Dakar Rally drivers get green light to register for historic race in Saudi Arabia

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Racers gearing up to take part in the grueling Dakar Rally being staged in Saudi Arabia were on Thursday given the green light to submit their applications. (SPA)
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Racers gearing up to take part in the grueling Dakar Rally being staged in Saudi Arabia were on Thursday given the green light to submit their applications. (SPA)
Updated 17 May 2019
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Dakar Rally drivers get green light to register for historic race in Saudi Arabia

  • Preparations for the famous motorsport event are already well underway, with 330 vehicles representing 60 nations expected to take part
  • It will be the first time the Dakar Rally is held in the Middle East

RIYADH: Racers gearing up to take part in the grueling Dakar Rally being staged in Saudi Arabia were on Thursday given the green light to submit their applications.
The Kingdom’s General Sports Authority (GSA) announced that drivers wishing to participate in the 2020 race, can register through the rally’s official website at https://competitors.dakar.com
Preparations for the famous motorsport event are already well underway, with 330 vehicles representing 60 nations expected to tackle the punishing 9,000 km route between Jan. 5 and 17.
The race will consist of four categories, namely motorbikes, quads, cars and trucks. Participants will start in Jeddah, passing through a vast area taking in the Saudi Red Sea Project (a luxury tourism development) and the futuristic $500 billion NEOM megacity scheme, the most ambitious building program in the world.
Drivers will then enter the northwestern city of Hail, as part of Hail International Rally, before reaching Riyadh, where they will rest for a day.
From the Saudi capital, the rally will speed off to the Eastern Province, heading through the Empty Quarter desert before the race ends at Al-Qiddiya.
The first edition of the race, which will run in the Kingdom for 10 years, is being jointly organized by the GSA, the Saudi Arabian Motor Federation and Amaury Sport Organization.
It will be the first time the Dakar Rally is held in the Middle East and the race is set to be the largest, longest, hardest and most exciting in its 40-year history.
The annual multi-stage rally has been held in South America since 2009 after being relocated from Africa due to terrorist threats in Mauritania, which led to its cancelation in 2008.
Dakar director, David Castera, has described the relocation to Saudi Arabia as “a voyage into the unknown.” He added: “By going to Saudi Arabia, it is of course that aspect that fascinates me.”


Houthis have smuggled various weapons from Iran: Arab coalition

Updated 24 June 2019
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Houthis have smuggled various weapons from Iran: Arab coalition

  • Col. Al-Maliki also said that the Houthis are digging trenches and building fortifications in Hodeidah
  • Said Iran-backed militia is trying to provoke the coalition

RIYADH: The Arab coalition supporting Yemen’s internationally recognized government said on Monday that the Houthi militia has received various types of weapons smuggled from Iran.
Speaking at a weekly press conference in Riyadh, spokesperson Col. Turki Al-Maliki said the militia has suffered heavy losses and as a result they have been targeting civilians and civilian installations.
Col. Al-Maliki also said that the Houthis are digging trenches and building fortifications in Hodeidah in violation of the Stockholm agreement.
He said that the Iran-backed militia is trying to provoke the coalition, but “we will apply international law.”
He added that the coalition has started providing financial assistance to those affected by accidents in Yemen and the coalition has already compensated 116 people affected.