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UAE Desert Challenge 2008 Special-Newssection (FIA Cross Country Worldcup)

This is the single-news section of the special of the UAE Desert Challenge 2008, last round of the FIA Worldcup for Cross Country Rallys. To see all news please use the link under the article or navigate with the left main-navigation.

UAE Desert Challenge: Rally sets world-class standard for UAE sport.

Mohammed Ben Sulayem today launched the official countdown to the 2008 UAE Desert Challenge by saying that the spectacular event has created a blueprint for world class sporting occasions in the Emirates.

Sulayem, who introduced the dramatic cross country rally in 1991, said the Desert Challenge is a perfect example of how government backing and private sector support can combine to create outstanding international success in the sporting arena.

“Over the years we’ve developed a formula for success with the Desert Challenge which can be applied to many other sports events,” said Sulayem, President of the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE (ATCUAE).

Taking place from 24-31 October under the patronage H.H.Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the 2008 UAE Desert Challenge is the final round of both the FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup for cars and trucks, and the FIM Cross Country Rallies World Championship for bikes.

Added Sulayem: “We’ve built up a very close working partnership with many government authorities in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, with our private sector sponsors, and with many other suppliers and volunteers who all play their part in making sure the event runs smoothly.

“At the same time, we’ve used the Desert Challenge as an effective vehicle to promote the UAE, which has to be a priority when you’re staging an event with strong backing from the government authorities. We rely on their support, and we have a duty to give something back.”

Sulayem was speaking after meeting Saeed Harib, Managing Director of Dubai International Marine Club, to finalise arrangements to set up official headquarters for the Desert Challenge at Mina Seyahi.

“Saeed and his team have given us great support over the last five years to form a base for an event which needs top class facilities and a lot of care and attention,” he said. “The Desert Challenge brings in a small army of competitors, technicians, officials and vehicles and our partnership with DIMC gives us a base which can cope with the event’s huge demands.”

Saeed Harib, who has turned DIMC into a world-class venue for a host of international powerboat racing, sailing and other water sport events, said: “We’re all working together to promote the UAE as a top-class sporting destination, and to do that we have share facilities and expertise to get the best out of our events, and show the UAE in a positive light.

The ATCUAE will shortly announce a provisional entry list for the 2008 UAE Desert Challenge which will reveal a powerful line-up of drivers and riders from around the world.

Over the past few days an ATCUAE team has been out in the desert of the Rub Al Khali, or Empty Quarter, on the latest leg of a months-long operation to plot a route across some of the most demanding terrain in the region.

Following the assembly of the teams in Dubai next month and the big spectator attraction of the Super Stage on 26th October, the rally officially starts at 9.30am the following morning from the Emirates Palace hotel in Abu Dhabi.

The first competitive stage then stretches out from the UAE capital to the Moreeb Hill, near the Liwa oasis, from where four more days of epic desert action unfolds before the Desert Challenge finishes at Mina Seyahi on 31st October.

The program of the rally:

24 Oct - Documentation for competitors at Mina Seyahi, Dubai
25 Oct - Scrutineering at Mina Seyahi, Dubai
26 Oct - Super Special spectator stage in Dubai
27 Oct - Official start of rally from Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority Special Stage 1 finishing at Moreeb Hill, Liwa
28 Oct - Nakheel Special Stage 2 from Moreeb Hill
29 Oct - Nissan Special Stage 3 from Moreeb Hill
30 Oct - ADNOC Special Stage 4 from Moreeb Hill
31 Oct - Hertz Special Stage 5 from Moreeb Hill
Emarat Special Stage 6 finishing in Dubai
Official finish at Mina Seyahi, Dubai International Marine Club
Prize giving at Mina Seyahi

2008/09/10 | 15:57 CET | Editor: MR/UAE Desert Challenge/Rita Konya

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