Sulayem says Minister’s call to see rally action underlines vital government support for spectacular desert rally

Sheikh Nahayan with Mohammed Ben Sulayem today in the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge Media Centre at the bivouac, the rally’s desert base.

Abu Dhabi, UAE, 8 April, 2014:  H.H. Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, the UAE Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, paid a visit to the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge Powered by Nissan today as the spectacular event continued on its third leg.

Sheikh Nahayan, Chairman of the General Authority for Youth and Sports Welfare, was greeted by Mohammed Ben Sulayem, President of the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE, the rally organisers, and FIA Vice President, at the bivouac, the rally’s desert base close to the Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort.

He watched some of the action as the 38 cars and 48 bikes and quads tackled the 256-km Qasr Al Sarab Special Stage 3 , before visiting the rally HQ and the Media Centre, where journalists from around the world are covering the event.

“We were very happy to welcome His Highness whose encouragement motivates everyone connected with the event,” said Sulayem. “His visit has been a great boost for us all as it underlined the level of support the Desert Challenge receives from the government, without which the rally would not happen.”

“He told me that he has great trust in our ability to stage a top-class event which sends positive images of the country around the world.”

The Desert Challenge is being held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler's Representative in the Western Region.

It is the third round of the 2014 FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies for cars, and the opening round of this year’s FIM Cross Country Rallies World Championship for bikes.

The rally’s line-up of strategic partners and supporters includes the Ruler’s Court in the Western Region, Western Region Municipality, Abu Dhabi Municipality, the UAE Army, Abu Dhabi Police, Nissan, Yas Marina Circuit, ADNOC, Abu Dhabi Aviation, Al Ain Water, Abu Dhabi Waste Management, Rotana and Centro Hotels – Yas Island, Qasr Al Sarab Resort, the Tourism Development and Investment Company, TAG Heuer, Explorer and DP World.

Used by the route planning team to create the desert stages,  the Nissan Patrol, “Hero of All terrain in Life”, is the official vehicle of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge for an 11th year.

The 24th Abu Dhabi Desert Challenges finishes at Yas Marina Circuit at 4pm on Thursday.