Sharjah Sports Set to Take the UAE’s World Repertoire of Premier ,Desert Rallying to New Heights
The Sharjah Sports Desert Festival 2017 will feature the best off-roading vehicle categories including MX1, MX2 and more
5 DARIYA NEWS
5 Dariya News
Sharjah , 30 Jan 2017
Registration applications to participate in Sharjah Sports Channel’s debut edition of a world-class desert rallying championship – the Sharjah Sports Desert Festival 2017 (SSDF 2017) – have been flooding the www.smc.ae/ssdf. The organisers recently announced the completion of all technical and administrative preparations for the two-day festival, which will be held over this weekend (2 and 3 February) at the Al Badayer Desert on the E44 Dubai-Hatta Road.Hundreds of contestants will compete to ‘Become a Desert Hero’, the festival’s theme this year, before a crowd of thousands of excited audiences. A stiff contest is being anticipated in three world-class desert motor sports vehicle categories: Quad Bikes, MX1 and MX2, and Side X Side. The racetracks for all three categories have been designed by local favourite and international MX champion, Mohammed Al Balooshi, which will test participants for endurance, their ability to maneuver up to 700 kilogram extreme machines through rough desert landscape, and time skills.
The venue has been ramped up with world-class security systems and safety equipment – a step taken by the authorities to reflect the highest international standards of extreme sporting events, and ensure a safe and comfortable atmosphere for both contestants and audiences to enjoy. The ‘Enduro Knockout’ challenge will see four-stroke, 250cc MX1 and MX2 motorcycle riders being tested for balance and concentration, while trying to clock in their best time as they will make several revolutions of the track within a single competition. At the ‘Time Trail’ challenge, contestants in the Side X Side vehicles will complete a specific number of rounds on the racetrack within the least possible time to win the race. Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman of Sharjah Media Corporation, SMC, said, “Sharjah’s wise leadership has given special attention to the youth since the birth of the UAE, due to our strong belief in their role as leaders of development and change in various domains. Driven by this vision, the emirate has launched several initiatives, especially in the field of sports.” He added: “The Sharjah Sports Desert Festival 2017 is being launched by SMC to add to the UAE’s global reputation in desert motor sports, and will signal the birth of a first-of-a-kind event in Sharjah. The overwhelming number of applications we have received thus far have, in a way, ticked off one of the event’s key goals – in highlighting the emirate and its stature as a central destination in the UAE and wider Arab region for professional extreme sports.”
Sheikh Sultan continued by saying: “Drawing on Al Badayer’s status as a preferable desert destination, our aim is to make SSDF and its associated activities, an annual event sought after by both lovers of desert off-roading competitions, and families who want to be entertained by a world-class event at a premier destination.” On the racetracks, the distance between the audiences and the racing arenas have been strategically planned and drawn out, especially at hairpin turns and extreme curves. Racetracks have also been fortified with rubber bumpers to reduce the impact of an incident, if any. Al Balooshi, who will also technically supervise the entire festival, said: "We have been eager to give desert sports enthusiasts across the UAE a fill of extreme motoring action within a safe environment. As a result, we have carefully calculated the number of laps in each race to suit the nature of obstacles and the potential of racers.” “I am quite confident that SSDF 2017 will lay the foundation of a strong nucleus for extreme desert motor sporting events in Sharjah,” he added. SSDF 2017 organisation committee has urged participants to not introduce any changes or modifications to vehicles they will compete with, with an intent to increase their strength or performance output. Doing so will lead to disqualification from the race, as tampering with vehicle components will jeopardise safety of contestants and the audience alike, creating a risk of vehicle damage and accidents.The festival has also a lot to offer for non-competing visitors. It will feature a Kids Zone featuring face and sand painting, balloon benders and white henna painting, in addition to the Flames of Wonder show by expert pyro-technicians. Registrations are open until 1 February, and winning contestants will win cash prizes up to AED 10,000.