DUBAI, 29th January, 2017 (WAM) — The Automobile and Touring Club of UAE, ATCUAE, today underlined its plans to establish the new Dubai International Baja as the country’s second top flight event in the world of cross country rallying.
Taking place from 9th to 11th March in the Al Qudra desert, the three-day event is being held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council.
The 2017 Dubai International Baja is the second round of this year’s FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies for cars and buggies and the opening round of the FIM Bajas World Cup for bikes and quads.
It effectively creates a spectacular three-event Middle East desert swing for the world’s top cross country rally drivers and riders.
The new addition to the World Cup calendar is followed just over two weeks later by the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge from 1st – 7th April, already entrenched by the ATCUAE as a premier event in the FIA World Cup series and the FIM Cross Country Rallies World Championship, and Qatar’s Sealine Cross Country Rally from 16th – 21st April.
“We’re proud to be creating a second world class cross country rally in the UAE and look forward to developing it into one of the top Baja events in the FIA and FIM calendars,” said ATCUAE President, Mohammed Ben Sulayem. “We thank Sheikh Hamdan and the Dubai Ruler’s Court for consistently supporting our efforts to develop motor sport events which allow local competitors to share a world stage with the best from around the globe. I also send my personal thanks to FIA President Jean Todt for trusting our capabilities and for his continuous support given to motor sport in the Middle East,” he added.
Also supported by Dubai Sport Council, Dubai Police and Dubai Civil Defence, the Dubai International Baja has been added to the FIA World Cup series after ATCUAE’s success in staging an initial candidate event at Bab Al Shams last month.
Sulayem concluded by saying, “The fact that we now have three world class events taking place in this region in quick succession is a big boost for the sport here as we will be the focus of attention for the cross country rallying world. There are also big benefits for competitors through savings in the cost of participation and transportation of vehicles, and the combined presence of leading manufacturers, sponsors and media will bring a new level of exposure for each of the events, and for the UAE and Qatar as the venues.”