Dubai to host global FIM awards ceremony

For immediate release
Thursday, October 2nd, 2003


Event being held outside Europe for the first time

DUBAI (UAE): The International Federation of Motorcycles (FIM) has chosen Dubai as the venue for its 2003 World Champions' Awards ceremony to be held in December this year.

The decision was conveyed to Khalid A bin Sulayem, Director General of Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), by Guy Maitre, FIM's Director General and CEO, in a meeting held during the latter's recent visit to the emirate.

Mohammed bin Sulayem, Chairman of the UAE Motorcycle Club and Chairman of the organising committee of the UAE Marlboro Desert Challenge, and Awadh Al Seghayer, DTCM Manager Heritage Sites and Events, were also present.

The DTCM Director General expressed happiness at the choice of Dubai for hosting the prestigious event in the centenary year of the Federation. It will mark the first time the ceremony has taken place outside the traditional European venue of Monte Carlo.

~Dubai has emerged as a popular sporting venue along with being a safe all-year-round destination for business and leisure,~ said Khalid Bin Sulayem. ~The emirate offers the best infrastructure and services to the visitor. The FIM event will be a shot in the arm for the department, which is pursuing an aggressive promotional campaign across the world.~

The FIM official's meeting took place just a month ahead of the UAE Marlboro Desert Challenge, the final round of the FIM Cross Country Rallies World Cup.

This five-day event is being held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and the UAE Minister of Defence and Chairman of DTCM.

The UAE Motorcycle Club has been affiliated to the FIM since 1999 and is taking an active part in the preparations for this year's UAE Marlboro Desert Challenge.

~We admitted motorcycles for the first time in 1995 and the UAE Desert Challenge has gone from strength to strength,~ said Mohammed Ben Sulayem. ~We have attracted some of the world's top riders in the past few years and they always look forward to competing here against a growing number of competitive local riders from the UAE Motorcycle Club.~

In the first year of the motorcycles, legendary Austrian rider Heinz Kinigadner took the first of his two victories in Dubai on a KTM M3/3.

Frenchman Cyril Despres has won the last two UAE Desert Challenges. He is currently racing in Egypt, but will face a typically strong international line-up later this month, as he prepares for the gruelling Paris-Dakar Rally in January next year.


For further information about this year's event, contact the Marlboro UAE Desert Challenge office, PO Box 1714, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Tel: + 971 4 2669922 Fax: + 971 4 2666996 or E-mail: rallyuae@emirates.net.ae www.uaedesertchallenge.com

For further media information:
Fadi Hindash or Richard Breiss, Press Office, Dubai, Tel: + 9714 3311637, Fax: + 9714 331 4944, E-mail: fadi.hindash@dubai.mslpr.com, richard.briess@dubai.mslpr.com
or Neil Perkins, NDP Publicity Services, UAE Marlboro Desert Challenge press officer, Tel: + (44) 1952 825078, Fax: + (44) 1952 825001, Tel: + 44 7831 123153
E-mail: NDPPublicity@compuserve.com

Date issued: 02/10/2003

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