Background: Mega sports events are central stages that not only feature professional athletes representing their country in competing for excellence, but also provide host nations with a universally legitimate way to present and promote their national identities and cultures on a global scale. The members of the GCC, many of them geographically small with developing cities and physical infrastructures, have great financial resources due to their export of oil and gas. States, like the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, have been active in hosting, wanting to host, and inviting international sporting teams and institutions to hold mega sports events on their territory in an effort to raise their national profiles. Objective: Aim of the study is a comparison of the effect of hosting the ATP World Tour event by two different countries from the peninsula - Dubai and Doha. Specifically the investigation focuses on analysis of outcomes relative to input in terms of effect on the city image. The benefits from hosting these events on the image of the country are presented. Method: Improving the country image is difficult to quantify. Scoring system for media and social media are developed on which the country is mentioned in these sources. In the comparison I took several media resources to compare regionally, and internationally. A search for each host city was performed on CNN, BCC, The Official ATP tournament page, and the Middle East Newsstand database (proquest) in relation to the ATP tournament. A similar internet review was performed, specifying the time and the area (e.g. United Kingdom, United States of America, France, Spain, Serbia, and Sweden) to sample local news sources. Due to the growth of influence of the social media, coverage of the event was also analyzed in different social media outlets (Facebook, twitter, etc). Results: The results show a higher effect regionally than internationally, and international coverage was dependent on the presence of the big name players. In terms of coverage in the press and online, Dubai is more cited than Doha. Overall, Dubai is getting more benefit than Doha because its event is twice as important as Doha's tennis event in terms of ATP ranking. Conclusions: Both cities started hosting the tournament in the same year, improved ATP world ranking, which was result in more international publicity and improve its image around the World. Doha may wish to learn from Dubai example.


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