Doha 2019 general director Jassim Bin Rashid Al Buenain with ANOC secretary general Gunilla Lindberg at a press conference in the Qatari capital today@ITG

The Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) has promised a modest Opening Ceremony for the inaugural World Beach Games.

"We asked the Organising Committee to consider these Games for what they are," said ANOC secretary general Gunilla Lindberg.

"It is not the Olympic Games, we don’t want big or long ceremonies - we want the athletes to have fun," 

"I am sure the ceremony will be nice but not extravagant, but I don't know the details."

The ceremony is due to take place at the 5,000-capacity Katara Amphitheatre, close to the beach, on Saturday (October 12) evening.

The arena is designed to provide an echo of ancient Greece and has 30 rows of seating in a design meant "to be a crafted balance between Greek theatre and everlasting Islamic features".

Organisers have announced it will be "first come, first served" for spectators, although there's not entry charge, in keeping with policy throughout the competition.

Beach handball is set to get the ANOC World Beach Games underway in Doha tomorrow ©Getty Images
Beach handball is set to get the ANOC World Beach Games underway in Doha tomorrow ©Getty Images

"Everyone is invited, but due to the limitation in seats, the auditorium only has only 5,000 places, so who comes first gets the place," ANOC World Beach Games general director Jassim Bin Rashid Al Buenain said.

There will be a pre-show before the Opening Ceremony proper begins.

The exact contents of the Ceremony remain a closely guarded secret, but it seems a pretty safe bet that there will be no repetition of the 2006 Asian Games here. 

On a rainy and windy night, the Qatari Crown Prince rode a classic Arab thoroughbred to the highest point in the Khalifa Internaional Stadium to ignite the cauldron.

Bad weather seems unlikely to threaten these Games.

The sport itself is due to begin the day before the official opening, with men's beach handball starting tomorrow. 

A total of 1,237 competitors from 97 countries are set to take part in the Games, featuring 14 disciplines at four venues in Doha. 

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach is expected to attend the final day of competition.