RIYADH: This year’s edition of the ABB Formula E Diriyah E-Prix will be a success thanks to the recent experience gained in preparing to host top class sporting events in the Kingdom, according to the president of the Saudi Arabia Motor Federation.
Prince Khalid bin Sultan Al-Faisal told Arab News on Friday that while putting on large scale events in the Kingdom can pose a challenge, preparations for this year’s electric racing series event were easier and smoother, which he said would make the 2019 edition a success.
“The first year was a big challenge for us, when you see Saudi Arabia, we haven’t organized an event at such a high level as the Formula E.
“For our team, the Saudi automobile and motorcycle federations, to organize an event at such a high level was a challenge, but we got all the support we needed from the government, and our youth are very intelligent, enthusiastic and excited about these events, so we gave them the proper training,” he said.
WATCH: President of Saudi Arabia Motor Federation Prince Kahlid bin Sultan Al-Faisal speaks to Arab News about this weekend's @FIAFormulaE #DiriyahEPrix which got under way on Friday.@FIAFormulaEhttps://t.co/FvzhbaVBmB pic.twitter.com/xqXTowYMfV
— Arab News (@arabnews) November 22, 2019
“It was a strong mission, but we got all the support we needed, we did the best we do and I think we did a good job. So, this year it was easier for us, we got used to it and the team is well prepared mentally and physically, we had more time to prepare, so we’re in a much more relaxed situation,” Prince Khalid added.
And, according to the prince, the importance of hosting such events is a part of the growth of Saudi Arabia as a country.
“The Formula E is such a big event, and such an important event for us as Saudis because we are very big fans of motorsports in general,” he said.
“Hosting such an event at this time in Saudi Arabia is very important, especially as we are known as a country dependent on oil, and now we have the vision of His Royal Highness the Crown Prince to change our economy relying on the oil and investing in alternative energy.
“We have a big change in Saudi Arabia and motorsport is part of it,” he added.
Prince Khalid told Arab News that hosting events like Formula E in historical sites such as Diriyah forms a perfect alliance with the plans of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 for boosting tourism.
"We want to show the world how beautiful our country is, and that is why we chose Diriyah, because it is a historical place, it is a UNESCO place, it was the first capital of Saudi Arabia and the landscape is very beautiful. We are happy as we have the double this year, so it’s double-fun with the double race.
“We are looking for an exciting weekend and as we succeeded last year, this year is going to be a success as well.”