|AD Desert Challenge: Qasr Al Sarab to host final legs in Abu Dhabi.|
The 2010 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge will twice embrace awe-inspiring desert terrain surrounding the emirate’s stunning Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara during the rally’s six-day competitive section.
Ahmed Hussein, Deputy Director General Tourism Operations, Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) and Chief Operating Officer of Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), which developed the iconic resort, said Qasr Al Sarab, which translates into Mirage Palace, is readying to host motorsport action during the two final legs of the five-leg cross country spectacular.
"The route has been especially re-designed to bypass Qasr Al Sarab bringing Abu Dhabi’s modern motorsport heritage within the resort’s showpiece setting of the heritage and culture of the vast Liwa desert. Leg four will finish at the resort, on March 31, with the final leg starting there the next day," said Hussein.
Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort is set amidst the Liwa region’s towering sand dunes, which form part of the world’s largest uninterrupted desert known as the Rub Al Khali, or the Empty Quarter.
Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority fully supports the rally and Hussein explained that a newly laid eight-kilometre road leading through the dunes and around the resort will give spectators a prime view of the 100-plus entries, featuring cars, bikes, quads and trucks. The Resort is accessible by road from Abu Dhabi, some 240 kilometres southwest of Abu Dhabi city. "By entering the Empty Quarter, home to some of the world’s highest and dramatic sand dunes, the rally is truly deserving of its ‘Desert Challenge’ moniker," added Hussein.
Entry to the 2010 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge is open to cars and trucks complying with FIA T1, T2 and T4 technical regulations, as well as motorcyclists and quads running under FIM auspices. The cross-country motor sport spectacular is organised by the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE (ATCUAE).
"To have such a wonderful resort in the heart of Abu Dhabi’s Al Gharbia region is a victory in itself, and Qasr Al Sarab will now play host to world-class rally champions. This year we have designed the route so that the Resort vicinity will be the venue of the service point for the two final legs," said Mohammed Ben Sulayem, FIA Vice President, President of the ATCUAE and Chairman of the 2010 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge Organising Committee,
Sulayem confirmed that the actual competitive action will get underway with a Super Special Stage on March 27 to determine the starting order, later that day, at the Ceremonial Start in the grounds of another capital landmark, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.
"The sunset start with the backdrop of the Grand Mosque will flag off a non-competitive liaison section that will guide drivers and bikers to the first overnight halt at Moreeb Hill, the UAE’s tallest dune near the oasis town of Liwa, where the rally will be based for the next four days at a specially-prepared desert bivouac," he said.
Legs two, three and four will feature demanding loop stages around Moreeb Hill, across somewhat challenging gatch tracks, winding desert trails and the region’s notorious towering sand dunes,. Leg four will finish at Qasr Al Sarab. The fifth and final leg will start at the resort on Thursday, April 1, with teams tackling a desert section between Liwa to the event's finish in Abu Dhabi city.
2010/03/19 | 18:35 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/CAMINADA