Dubai prepares warm welcome for new World Cup rally series

  • Nissan and AW Rostamani sign new co-sponsorship agreement with ATCUAE for classic desert event

The Dubai International Baja powered by Nissan and AW Rostamani provides a warm welcome for the newest branch of World Cup cross country rallying next month on a dramatic stage in the Al Qudra desert.

Paving the way for two days of classic desert rally action, the Automobile and Touring Club for the UAE (ATCUAE), the national motor sport authority and rally organisers, today announced a new agreement with the event’s joint title sponsors.

Taking place under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai, the rally is supported by the Government of Dubai, Dubai Police, Dubai Municipality and the General Authority of Sports.

The agreement was signed by ATCUAE President Mohammed Ben Sulayem, Francesca Ciaudano,

General Manager – Marketing Communication, Nissan Middle East, and Khalid Al Rostamani, Vice Chairman of AW Rostamani Group, sole distributor for the Nissan brand in Dubai and the Northern Emirates through its flagship company, Arabian Automobiles.

Since last year’s edition brought a cars victory for Poland’s Jakub Przygoński and Belgian co-driver Tom Colsoul, the FIA has given the international Baja events for cars and buggies a World Cup series all of their own, aside from the longer cross country rallies.

The 2019 FIA World Cup for Cross Country Bajas for cars and buggies arrives in Dubai from the frozen forests of northern Russia which staged the opening round earlier this month (February), with others to follow in Italy, Spain, Hungary, Poland, Jordan and finally Portugal in October.

Francesca Ciaudano said: “Nissan Middle East takes great pleasure in extending our sponsorship agreement for this exciting event and eagerly look forward to seeing local competitors compete against the best from overseas on the World Cup stage in Dubai.

“We are building on a long standing partnership with the ATCUAE and on Nissan’s proud motor sport history and heritage, and are proud once again to see the Nissan Patrol positioned as the official car for the rally.”

Nissan Patrols will also be used by the ATCUAE to plot a demanding rally route and to transport FIA and FIM officials on the event, which is launched by a ceremonial start at Dubai Autodrome on March 7 before two days of special stage action.

Khalid Al Rostamani said: “We are very happy to be extending our support for this event into a third year, particularly as the Baja style of rallies are where the future of rallying lies in the UAE and the Middle East region.

“It’s very satisfying to be partnering the UAE in its drive to ensure that the original form of motor sport in the country adapts to make the most of local conditions and keeps pace with international developments.”

Sulayem, the FIA Vice President, said: “Nissan and AW Rostamani played a key part in helping us launch this event and we’re thankful to them for their ongoing support and encouragement. There is no better stage for World Cup Baja rallying than the Al Qudra desert and we expect a very competitive event.”

The Dubai International Baja powered by Nissan and AW Rostamani is also the opening round of this year’s FIM Bajas World Cup for bikes and quads and will see top Emirati rider Mohammed Al Balooshi aiming to repeat his victory last year.

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