Abu Dhabi, UAE, 13 March 2018: The Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge is set for a spectacular launch at Yas Marina Circuit when the Middle East’s longest running world championship motor sport event returns to the UAE capital from 24-29 March.

The international line-up of cars, buggies, bikes and quads assembling in Abu Dhabi from across the Middle East and overseas will get their first taste of action on the Grand Prix circuit which has served up so much Formula 1 drama and excitement over the last nine years.

Confirmation that the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge will begin with Super Special stage at Yas Marina Circuit came today with the announcement of a new partnership agreement between the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE, the rally organisers, and Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management (ADMM).

The agreement was signed by rally founder Mohammed Ben Sulayem, President of the ATCUAE and Emirates Motorsport Federation, and Al Tareq Al Ameri, CEO of Yas Marina Circuit.

Sulayem, the FIA Vice President for Sport, said: “We’re very happy to be building 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 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge is known as the leading international cross country rally, and we are very pleased to have the continued support of ADMM for the ongoing development of the event.”

Al Tareq Al Ameri commented: “Over the years, the Abu Dhabi 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 the capital, 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 continues to go from strength.”

Taking place under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler’s Representative in Al Dafrah Region, the Desert Challenge is supported by Al Dafrah Region Municipality, Abu Dhabi Municipality, the UAE Army, Abu Dhabi Police, Nissan Middle East, ADNOC, Abu Dhabi Aviation, Al-Ain Water, National Ambulance Service, Tadweer, Yas Marina Circuit and the Qasr Al-Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara.

Yas Marina Circuit takes on a busy role as Rally HQ next week when competitors, technicians, officials and media start arriving in Abu Dhabi for the third 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 rally roars to life with Super Special spectator stage starting at 3pm on Saturday 24 March before the procession of cross country rally machinery heads out into the Al Dafrah Region the next morning for five demanding desert stages. The event finishes back at Yas Marina Circuit at 4.30pm on Thursday 29 March.

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