Sulayem says new strategic partnership is key to continued Development of UAE’s spectacular cross country rally

Dubai, UAE, 12 March 2016: The Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE and Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management have signed a new agreement to work together to develop the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, which marks its 26th edition next month. The agreement was signed today by rally founder Mohammed Ben Sulayem, President of the ATCUAE, and Al Tareq Al Ameri, CEO of Yas Marina Circuit. Al Tareq Al Ameri commented: “Over the years, the Desert Challenge set the highest standards in cross country rallying and, in the process, has done a great deal to promote a positive image of Abu Dhabi, and the UAE as a whole, among the global sporting and broader community.” “We are pleased to have the opportunity to work ever closer with Mohammed and his team, and are fully committed to ensuring that the event reaches a new level.” Sulayem said: “This new strategic partnership builds on the close working relationship we have enjoyed with ADMM since 2009 when we first took on the role as sporting organisers of the F1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. “Around the world, the Desert Challenge is known as the leading international cross country rally, and we are glad to have ADMM behind the event as part of the strategic plan we have in place for its continued development.” As a result of the agreement the Desert Challenge, running from 2-7 April, will have its rally HQ and Media Centre at Yas Marina Circuit, one of the world’s top F1 venues. At the end of this month the world’s top drivers, riders and teams will begin assembling at the venue for the spectacular event which forms the second round of this year’s FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies for cars, and the first round of the FIM Cross Country Rallies World Championship for bikes and quads. The powerful assembly of rally machinery from around the globe will go through official scrutineering at Yas Marina Circuit on 1 April before the action begins the following day with a super special spectator stage at the Al Forsan Off-Road Race of Champions Circuit in Abu Dhabi The rally then heads out in the UAE’s Western Region of Al Garbia for five days of dramatic off road rallying across some of the most breath taking desert landscape which will test competitors and their vehicles to the limit. The new agreement between the ATCUAE and ADMM underlines the crucial support provided by Abu Dhabi to ensure the Desert Challenge continues to set the pace in the FIA World Cup FIM World Championship rallying. The event is again held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler’s Representative in the Western Region of Al Garbia. The support of the Ruler’s Court and the Western Region Municipality ensure key logistical support to allow the rally to be staged across some of the most dramatic desert terrain on earth. 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.

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