2006 Asian Games opening ceremony

The 2006 Asian Games opening ceremony was held on 1 December at the multi-purpose Khalifa International Stadium.[1] The Opening Ceremony was described by the media to be one of the most breath-taking and technologically spectacular multi-sports event ceremony, and the most expensive multi-sports event ceremony (including both Opening and Closing ceremonies) in the history of Asian Games at that time.[2] It was created and produced by David Atkins who conducted the 2000 Summer Olympics opener[3] and was filmed and broadcast live by International Games Broadcast Services' (IGBS) precursor Doha Asian Games Broadcast Services (DAGBS).[4][5] 10 composers from Qatar, Lebanon, Egypt, Singapore, Japan, India, South Korea, Germany and Australia made the musical scores of the ceremonies.

Performers at the opening ceremony.
Athletes of the 2006 Asian Games.
Majida El Roumi performing "Light The Way" with José Carreras during the opening ceremony of the Asian Games in Doha, Qatar in 2006.
Fireworks display at the opening ceremony of the 15th Asian Games at the Khalifa Stadium in Doha with the Games' cauldron at the background
Delegates from Host Qatar enters the stadium.


Pre-ceremonial eventsEdit

Prior to the opening ceremony, Qatari youngsters spent 10 minutes creating a traditional Qatari Al Sadu carpet on the stadium floor. This was followed by youngsters from ASPIRE, who raced around the stadium chasing Orry, the Games’ mascot to represent Qatar’s bid to make the country the sports capital of the Middle East.


The ceremony started with the welcome of Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, OCA chairman Sheikh Ahmed Al-Fahad and their wives into the stadium.


After that, a 10-second countdown projection on the stadium floor began to signal the starting of the opening ceremony. A group of 2,300 young people then used flares to form the national flag followed by the message with the Arabic and English greeting of "As-salamu alaykum" (Arabic: ٱلسَّلَامُ عَلَيْكُمْ, "peace upon to you").

Main eventEdit

A group of children, led by Nasser Khaled Al Kubaisi, then sang Qatar's national anthem after the raising of the national flag by the Qatari Armed Forces personnel.

A cultural performance about the story of a "Seeker" and his journey to Asia was presented, began with a footage that transits from an atom, the Universe, Milky Way, Solar System and Earth to the games' host nation Qatar's landscape. The main character of the story was played by local actor, Adel Al Ansari.[6]

The show tells about a man called the "Seeker" who was born and live in the nation of Qatar, where people of the desert and the people of the sea dwells together. The people of the desert are experts in poetry, while the people of the sea are experts in fishing for pearls named "tears of the moon". As a boy, he dreamed of following a falcon that leads him up to a tower and finds an Astrolabe, an instrument used to make astronomical measurements. When the boy grew up into a young man, he left behind his family and his love, and began his adventure in a pearling boat, searching for pearls which locals called 'tears of the moon" with a few pearl divers from his homeland, guided only by the stars and his astrolabe. One day, he encountered a fierce storm at sea that overturned the pearling boats of the pearl divers that followed him. Most of them are lost, either drowned or engulfed by strange creatures and never return to their families. He later also encountered a terrifying and colossal half-human half-amphibian sea Jinn named Abu Darya (meaning in Arabic "Lord of the Sea"), who threatened to destroy his ship and devour him.[7] Fortunately, he was rescued by a giant falcon who defeated the jinn, landing him on safe ground where he continued his path to Asia and discovered its colourful history and cultures.[8] The Angkor Wat, the Taj Mahal, the Temple of Heaven and Borobudur were among the important landmarks he passed. The Seeker was also treated to a multicultural presentation that displayed the cultures of different Asian regions such as Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Indonesian, Kazakh and Thai culture. Many people in the continent came to greet him, sent him gifts such as gold, silk, spices and incense. Meanwhile, back at the seeker's homeland, his love was in despair, waiting for his arrival. With his Asian brothers helping him in his way back to his homeland, the Seeker safely made it back to his love, and invited all of Asia to celebrate their wedding as guests. To honour his guests, the Seeker presented them horsemen performance. Years later, the Seeker had a son. He showed him the Arab world's contributions to modern science in the past, the present and the future, Qatar's natural resources and its vision for the future.

