Palm Island to host Prologue stage of UAE Desert Challenge

UAE Marlboro Desert Challenge
2003 FIA and FIM World Cups, final round

For immediate release
Sunday, October 12th, 2003


'Eighth Wonder of the World' plays host to FIA World Cup

DUBAI (UAE): The Prologue stage of this year's UAE Marlboro Desert Challenge, the final round of both the FIA and FIM World Cups for Cross Country Rallies, will take place on Palm Island, Jumeira - the world's premier residential and resort venue, which is being built off the coast of the United Arab Emirates.

This stunning location is one of two massive development ventures being undertaken by Nakheel - The Palm, Jebel Ali is also planned - to make Dubai one of the leading tourism venues in the world. The Prologue will take place on Monday, 20th October.

Already billed as the 'eighth wonder of the world', The Palm is set to increase Dubai's beach frontage by a massive 166%. They will also offer luxury shops, boutique hotels, speciality restaurants, leisure facilities, residential apartments and beachfront villas.

Both islands are being designed in the shape of palm trees and are situated 25 kilometres apart. To protect them, each island will be surrounded by a crescent-shaped breakwater.

~The United Arab Emirates is one of the major development regions of the world,~ said Mohammed Ben Sulayem, chairman of the organising committee of the UAE Desert Challenge. ~For us to be granted permission to run the Prologue stage of this year's event on the first of the islands is a massive boost. The entire venture is staggering. Such is the scale of the project that both islands are clearly visibly by naked eye from space!~

~We are very proud to host the Prologue,~ said Wahid Attalla, Director of Operations for The Palm. ~The Challenge is an important event in Dubai's annual calendar and attracts an exceptional standard of competitors. Similarly, The Palm, Jumeirah strives for exceptional
standards in all that it does and like the UAE Desert Challenge, it is already receiving worldwide recognition for its efforts~.

~Through hosting events like the FIA/FIM-recognised Desert Challenge and creating unique destinations like The Palm and The World, Dubai is cementing its place as a contemporary world-class city with an innovative, ambitious and forward-thinking attitude.~

This year's UAE Desert Challenge is being held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander and Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Minister of Defence.

The Prologue has been the traditional opening section of the UAE Desert Challenge for many years. Several events in the FIA and FIM World Cups use these sections to arrange starting order the following morning and competitors often use their own tactics to determine their personal starting preferences. In the desert, for example, it is not always advantageous to start first on the road and enable rivals to follow the wheel tracks.

This year's event is based at the nearby Dubai International Marine Cluib (DIMC) for the first time and draws to a close near Dubai on Friday, October, 24th after four further stages across the sands of the UAE.

About The Palm
The Palm involves the creation of the world's largest two man-made islands known as The Palm, Jumeirah and The Palm, Jebel Ali. Located just off the coast of the city of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, the two palm tree-shaped islands are expected to contribute to the city's position as a premier global tourist destination. The project will increase Dubai's shoreline by a total of 120km and create a large number of residential, leisure and entertainment opportunities, all within a unique and inspiring setting.

The creation of The Palm is an extraordinary project of grand proportions. Comprised of approximately 100 million cubic meters of rock and sand, the islands together will eventually support over 60 luxury hotels, 4000 exclusive residential beachside villas, over 5,000
shoreline apartments, marinas, water theme parks, restaurants, shopping malls, sports facilities, health spas, dive sites and cinemas.

The vision of The Palm was conceived by His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and UAE Defence Minister. Construction commenced in June 2001 after many years of research and planning. Each island will take approximately two years to be completely raised from the sea. A further two to three years will be required to complete the infrastructure and the buildings. The end-result will be the creation of two virtually self-contained communities within the islands.


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

For further media information:
Neil Perkins, NDP Publicity Services, UAE Marlboro Desert Challenge press office, Dubai International Marine Club, Dubai, UAE, Tel: + (9714) 3994673, Fax: + (9714) 3994149, Mob: + (971) (050) 5594369
E-mail: NDPPublicity@compuserve.com

Date issued: 12/10/2003

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