Sheikh Nahyan talks to Finnish driver Mikko Hirvonen watched by ATCUAE President Mohammed Ben Sulayem


H.E. Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, the Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development and Chairman of the General Authority for Youth and Sports Welfare, paid a visit to the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge today as the event continued on its penultimate leg.

Sheikh Nahyan was greeted by Mohammed Ben Sulayem, President of the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE, organisers of the rally which is the second round of the 2016 FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies and the opening round of this year’s FIM Cross Country Rallies World Championship.

At the bivouac, the rally’s desert base close to the Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort in the Western Region of Al Gharbia, Sheikh Nahyan visited the rally HQ and the Media Centre, where journalists from around the world are covering the event.

Sheikh Nahyan said: “I’m very pleased that we have been able to again welcome so many participants and members of the media to the UAE for the Desert Challenge.

“This is an event that I have a great deal of affection and respect for, particularly as it promotes Abu Dhabi and the UAE around the world, and also because Mohammed and his team always make competitor safety the top priority.”

Sulayem said: “We are always very happy to welcome His Highness to the Desert Challenge. His consistent encouragement over the years helps to motivate us all, and underlines the level of support we receive from the government, without which the rally would not happen.”


Sheikh Nahyan was greeted at the Desert Challenge bivouac by ATCUAE President Mohammed Ben Sulayem, the rally founder.

“He enjoyed his visit, and reminded me that he trusts us to put on a top-class event which sends positive images of Abu Dhabi and the UAE as a whole to audiences around the world.”

The 26th Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge is taking place under the patronage of H.H.Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler’s Representative in the Western region.

The Nissan Patrol, the “Hero of All terrain in Life”, is positioned for the 13th year as the official vehicle of the event. The line-up of strategic sponsors and partners includes the Ruler’s Court in the Western Region, Western Region Municipality, Abu Dhabi Municipality, the UAE Army, Abu Dhabi Police, National Ambulance Service, Nissan, Yas Marina Circuit, ADNOC, Abu Dhabi Aviation, Tadweer (The Center of Waste Management – Abu Dhabi), Rotana and Centro Hotels - Yas Island, Qasr Al Sarab Resort, and DP World.

The event finishes at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi at 4.30pm tomorrow (Thursday).