Dubai: The Dubai International Baja has added an exciting night-time prologue stage at Dubai Festival City on November 10 as competitors race over 2km against the spectacular backdrop of the Dubai skyline.
The Dubai International Baja, which concludes the 2023 FIA and FIM World Cup series, will offer a unique opportunity for Dubai motorsport fans to experience the heart-pounding sights and sounds of Baja off-road cars, bikes and quads in all their forms the night before the competitors head into the Al Qudra desert for legs one and two on Saturday and Sunday.
This is the second year that Dubai Festival City has been the event hub for the competitors.
The Emirates Motorsport Organisation (EMSO) event kicks off on Friday with the prologue immediately after the opening ceremony at 6:20pm, which will present all of the competitors on the start ramp in Festival Bay, overlooking the fountain. The cars, bikes and quads will then go straight into the 2km prologue over a specially designed route next to the mall, on the waterfront.
The floodlit stage route set against the lights from the city is sure to make for a memorable and unique occasion in off-road motorsport, as well as establishing the early classification and the starting order for Saturday’s Leg 1.
Khalid Ben Sulayem, President of the EMSO: “We are delighted to be able to bring the best of off-road Baja rallying to the heart of the city, and on this occasion and for the first time ever in the UAE, for the fans to enjoy as a night event.
This spectacular innovation is only possible thanks to the great support from Al Futtaim Toyota and Al Futtaim Group, which immediately took on the challenge when we presented the idea to them. Festival City is a family-friendly sports and social destination that tics all the boxes as it provides the perfect backdrop for the rally’s qualifier stage and, at the same time, gives spectators a wonderful opportunity to see these amazing machines and competitors in full flight.”
The entry list among the cars is headed by two-time FIA World Rally-Raid Champion and 18-time Middle East Rally Champion Nasser Al Attiyah with his new Prodrive Hunter facing the challenge of the last year’s winner Yazeed Al Rajhi of Saudi Arabia and his Toyota Overdrive teammate, Argentina’s Juan Cruz Yacopini.
The motorcycle entry features a fascinating three-way competition for FIM Bajas World Cup Honours between the UAE’s local hero Mohammed Al Balooshi (Yamaha) and Portuguese riders David Megre (Kawasaki) and Pedro Bianchi Prata (Honda).