UAE Desert Challenge attracts wide range of local sponsors

MONDAY, OCTOBER 13TH, 2003 - noon

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

For immediate release
Monday, October 13th, 2003


DUBAI (UAE): The organisers of the five-day UAE Marlboro Desert Challenge announced on (Monday) at a press conference in the Dubai International Marine Club (DIMC), the sponsors which have made this year's final round of both the FIM and FIA Cross Country Rallies World Cups possible.

The event gets underway with a Prologue stage on on Palm Island, Jumeira on Monday, October 20th, but Mohammed Ben Sulayem, the chairman of the organising committee, took this opportunity to thank local supporters of what has become the biggest motorsport event in the Middle East.

The event will be supported for a 11th successive year by the Phillip Morris tobacco brand Marlboro. Improvements and changes have also been brought about by the continued support of companies such as Adnoc and Emarat. Both UAE companies supply crucial fuel and oil supplies to officials and competitors throughout the five-day event, which crosses some of the remotest terrain in the Middle East.

VIPs and senior officials will be housed at the Le Meridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort and Marina for the first time, with rally officials and the event press office situated within the confines of the nearby DIMC. Le Meridien will also host the beachside gala dinner on Friday, October 24th.

~The event would not have been possible without the support of the UAE Government, UAE Armed Forces and Dubai's Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing,~ said Ben Sulayem. ~Emirates Airlines have also provided assistance and GAC have provided vital logistical and technical support.~

The official UAE Desert Challenge website will be monitored and updated throughout the rally by Dubai-based Anlonits and Konica have provided photocopiers and stationery for the rally offices and media centres at the DIMC and in Liwa.

The results and media relations operations will benefit from vital support from Inmarsat, the global satellite communications company. They will provide computer equipment and ISDN satellite telephony to enable journalists to send words and images around the globe from the remote bivouac location in Liwa.

Competitors, officials and members of the media will consume an estimated 20,000 litres of water and Dubai-based Oasis will provide crucial supplies.

Organising the myriad of logistics needed to ensure the smooth running of the event is a considerable task and Ignazio Messina Shipping have provided support in transporting vehicles, bikes and equipment from Genoa in Italy for the many international teams taking part this year.

Rounds of the FIA World Cup now run a traditional Prologue stage to determine starting order and a new stage will be used to determine the order for the first of four desert sections on Tuesday, October 21st.

For many years this has taken place on a short stage in Dubai, but the organisers have benefitted from the support of 'The Palm' this year in organising an exciting 2.4 kms stage on one of the two new planned Palm Island holiday resort complexes, south of Dubai.

~To all our sponsors, big and small, I offer a big thank you on behalf of the organisers of the UAE Desert Challenge,~ said Ben Sulayem. ~Staging an event of this scale would not have been possible without their valuable support.~

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.


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 officer, UAE Marlboro Desert Challenge media centre, Dubai International Marine Club, Dubai, UAE, Tel: + (9714) 3994673, Fax: + (9714) 3994149, Mob: + (971) (050) 5594369
E-mail: NDPPublicity@compuserve.com

Date issued: 13/10/2003

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