Delegates from the 45 countries and regions of Asia entered the stadium after Hong Kong artist Jacky Cheung sang "Together Now". As host nation, Qatar enters the stadium last. For the fifth time after the 2000 Summer Olympics, 2002 Asian Games, 2004 Summer Olympics, and the 2006 Winter Olympics, North Korea and South Korea jointly entered the stadium under Korean Unification Flag. Once all the delegates gathered inside the stadium, India's Bollywood star Sunidhi Chauhan sang "Reach Out". Hundreds of performers brought out doves sculptures and form the word peace, which serves as the games' message. Then, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the games' organising committee chairman and Olympic Council of Asia chairman Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah gave their respective speeches and emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani declared the games opened. The armed forces personnel later raised the flag of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), the games' governing body which was brought in by representatives of Reach Out To Asia (ROTA), a Qatari charity organisation. The flag bore the old logo of the Olympic Council of Asia, which was replaced by a new and current version at the 2010 Asian Games. Mubarak Eid Belal, Qatar's volleyball player took the athletes' oath, while Abdullah Al Balushi, Qatar's football referee took the judges' oath.

Before the torch relay section, Lebanon's Majida El Roumi and Spanish tenor José Carreras performed "Light the Way". The torch was relayed into the stadium by bowler Salem Bu Sharbak, volleyball player Mubarak Mustafa, shooter Nasser Al-Atiyya, Mohamed Suleiman, footballer Mansoor Muftah Sheikh and Talal Mansour. Mohammed Bin Hamad Al-Thani son of the emir and captain of the Qatar equestrian endurance team rode his horse up the stairs to the top of the stadium to light up the giant cauldron in the form of a giant astrolabe. The flame was transferred electronically to the Aspire Tower just outside the stadium, and fireworks soon went off, signalling the start of the 2006 Asian Games. The horse nearly slipped in the process and a clip of this was internationally viewed.[9][10][11]

Parade of NationsEdit

All 45 contingents participated in the parade in English alphabetical order, from Afghanistan to Yemen with host Qatar marching last. The traditional music of several Asian regions accompanied the athletes as they marched into the stadium.[12]

Whilst most countries entered under their short names, a few entered under alternative names, sometimes due to political disputes. Taiwan (Republic of China) entered with the compromised name and flag of "Chinese Taipei" under T so that they did not enter together with conflicting "China", which entered under C.

North Korea and South Korea marched together under the Korean Unification Flag, but competed separately.

While the placards were displayed only in English, both English and Arabic announcers were present.

Order Nation Placard Name Flag bearer Sport
1   Afghanistan (AFG) Afghanistan
2   Bahrain (BRN) Kingdom of Bahrain Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa Equestrian
3   Bangladesh (BAN) Bangladesh Shajahan Ali Shajahan Md
4   Bhutan (BHU) Bhutan
5   Brunei (BRU) Brunei Darussalam HJ Mustafa Md Shawal
6   Cambodia (CAM) Cambodia
7   China (CHN) People's Republic of China Bao Chunlai[13] Badminton
8   Hong Kong (HKG) Hong Kong, China
9   India (IND) India Jyoti Sunita Kullu[14][15] Hockey
10   Indonesia (INA) Indonesia Andy Ardiyansah Beach volleyball
11   Iran (IRI) Islamic Republic of Iran Hossein Rezazadeh[16] Weightlifting
12   Iraq (IRQ) Iraq Ali Salman Wrestling
13   Japan (JPN) Japan Saori Yoshida[17] Wrestling
14   Jordan (JOR) Jordan Nadin Dawani Taekwondo
15   Kazakhstan (KAZ) Kazakhstan Bakhtiyar Artayev Boxing
16   North Korea (PRK) Korea Ri Kum-suk Football
17   South Korea (KOR) Lee Kyu-sup Basketball
18   Kuwait (KUW) Kuwait
19   Kyrgyzstan (KGZ) Kyrgyzstan
20   Laos (LAO) Lao People's Democratic Republic
21   Lebanon (LIB) Lebanon Alain Saade Volleyball
22   Macau (MAC) Macau, China Han Jing[18] Wushu
23   Malaysia (MAS) Malaysia Josiah Ng[19] Cycling
24   Maldives (MDV) Maldives
25   Mongolia (MGL) Mongolia Khashbaataryn Tsagaanbaatar Judo
26   Myanmar (MYA) Myanmar
27   Nepal (NEP) Nepal
28   Oman (OMA) Sultanate of Oman
29   Pakistan (PAK) Pakistan Shujauddin Malik[20] Weightlifting
30   Palestine (PLE) Palestine Abu Hawelah Rami[21] Taekwondo
31   Philippines (PHI) Philippines Paeng Nepomuceno[22] Bowling
32   Saudi Arabia (KSA) Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Alharkan Fahad Abdullah[23]
33   Singapore (SIN) Singapore Roy Tay Junhao[24] Sailing
34   Sri Lanka (SRI) Sri Lanka Manjula Kumara[25] Athletics
35   Syria (SYR) Syrian Arab Republic Ahed Joughili[26] Weightlifting
36   Chinese Taipei (TPE) Chinese Taipei
37   Tajikistan (TJK) Tajikistan Sherali Dostiev[27] Boxing
38   Thailand (THA) Thailand Supachai Jitjumroon Volleyball
39   East Timor (TLS) Timor-Leste
40   Turkmenistan (TKM) Turkmenistan
41   United Arab Emirates (UAE) United Arab Emirates Maitha Al-Maktoum Karate
42   Uzbekistan (UZB) Uzbekistan Utkirbek Haydarov Boxing
43   Vietnam (VIE) Vietnam Trong Cuong Nguyen Taekwondo
44   Yemen (YEM) Republic of Yemen Anas Aqlan Taekwondo
45   Qatar (QAT) State of Qatar Ahmed Saad Al Saad Handball


