ABU DHABI DESERT CHALLENGE TAKES ITS PLACE ON THRILLING NEW WORLD STAGE
The Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge takes its place on a thrilling new world stage for cross country rallying over the next five days, with the cream of the sport’s international talent battling for honours in spectacular fashion.
Taking place under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler's Representative in Al Dhafra Region, the rally’s 31st edition carries an additional amount of fascination as the second round of the new World Rally-Raid Championship.
“This is an exciting time for the event, and we thank His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan for his continued support as we mark the start of a new era for the rally-raid community,” said Mahir Badri, CEO of the Emirates Motorsports Organization (EMSO), the rally organisers.
“The consistent backing and encouragement we have received from the UAE authorities over the years has allowed us to create a very special rally, now one of the five elite events making up the new world championship, which has great potential to grow.
“The Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge is like no other rally raid in the world, with a unique combination of tough, unforgiving desert creating extreme driving conditions, added to top class facilities and infrastructure, and an official HQ at one of the most advanced F1 venues in the world.
“We have faced challenges in staging the event for the second time in four months, but have received exceptional support from the UAE government, strategic partners and sponsors. Without their unconditional and continued commitment, the rally would have struggled to survive over four decades.”
Badri was joined by a line-up of major sponsors and leading competitors for today’s official press conference at Yas Marina Circuit, the rally’s official HQ in the UAE capital.