Qatar, the host of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, announced on Monday it would also like to stage the Olympics, possibly in 2032.
The Gulf Arab state's Olympic committee said it submitted a request to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to join the phase of “continuous dialogue” about hosting a future Games.
Oil-rich Qatar is increasingly keen to host major sporting events, and has already welcomed world athletics championships, though scorching desert temperatures during parts of the year have caused some anxiety in the sports world.
“It is this proven track-record and wealth of experience, along with our desire to use sport to promote peace and cultural exchange, that will form the basis of our discussions with the Commission,” Qatar Olympic Committee President Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani said in a statement.
The Olympics have never been hosted in the Middle East, and Qatar will be the first nation in the region to host soccer's biggest showpiece.
It has invested billions of dollars in preparing for the 2022 soccer World Cup. However, human rights groups have criticised the treatment of migrant workers.
The Qatari government has said it does not tolerate unscrupulous treatment of workers. The IOC could not immediately be reached for comment.