1 March, 2017 :

Dual sponsorship agreement powers ATCUAE initiative to create bright new future for rallying in UAE

Pictured from left are Michel Ayat, CEO of Arabian Automobiles, Khalid Al Rostamani, Vice Chairman of AW Rostamani Group, Mohammed Ben Sulayem, President of the ATCUAE and Emirates Motor Sport Federation and Samir Cherfan, Managing Director, Nissan Middle East.


AW Rostamani and Nissan Middle East provided a major boost for the Dubai International Baja today by signing a sponsorship agreement with the rally organisers, the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE.

The new Dubai International Baja powered by AW Rostamani and Nissan forms 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

As a result of the new agreement, the Nissan Patrol becomes the official car for the exciting new World Cup event which takes place in the Al Qudra desert from 9-11 March and points the way towards a bright future for rallying in the UAE.

A fleet of Nissan Patrols will be provided for use by the organisers as well as by FIA and FIM officials during the event.

The agreement was signed today by Khalid Al Rostamani, Vice Chairman of AW Rostamani Group, through its flagship company Arabian Automobiles, sole distributor for the Nissan brand in Dubai and the Northern Emirates, Samir Cherfan, Managing Director, Nissan Middle East, and Mohammed Ben Sulayem, President of the ATCUAE and Emirates Motor Sport Federation.

With a powerful international line-up of drivers and riders arriving from across the Middle East and overseas, the  rally will feature three AW Rostamani and Nissan-branded special stages, two of  90km and 82km respectively on 10 March and one of 174 km the following day.

“We are very happy to support to an event that is helping to build a new future in the UAE for rallying, which is where motor sport in Dubai began in the 1970s,” said Khalid Al Rostamani.

“The Dubai International Baja is an important part of the ATCUAE’s initiative to make the sport more affordable and, and we are eager to play our part in helping to make rallying more sustainable by attracting a new generation of Emirati and local-based competitors.”

Samir Cherfan said: “The Dubai International Baja is an exciting new addition to the UAE’s motor sport calendar and presents us with a wonderful new opportunity to showcase the qualities of the Nissan Patrol.

“We are proud to be joining hands with our business partner in Dubai and the Northern Emirates to support an event which allows local competitors to share an international stage with the best from around the world.”

The UAE’s second World Cup event following the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge has evolved out of the Dubai International Rally which ran for 37-years but is now replaced by the more desert-friendly, more affordable baja format which is open for buggies, bikes and quads, as well as cars.

Sulayem said: “We’re thankful to Nissan Middle East and AW Rostamani for supporting our new World Cup rally, especially as they share our commitment to seeing the sport move forward in a way which is much more sustainable.”

Taking place under the patronage of H.H.Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai, the rally is supported Dubai Sport Council, Dubai Police and Dubai Civil Defence. With the Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa providing a luxurious setting, the event’s operational HQ and technical parc ferme will be at the nearby Bab Al Shams Arena.

The Dubai International Baja is followed just over two weeks later by the Desert Challenge (1-7 April), already established by the ATCUAE as a premier event in the FIA World Cup series and the FIM Cross Country Rallies World Championship, and Qatar’s Sealine Cross Country Rally (16-21 April).