It has been confirmed by the General Sports Authority in Saudi Arabia in a press conference held in the presence of Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Faisal, Chairman of the GSA. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will host the Dakar 2020 Rally in January for a decade-long contract.
Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Faisal also said that Saudi Arabia is witnessing a new dawn of athletic sustenance and activities considering the great support it receives from the leadership. He also pointed out that the Dakar Rally is a qualitative leap in line with the Saudi Vision 2030.
“Saudi Arabia and the Dakar Rally are coming together to write a new chapter in the world of racing,” said Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Faisal. “Its pages will contain challenges to discover a new world, and its words will contain stories of the Kingdom’s good people and their interactions with the rest of the world.”
“The Dakar 2020 will show the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the world in its true form, whether sports, entertainment, culture, heritage and tourism, and will prove its ability to compete with the world's most powerful countries to host major events,” said Prince Khalid bin Sultan Al Faisal.
Michael Reininger, CEO of the Dakar Rally stated, “The Dakar Rally 2020 happening in Saudi Arabia is the first opportunity for us in the field of motor racing, and it will be the first event of the annual series of events to be hosted by Saudi Arabia. The Al Qadeeh project will be the motor racing capital of the world, and is an important part of our comprehensive range of entertainment options.”
The conference featured video clips that explained the history of the Dakar rally, which oiginated from Paris in 1978 to Dakar, the capital of Senegal, before moving to South America in 2009 to be a guest of Chile and Argentina until 2019. In 2020, it will go down in the books that the Dakar Rally race will be Saudi Arabia’s guest, and will have the longest racing route in its 40 year span.
The race is going to be a grueling 9000km and will start in Jeddah, moving on to Hail, Riyadh, Eastern Province, Empty Quarter Desert, then ending in al-Qiddiya. It will comprise of 4 categories; cars, motorbikes, quads, and trucks. Drivers wishing to compete in the race have been asked to submit their applications as of Thursday, May 16th, 2019 at this link.