Event organizers the Sharjah Sports Desert Festival (SSDF 2017) are receiving hundreds of applications from desert motorsport professionals and enthusiasts, who eagerly await to compete in its debut edition scheduled to begin on Thursday, 2 February.The registrations for this first of-its-kind desert off-roading championship in Sharjah and the northern emirates opened up recently on www.smc.ae/ssdf, and has been receiving overwhelming response from prospective participants.The two-day event organised by the Sharjah Sports Channel at the Al Badayer Desert Camp on E44 in Sharjah, will be held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah. SSDF 2017 will also feature an array of fun-filled activities and entertainment contests for all family members and non-competing visitors. People of all ages will be treated to tours on desert bikes from Al Badayer to Mleiha, artistic shows, and more.
Contestants will participate in three vehicle classes, namely, Quad bikes, also called Buggy, where they will compete in the ‘Enduro Knockout’ challenge, the Side X Side vehicle category who will compete in the ‘Time Trail’ challenge, and finally, the MX1 and MX2 racers who will take on the ‘Enduro Knockout’ challenge.On Day 1, qualifying races in different categories will be held, where winning contestants will secure spots in the semifinals. On the second and final day, racers will compete in the three vehicle categories for 20 minutes each. At the end of the races, winners will be announced and be awarded with prizes. The winner will be awarded a cash prize of AED 10,000, while AED 5,000 and AED 3,000 will be won by those in the second and third places, respectively. SSDF 2017 is also organising a ‘most beautiful desert bike’ contest. The categories of this contest are ‘Dion Bagchi’, ‘ITV’ and ‘UTV’, with three winners in each. Selections will be made by an expert judging panel from the United States, and winners stand a chance to win up to AED 10,000 each.
Rashid Al Obed, Director of Sharjah Sports Channel, welcomed the big turnout and said: “The overwhelming response from prospective participants demonstrates the impressive popularity that desert sports enjoy among both locals and expatriate residents of all nationalities and age groups who are eager to thrill themselves and test their off-roading skills.” “We have designed an easily accessible and effective website that allows will allow racers to register in a few easy steps. We have put in every effort to organise the debut edition of the Festival in perfect alignment with the highest levels of expertise and competence, ensuring that we craft an event that will attract and entertain both competing and non-competing participants equally, making them look forward to the next edition eagerly. We expect this event to entertain the crowds every year,” he added.The event will see participation and representations from the most prominent brands specialising in desert sports in the UAE. This will be a great opportunity for visitors and future motor sports enthusiasts to familiarise themselves with the latest desert sport products and services like off-roading vehicles, sportswear, motorcycles, protective equipment, navigation devices, etc. Registrations are open until Wednesday, 1 February. Interested contestants can register online within minutes on www.smc.ae/ssdf, in the vehicle class they wish to compete in.