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MERC ATC of the UAE announces 2005 Dubai International Rally

2005 Dubai International Rally
FIA Middle East Rally Championship, round 8 of 8

For immediate release
Thursday, October 20th, 2004

AUTOMOBILE AND TOURING CLUB OF THE UAE
ANNOUNCES DUBAI INTERNATIONAL RALLY

Qatar's Al-Attiyah bids to enter the history books in Dubai Rally

DUBAI (UAE): The Automobile and Touring Car Club of the United Arab Emirates (ATC UAE) announced details of the 2005 Dubai International Rally, the final round of this year's FIA Middle East Rally Championship, today (Thursday).

The event will be based at the Al Bustan Rotana Hotel in Dubai and takes place between November 30th and December 2nd, 2005, under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Department.

The two-day, all-desert special stage rally could also mark one of the greatest achievements ever carried out by an Arab sportsman. Recently-crowned FIA Middle East Rally Champion Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah will be bidding to become the first Arab rally driver in history to win all rounds of the series in the same season since the championship was extended to eight rounds and a satellite tracking system was introduced.

The Qatari has currently won seven successive rounds of the prestigious series, amassed a maximum 70 championship points - 32 points more than his nearest UAE rival and outgoing FIA Middle East Rally Champion Sheikh Khalid Al-Qassimi - and will arrive in Dubai looking for a clean sweep of all the rallies in the FIA's Middle East calendar - a phenomenal achievement.

He has already won events this year in Al-Ain, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Jordan, Syria and Cyprus this season and is unbeaten in the entire Middle East region since the Syrian International Rally in September 2004.

The Dubai International Rally is one of the strongest rounds of the series in terms of organisational strength and the ATC of the UAE is hopeful that over 40 international and regional drivers will take part in the traditional finale to the region's annual off-road motorsport calendar.

~Rallying is one of the fastest growing sports in the world and we are sure that this year's Dubai International Rally will attract all the region's top drivers,~ said Mohammed Juma Bin Bakheit, President of the Organising Committee.

~We are extremely grateful to the DCA-Govenment of Dubai for supplying crucial finance to the event this year to make everything happen. Qatar's Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah will be bidding to achieve an historic feat, but there are many other drivers quite capable of beating him across the desert special stages we have in Dubai.~

The organising team will include Sweden's Bengt Gustafson, returning to the role of Clerk of the Course for a second successive season. ~We have made some changes to the route this year and are putting the finishing touches to those now, before we announce them in the near future,~ said Gustafson. ~We have a compact and exciting route, which complies fully with FIA championship regulations.~

The organisers are offering generous assistance packages to overseas foreign entrants, including hotel accommodation, two air tickets, freight assistance and entry visas, where applicable.

Further invaluable support for this year's event comes from the Al Bustan Rotana Hotel, the Rehab Rotana Hotel and Al-Jumeira Rotana Hotel, Gulf Commercial Group, Sky Electronics, AMD and GTS, the recovery and towing company.

For further information on entries and full concessions, please contact the ATC of the UAE, PO Box 5078, Dubai, UAE. Tel: + 9714 2284019, Fax: + 9714 2283159, e-mail: atcuae@emirates.net.ae. www.dubairally.com

Ends

For further media information:
Neil Perkins, 20005 Dubai International Rally Press Officer, NDP Publicity Services, NCH Building, Upper Bar, Newport, Shropshire, TF10 7EH, United Kingdom, Tel: Dubai mobile + (971 50) 3616881, Fax: + 44 1952 825001, UK mobile + 44 7831 123153 and e-mail: ndppublicity@compuserve.com.
www.ndp-publicity.com (press releases)

and

Atala Abousaleh, 2005 Dubai International Rally, Arabic Press Officer, Dubai mobile: + (971 50) 6469853, e-mail: wisam_mm@emirates.net.ae

Date issued: 20/10/2005

For further information or assistance please contact:

NDP Publicity Services
Holly House, Station Road, Newport,
Shropshire TF10 7EN United Kingdom

Tel/Fax: +44 (0) 1952 825001
Mobile: + 44 (0) 7831 123153 (UK)

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