The third leg of this year’s Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge will see the 101-strong field undertake an itinerary unique in the event’s 21-year history, as two separate stages start and finish at the stunning Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara.
Following on the Abu Dhabi city-based Super Special stage, the specially-organised visit to Qasr Al Sarab - a luxury five-star resort lying deep in the Western Region area of Liwa Desert - will again allow spectators to get up-close to the riders and racers in one of the world’s most gruelling cross-country rallies.
Named Qasr Al Sarab, the double-stage Leg 3 evidences the evolving nature of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge. With long distance rallies traditionally being reserved for the most dedicated of fans and competitors, this year’s event – as part of the organisers’ strategy to twin sport and tourism - dovetails rugged landscapes with luxurious urban and rural getaways.
The first, two-and-half hour pass begins at 7:00am, just off the edge of the E65 road at Tharwaniyah. From there, competitors will tear through 170km of spectacular, red dunes in the Liwa Desert, including the iconic Tal Moreeb – the UAE’s largest dune.
Drivers and riders will then have just over an hour to regroup and refuel, before heading up to the starting point of stage two - the Arabian fort-inspired entrance of Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort.
Fans and hotel guests will have the opportunity to mingle with the world-class field before it sets off on the second pass – a 175km voyage that takes in the Ramlat Ar Rabbad desert and the Al Qasr Desert Recreation Centre at Humeem Gatch before ending at the event’s bivouac desert base at approximately 1:00pm.
The Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge is one of the world’s top cross-country rallies and continually attracts some of the most famous rally drivers and riders from across the globe. It continues until April 7, and this year a landmark partnership with Eurosport TV will see daily global broadcasts of all the action.