Dakar Rally to kick off in Asia for first time in history

 Dakar Rally to kick off  in Asia for first time in history
The route for the Dakar Rally will pass through NEOM, the Red Sea Project and Qiddiya. (SPA)
Updated 09 September 2019

Dakar Rally to kick off in Asia for first time in history

 Dakar Rally to kick off  in Asia for first time in history
  • The race will begin in Jeddah on Jan. 5

RIYADH: The world is waiting for the Kingdom to host the Dakar Rally 2020, one of the world’s most difficult and most famous desert rallies. Registration is now open for the historic event, which will be held for the first time in Asia after a 30-year domination by Africa and South America.

The race will begin in Jeddah on Jan. 5, from where contestants will travel thousands of kilometers in 10 stages in cars and on motor bikes modified to cope with thisgreat challenge.

Contestants will be passing through cities rich in history and aspiring projects such as NEOM, the Red Sea Project and Qiddiya. They will go along the Red Sea and then head inland to face the challenges of the high sand dunes, passing through the Red Sea Project, the aspiring tourism project which embraces 90 unspoiled islands as well as mountainous and desert areas and will offer a unforgettable experience to visitors.

Competitors  will head toward NEOM, 26,500-square-kilometer futuristic city located in the northwest of Saudi Arabia, with a waterfront stretching over 460 kilometers.

The competition will move forward to Riyadh, the Saudi capital embracing big companies and brands. They competitors will rest there for a day before heading to ​​Qiddiya, the heart of futuristic entertainment, with more than 300 entertainment and
cultural facilities.

Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, the chairman of KSA’s General Sports Authority, said: “The agreement to host the Dakar Rally, which has been known as the world’s toughest race for many years, is a way to introduce to the world Saudi’s stunning scenery, vibrant cities and immense desert, whose dunes interlace with the sea. The world will get a chance to learn about the Kingdom’s rich history, get to know its good and hospitable people and witness its qualitative transformation.”

Prince Abdul Aziz added: “The Dakar Rally will channel the true image of Saudi Arabia to the world, at all levels: sports, entertainment, culture, heritage and tourism, in addition to promoting its ability to compete with the world’s most powerful countries in organizing international events, as a message of openness and love to the entire world.” 

Prince Khalid bin Sultan Al-Faisal Al-Saud, president of the Saudi Arabian Motor Federation, said: “Participants in the Dakar Rally 2020 will face great mental and physical challenges throughout their route. They will be facing the towering sand dunes while enjoying stunning scenery at the same time. They will also get the chance to admire the unique breathtaking golden dunes of the Empty Quarter desert (Al-Rub Al-Khali).”

He continued: “For this event to be a global success, we joined forces with the Red Crescent, the Civil Defense, the security forces, the municipalities of the cities through which the race passes, and the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage.”