- Festival takes place on January 12 under the theme ‘Become a Desert Hero’
Under the patronage of Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah, the second edition of the adrenaline-fuelled off-road racing competition, the Sharjah Sports Desert Festival, will take place on Friday, January 12, in the Al Badayer region of the emirate. Themed ‘Become a Desert Hero,’ the event is organised by Sharjah Sports TV, an affiliate of Sharjah Media Corporation (SMC).
The festival is one of the most highly-anticipated desert sporting events in the UAE, where many past and present champions from around the region will take part. They will compete in the preliminary endurance races, with 15 participants qualifying for the white-knuckle ‘Time Challenge’ races in each category, including Motor Cross 1 (MX1), Motor Cross 2 (MX2), Desert All-terrain Vehicles (ATV) and Utility Task Vehicles (UTV), also known as Side by Side (SxS).
“Sharjah Media Corporation launched the Sharjah Desert Sports Festival in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, to enhance Sharjah’s position as a global tourist destination, including hosting world-class sporting competitions. With mass media coverage from around the world, it is also an ideal opportunity to promote the emirate’s areas of outstanding natural beauty and attract desert sports enthusiasts at local, regional and international levels,” said Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmad Al Qasimi, Chairperson of Sharjah Media Council.
Rashid Al Obad, Director of Sharjah Sports TV, added: “As part of its media strategy, Sharjah Sports TV is dedicated to highlighting a series of the most popular sports in the UAE. We have seen enormous interest for desert sports from across the world given the emirate’s natural environment.”
To register in the races, competitors can log onto the festival’s website.
The festival features a wide range of activities and hospitality services for spectators – as well as the food trucks, which are positioned across the venue, the festival also has kids zones and an array of competitions and prizes for people of all age groups.
The first edition of the SSDF in 2017 welcomed 65 competitors from six countries, with the UAE winning the lion’s share of the prizes. Majid Al Miza, Hassan Lotah and Muhammad Al Muhairi won the first three places in the UTV category, while Obaid Al Kitby and Mansour Swaidan won first and second places in the ATV category.
Al Badayer is considered one of the most important desert areas in the UAE and is well known for its stunning sand dunes which attract a large number of the UAE’s residents and tourists. Al Badayer is a favourite spot for fans of camping and Safari trips for off road driving. Strategically located adjacent to the Dubai-Hatta Road, the Al Badayer area is also equipped with all necessary security measures to ensure visitors’ safety.