Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia ‘opens new roads to the Kingdom’: GSA chairman

GSA chairman Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal said the staging of the rally in Saudi Arabia is the result of “the trust, determination and ambition” shown by the Kingdom’s leadership. (Supplied)
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Updated 17 December 2019

Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia ‘opens new roads to the Kingdom’: GSA chairman

  • The rally will be held from Jan. 5-17, 2020
  • GSA chairman: Result of “trust, determination and ambition” shown by the Kingdom’s leadership

RIYADH: The launch of the Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia “will bring the world closer than ever to the hospitable people of the Kingdom,” Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, chairman of the General Sports Authority, said.

Speaking at a press conference in Qiddiya on Tuesday, Prince Abdul Aziz said the staging of the rally in Saudi Arabia is the result of “the trust, determination and ambition” shown by the Kingdom’s leadership.

The rally, which will be held from Jan. 5-17, 2020, “will drive more achievements that will make the country proud and confident on its path toward achieving Vision 2030,” he said.

“With the launch of the Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia, the world will get to know the picturesque nature of our country and its magnificent desert. The world will come closer than ever to the hospitable people of the Kingdom,” Prince Abdul Aziz added.

“This is a new beginning in the history of the Dakar Rally. The race that has topped the list of rallies for 40 years in Africa and South America will start a new chapter in Saudi Arabia.”

President of the Saudi Arabian Motor Federation, Prince Khalid bin Sultan Al-Faisal, described the staging of the rally in the Kingdom as an “unforgettable adventure.”

He added: “Today, the Saudi Arabian Automobile and Motorcycle Federation is consolidating its commitment to developing motorsport, improving driving standards and conditions, and encouraging safe and responsible driving. At the same time, we wish to host the best and most challenging competitions for our young men and women in the Kingdom in order for them to show the world their capabilities and skills, whether it is driving cars and bikes, or hosting and managing international events and activities.”

The prince told reporters that the federation is supporting several Saudi drivers in the Dakar Rally by paying their participation fees.

Assembled media were shown a video that will be displayed on giant screens in international cities such as Paris, Milan and Madrid in order to introduce the world to the Kingdom’s desert attractions.

The video will also be shown at famous international sites such as Times Square in New York, Leicester Square in London and on the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. It will also be featured in the Saudi capital Riyadh and the cities of Jeddah and Dammam, and will include clips explaining the history of the Kingdom.


Lebanese footballer dies of bullet wound

Updated 33 min 28 sec ago

Lebanese footballer dies of bullet wound

  • Mohamed Atwi, 32, played as a midfielder for a number of Lebanese clubs and won the national league three times with Beirut’s Ansar, his club for almost a decade
  • Tributes poured in for the player, who was also capped three times for his country

BEIRUT: A prominent Lebanese footballer has died of a bullet wound sustained last month during a funeral for one of the victims of the Beirut port blast, his club said Friday.
Mohamed Atwi, 32, played as a midfielder for a number of Lebanese clubs and won the national league three times with Beirut’s Ansar, his club for almost a decade.
“A sad day for sport... a great loss for Lebanese football,” Wael Chehayeb, an official with his latest club Al-Akhaa Al-Ahly, posted on social media.
Tributes poured in for the player, who was also capped three times for his country.
Atwi was hit in the head by a bullet as he walked on a street in a Beirut neighborhood last month.
Initial reports suggested he was struck by a falling bullet fired in the air from a nearby procession mourning one of the firefighters killed in the August 4 port explosion.
Atwi’s family however has demanded a full investigation into the circumstances of his death, over which no arrests have been made.
Shooting in the air for celebrations and funerals is common in Lebanon despite recurring injuries from falling bullets.