Dakar Rally is leaving South America, moving to Saudi Arabia in 2020
The rumours have been confirmed and now it’s official – Dakar Rally is leaving South America and moving to Saudi Arabia in 2020.
The world’s greatest cross-country rally-raid race, after eleven editions on the South American continent from 2009 to 2019, will take place at the Middle East next year. More details about the event will be published on April 25.
“The Dakar is like a nomad. The first idea is discovery, adventure. We had Africa then South America. We will write act 3 of the Dakar in the Middle East,” explains David Castera, the director of the rally. The 42nd edition will take place in Saudi Arabia. After that, some neighboring countries can be added to the route.
“Saudi Arabia is big as France four times, we’ll be able to spend some time there. There are neighboring countries that can be added little by little. The whole Middle East is open to us for years to come. What is certain is that the region does not lack sand. There is the largest stretch of sand in the world,” added Castera.
His Royal Highness Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki AlFaisal Al Saud, Chairman of the Saudi Arabia General Sports Authority: “The vision and guidance of our leaders have made our dreams and ambitions limitless and have set the sports scene in the Kingdom on a remarkable success route. Today we are thrilled to announce that Rally Dakar, an event with a huge global appeal is coming to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Middle East for the first time. Our country is extremely passionate about sport and our strategic goal is to feed that appetite as we move further towards achieving Vision 2030, of which sport is a basic pillar.
In hosting Dakar Rally we aim to produce an unbelievable and unforgettable experience for drivers as they discover the beauty of Saudi nature and a unique spectacle for motorsport fans not only in Saudi Arabia but also in the region and around the world.”