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ABU DHABI DESERT CHALLENGE TAKES PLACE UNDER PATRONAGE OF HH SHEIKH HAMDAN BIN ZAYED AL NAHYAN

Ben Sulayem says Abu Dhabi government backing has turned event into best in the world

Dubai, UAE, 11 March, 2015:  The 25th edition of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge will take place from 27 March to 2 April 2015 under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler's Representative in the Western Region, as the UAE’stop drivers and riders share the stage with the world’s best cross country rally competitors.

The spectacular event, organised by the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE, the national motor sport authority, is the second of eight rounds in the FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies for cars and trucks, and the first of six rounds in the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship for bikes.

“The 25th edition of the Desert Challenge is a milestone for the event, for the Club, and for UAE motor sport, and we are indebted to His Highness Sheikh Hamdan for his continued support and encouragement for the Desert Challenge, without which the event would not be possible,” said Mohammed Ben Sulayem, President of the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE, the rally organisers.

“His support, that of the Armed Forces and the Abu Dhabi government, has allowed us to build an event which is recognised by competitors, officials and media as the best of its kind.

“This gives the Desert Challenge a very special flavour all of its own, and it is something that keeps bringing competitors back to the UAE year after year.”

It was confirmed last week that the 2014 Desert Challenge was the top ranked event in the FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies for cars, based on official reports submitted to motor sport’s world governing body by the observers appointed to assess each round.

The ATCUAE recently formed a new strategic partnership to promote and develop the event with Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management, which is putting more of its resources and expertise behind the event.

This agreement underlines the crucial support provided by Abu Dhabi to ensure the Desert Challenge continues to set the pace in the FIA World Cup and the FIM Cross Country Rallies World Championship for bikes and quads.

The support of the Ruler’s Court in the Western Region, and the Western Region Municipality, ensure key logistical assistance to allow the rally to set a spectacular test of desert rally driving skills and stamina.

Again this year the event’s strategic partners include Abu Dhabi Municipality, the UAE Army, Abu Dhabi Police, ADNOC, Abu Dhabi Aviation, Al Ain Water, Abu Dhabi Waste Management, Rotana and Centro Hotels – Yas Island and Qasr Al Sarab Resort by Anantara.

The 25th Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge roars to life with a super special spectator stage at Yas Marina Circuit on Saturday 28thMarch before the cars, bikes and quads set off on a five-day journey through the giant dunes and desert plains of the Western Region. The rally finishes back at Yas Marina Circuit on 2 April.