  • Three teams entered under their short names in English, but their full names in Arabic:
    • Jordan entered as "Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan" (Arabic: المملكة الأردنية الهاشمية, romanizedAl-Mamlakah al-’Urdunniyyah Al-Hāshimiyyah).
    • Kuwait entered as "State of Kuwait" (Arabic: دولة الكويت, romanizedDawlat al-Kuwayt).
    • Palestine entered as "State of Palestine" (Arabic: دولة فلسطين, romanizedDawlat Filasṭīn).
  • For unknown reasons, Hong Kong was announced as هُونْغ كُونْغ، الصين Hung Kung, Alsiyn in Arabic, while Macau was announced as "Macau, China" (in English by the Arabic-language announcer).

Notable guestsEdit


Foreign dignitariesEdit


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  3. ^ "PIGI projection makes dazzling opening ceremony in Doha Asian Games". NEWSGD.com. 2006-12-12. Retrieved 2010-07-08.
  4. ^ "15th Asian Games Doha 2006".
  5. ^ "DOHA Asian Games Broadcast Services". 2007-01-05. Archived from the original on 2007-01-05. Retrieved 2020-04-21.
  6. ^ "People in Film: Adel Al Ansari". Doha film institute.
  7. ^ "Opening ceremony Abu Darya".
  8. ^ "The 15th Asian games opening ceremony kicks off". Government Committee for coordinating conferences and events.
  9. ^ "Daredevil horse stunt clip goes international". Archived from the original on 2006-12-05. Retrieved 2006-12-08.
  10. ^ "Sunidhi, Jacky and Carreras to sing at opening ceremony". The Star. 20 November 2006.
  11. ^ "DAGOC Announces Stars for Doha 2006 Opening Ceremony". Arab news. 18 November 2006.
  12. ^ "Asian Games Opening Ceremony 2006". Archived from the original on 2021-12-13.
  13. ^ China's flag bearer? Yao is a big favorite
  14. ^ "Kullu overwhelmed at being flag-bearer - 'This is compensation for Arjuna which I was denied'".
  15. ^ "Qatar delivers dazzling Asiad opening". Rediff. 2 December 2006.
  16. ^ "A magnificent spectacle". DAGOC. 1 December 2006. Archived from the original on 6 January 2007.
  17. ^ "Getty Images Doha Asian Games Opening ceremony".
  18. ^ Han Jing
  19. ^ Josiah Ng
  20. ^ Shujauddin Malik
  21. ^ Opening ceremony Abu Hawelah
  22. ^ "Philippines chooses official flag-bearer in Asian Games".
  23. ^ Opening cereemony Alharkan Fahad Abdullah
  24. ^ Sailor TAY Chosen as Singapore Flag Bearer
  25. ^ Opening ceremony Manjula Kumara
  26. ^ Opening ceremony Ahed Joughili
  27. ^ Opening ceremony Sherali Dostiyev