Dubai International Baja
The ATCUAE yesterday underlined its plans to establish the new Dubai International Baja as the country’s second top-flight event in the world of cross-country rallying.
Second round of World Cup
Taking place from March 9-11 in the Al Qudra desert, the three-day event is organised by Touring Club of UAE and held under the patronage of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai. The 2017 Dubai International Baja is the second round of this year’s FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies for cars and buggies and the opening round of the FIM Bajas World Cup for bikes and quads.
Start of desert swing
The Baja is the first of a three-event Middle East desert swing for the world’s top cross-country rally drivers and riders. The new addition to the World Cup calendar is followed by the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, from April 1-7, and Qatar’s Sealine Cross Country Rally, from April 16-21.
A top baja event in the FIA
“We’re proud to be creating a second, world-class cross-country rally in the UAE and look forward to developing it into one of the top baja events in the FIA and FIM calendars,” ATCUAE president Mohammed ben Sulayem said. “We thank Sheikh Hamdan and the Dubai Ruler’s Court for consistently supporting our efforts to develop motor sport events which allow local competitors to share a world stage with the best from around the globe.”
The event effectively replaces the Dubai International Rally, which was restricted to rally cars. The Baja is open for buggies, bikes and quads, as well as cars.
“The Dubai International Rally has an indelible place in the history of UAE motorsport and has given me so many great memories over the years as a competitor and organiser,” Ben Sulayem said. “Its success provides a powerful platform to launch the Dubai International Baja into a new era for motorsport in the UAE and the Middle East region.”