Bahrain gears up to participate in the Dakar Rally starting in Saudi Arabia today till January 17. The first rally in the Middle East will see victorious X-raid team racing for Bahrain in their first self-developed and constructed Mini John Cooper Works and Mini John Cooper Works Buggy.
The 13-day off-road race that was founded on a love of desert driving will see more than 550 drivers from 62 nations contest in 12 stages while exploring the vast and formidable desert terrains of the largest country in the region.
The rally will be flagged off in the Red Sea port city of Jeddah and conclude in the capital, Riyadh, covering 7,500 kilometres. The route will pass through some of the vital and most picturesque destinations in Saudi Arabia, including the UNESCO World Heritage site of Al Ula in the north-west; Tabouk region in the north-west, which is home to the futuristic Neom-city project; the ancient Ha’il region; and Wadi Al Dawasir in Najd province, which is being developed in the middle of the desert as a new urban centre.
The 2020 edition of the rally also marks a milestone for the Middle East, with Saudi Arabia becoming the first country in the region to play host to the challenge, gaining the right to hold it for the next five years.