting of the FIFA World Cup has led to.

‘The past 12 years have been transformational for Qatar. From region-leading labour reforms and enhanced workers’ protections to sustainability, infrastructure and technology developments, and new ecosystems for entrepreneurs. Our journey of preparation has driven positive and lasting change across all elements of Qatari society and economy.’

His Excellency paid special recognition to the historic cooperation between Qatar and the UK.

‘Our UK partnerships are particularly special, from architectural collaborations in building world-class stadiums to our joint efforts to expand grassroots football and community development programmes. Qatar and the UK, like many countries represented here today, believe in the power of sports to bring people together and we are exceptionally proud of what we have been able to achieve together.’

His Excellency Jonathan Wilks CMG.

British Ambassador to Qatar, His Excellency Jonathan Wilks CMG, lent his heartfelt words to the distinguished guests

‘Speaking from the heart for those of you who do not know Qatar, is one of the most exciting places on earth….The [FIFA] World Cup is the greatest occasion in which Qatar will share with us the excitement through the joy and festive atmosphere .’

The British Ambassador further reflected on the region-leading developments that have taken place in Qatar as a result of being awarded the rights to host the FIFA World Cup.

His Excellency Jonathan Wilks CMG

‘There is a lot that has been driven through in the last ten to twelve years since Qatar won the [FIFA] World Cup including great infrastructure, but also great progress on human rights areas of concern, that goes beyond the labour rights …..You are not only going to come to one of the most exciting places on earth, but you’re also going to one of the countries where there is a tremendous amount of positive change and progress.’

 His Excellency Hassan Al-Thawadi


His Excellency Hassan Al-Thawadi also congratulated the qualified countries on their achievements. In his remarks, the Secretary-General, spoke of the importance of the FIFA World Cup and its significance not just as global a tournament but in the power and legacy of the event to break barriers and stereotypes that bring different communities across the world closer together.

‘We started this campaign in 2009, and people wondered why we were entering the race,….  our passion and commitment when we entered this race, was out of the belief in what the power of sports can do…  it was a belief that sports can be a catalyst for change,… it wasn’t just an event it was something that could touch people's lives on many different fronts…it was a great chance for us in the Middle East to put forward the best we had to offer. Fast forward to 2022 that belief has been proven time and time again.


His Excellency Hassan Al-Thawadi

‘Over the last decade, we’ve had a lot of events that create walls not only amongst nations but amongst neighbours and one thing that seems to chip away at them are these opportunities for great cultural and sporting events that allow us to put aside our differences and come together as people to celebrate something that we all share a passion for and at the same time get to know each other and break through stereotypes.’

The Secretary-General concluded his address by taking note of the tremendous effort of all those involved in delivering the FIFA World Cup.

‘ [FIFA World Cup 2022] It is something that we’ve worked hard towards. We’re ready, everything is in place and now it’s just a big celebration.’




His Grace the Duke of Richmond Lennox and Gordon

‘Qatar’s involvement in this racing [Goodwood Festival] has made a massive difference, the prize money is a whole other level, and the whole place feels fantastic. It is really one of the greatest meetings anywhere in the world.’

His Grace the Duke of Richmond Lennox and Gordon

Michael Owen

‘This year it’s going to be in Qatar, the facilities are amazing the weather’s guaranteed to be pretty much perfect, it’s the ultimate prize and I’m sure it’s going to go down as another great tournament. I am really looking forward to it. ‘

Mr. Michael Owen