Saudi Dakar Rally 2020 to kick off on Jan. 5 in Asian continent for first time


Saudi Gazette report

The Kingdom will host the Saudi Dakar Rally 2020, one of the most famous grueling desert rallies in the world, on Jan. 5, 2020, bringing the Rally to the Asian continent for the first time.

Registration has begun for participation in the historic event in Saudi Arabia as the world awaits the staging of the international rally in the Asian continent after a 30-year monopoly by the African continent and South America, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said Sunday.

Contestants will start from Jeddah governorate on specially modified automobiles and motorcycles in this big challenge. They will cross thousands of kilometers over 10 stages, which include passing through cities rich in history and the most ambitious projects, like NEOM, Red Sea Project and Qiddiya.

The contestants will continue along the coast of the Red Sea coast , with the changing inland where they will be face challenging high sand dunes; pass through the Red Sea Project — the most ambitious tourist project — which comprises 90 pristine islands and mountainous and desert areas that is likely to provide the visitor with a unique experience that will remain alive in his memory for life.

The contestants will then go through the City of the Future, Neom, situated in the extreme northwest of Saudi Arabia on an area of 26,500 sq. km. with a seafront extending for 460 km.

The contestants will continue to the Saudi capital, Riyadh, home to the biggest companies and trademarks. They will rest for one day before heading to Qiddiya Area, deemed a future entertainment center, the first of its kind.

Prince Abdulaziz Bin Turki Al-Faisal, chairman of the General Sports Authority (GSA) said: “The agreement to host the most difficult race in the world, the Dakar Rally, for many years, is nothing but a confirmation of the Kingdom’s welcome to the world to see the beautiful sceneries, cities throbbing with life and vast deserts where the sand dunes meet the sea. The world will get acquainted with the Kingdom’s rich history, the qualitative transformation it is witnessing and the its friendly and generous people.”

Prince Abdulaziz added: “The Dakar Rally will present the real picture of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the world, at all levels — sports, entertainment, culture, heritage and tourism.”

“The rally will promote the Kingdom’s ability to compete against the most powerful countries in the world in organizing international events. It is a message of openness and love to the whole world,” Prince Abdulaziz asserted.

Meanwhile, Prince Khaled Bin Sultan Al-Faisal, chairman of the Saudi Federation for Automobiles and Motorcycles (SFAM) said: “The participants in the Saudi Dakar Rally 2020 will undergo a great mental and physical challenge while passing through scenic regions on the rally’s route. They will encounter huge sand dunes, and pass through the Empty Quarter desert that has magnificent golden sand dunes.”

He added: “By unifying our efforts, we’ve been able to host such a rally, and coordinate with the Saudi Red Crescent Authority, Civil Defense, security agencies and municipalities on the route of the rally, and the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) so that the Saudi Dakar Rally 2020 achieves success of international standards.”