Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge enters new era under patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Zayed
The Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge enters a new era next month when the Middle East’s most established cross-country rally takes place under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler's Representative in Al Dhafra Region.
Just four months after completing its 30th anniversary edition, the event returns to form the second round of the new World Rally-Raid World Championship from 5-10 March, with all indications pointing to a bumper international entry. Providing a formidable test of nerve and concentration for competitors, the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge was founded in 1991 by Mohammed Ben Sulayem, the new FIA President.
For the first time this year, FIA and FIM cross-country rallying events are unified within a single world championship, as the two motor sport world governing bodies look to the future. The event is once again based at the UAE capital’s F1 venue, Yas Marina Circuit, where the service park opens from 4th March prior to the start taking place at 7pm the following day.
On 6th March, the rally heads out from Abu Dhabi across the Al Dhafra region’s spectacular desert landscape, with five stages of 264km, 318km, 270km, 257km and 217km added to road sections of 519km for an overall length of 1,917km.
“This would not have been possible without the enormous support we have received from the UAE authorities, and we would like to thank HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan for his consistent backing and encouragement,” said Khalid Bin Sulayem, the EMSO’s newly-elected President.