Rally: H.H Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum appointed patron of Dubai Rally
Dubai, UAE, 11 November, 2014: The 36th Dubai International Rally, which brings the 2014 FIA Middle East Rally Championship to a climax on 27-29 November, will be held under the patronage of H.H Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of the UAE National Olympic Committee.
Making the announcement today, Mohammed Ben Sulayem, President of the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE, the rally organisers, said: “The Dubai Rally is one of the UAE’s longest running sports events, and we are indebted to His Highness for his support as this ensures the event’s success story continues.”
“The Dubai government has backed the rally from the very beginning and as a result it has an important place in the history of Middle East motor sport.”
Traditionally forming the final round of the Middle East Championship, the rally has produced some dramatic episodes over the last four decades and now promises another fascinating grand finale to the regional series.
After previous rounds in Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan, Lebanon and Cyprus. the UAE’s Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi, who scored back-to-back wins in Dubai in 2005 and 2006, will be even more determined to record another success on home territory.
The 2004 Middle East title winner is within six points of defending champion Nasser Al Attiyah of Qatar and will be going flat out for victory in Dubai in the hope that it will be enough to carry him to the regional crown.
For a fifth year the Dubai International Rally will be based at Dubai Men’s College, in the Higher Colleges of Technology campus at Academic City, Dubai, which hosts the Rally HQ, media centre and service park, and will also be the venue for pre-event scrutineering.
The event has been organised by the ATCUAE, the national motor sport authority, since 1997, and Sulayem, the FIA Vice President, won it a record 15 times up to his retirement from competitive rallying in 1982 when he secured the last of his 14 Middle East titles.
Following the official starting ceremony in Dubai on 27 November, the rally roars to life the following morning when the cars go into action on the first of two legs of competitive stages run through the desert.
FIA Middle East Rally Championship standings after 5 of 6 rounds
1 Nasser Al Attiyah (QAT) 75
2 Khalid Al Qassimi (UAE) 69
3 Abdulaziz Al Kuwari (QAT) 66
4 Abdulla Al Kuwari (QAT) 39
5 Abdullah Al Qassimi (UAE) 27
= Yazeed Al Rajhi (KSA) 27