Iconic desert rally Dubai International Baja to make return next month - GulfToday

Iconic desert rally Dubai International Baja to make return next month


Dubai International Baja, the oldest motorsport event in the UAE, is scheduled for November 10-12.

Gulf Today, Staff Reporter

The desert dunes of Dubai are set to resound with the rumble of engines once more as the oldest motorsport event in the UAE, the iconic Dubai International Baja, makes a thrilling return next month for the best-of-the-best of World Cup Rallying.

This year marks the seventh edition running under its current format, and it promises to be the biggest and most exciting yet.The event kicks off in Festival City in Dubai on Nov.10, 2023.

Scheduled for November 10-12, the Dubai International Baja takes place under the patronage of Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai. 

The high-octane event is organized by the Emirates Motorsport Organisation (EMSO), the governing body for over 150 motorsport events held annually in the UAE, along with the continued support of the Dubai Government and strategic partners Dubai Festival City, Toyota Al Futtaim, and ENOC.

Following the cancellation of Jordan Baja announced yesterday by the Organizers and the Federation International de Motocyclism (FIM) due to the unstable geopolitical situation, the Dubai International Baja will once again be the last round of the season and will surely see electrifying duels across most categories in both World Cups.

Originally programmed to be the season’s penultimate event, the event features on the calendar for both the 2023 FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas and the 2022 FIM Bajas World Cup.

With several categories very tight in the points and one event less in the calendar, the Expectation is high, and the competition in Dubai promises to be a thrilling race for glory as both World Cups go down to the wire.

Khalid Ben Sulayem, EMSO President, said: “We are thankful for the unwavering support from Sheikh Hamdan. Today, the rally stands tall as a testament to Dubai’s commitment to the world of sport. His Highness’s patronage ensures a top-tier event that brings world-class rallying to Dubai and showcases the best of Dubai to the Bajas World Series.”

“We’ve been working closely with the government authorities, and both the FIA and the FIM, to not only stage an epic show but also ensure the highest organizational and safety standards for everyone involved.

“Dubai Festival City offers a fabulous backdrop for the rally, and with some innovations we are introducing together this year to the Dubai Baja, we expect an exhilarating rally.”

The event organizer has been working hand in hand with strategic partners Al Futtaim Toyota and Dubai Festival City, and some very exciting new introductions to the event aiming to give a spectacle like has never been seen in the city’s heart before will be announced in the upcoming days.

Today’s event traces its roots back to the late 1970s when the event formerly known as Dubai International Rally – originally tailored only for cars — started to be staged annually.

Since 1997, EMSO (formerly ATCUAE) has been behind the delivery of the oldest motorsport event in the country, and it was Mohammed Ben Sulayem himself, former President of the EMSO and current FIA President, who led the way to the event’s development. More suited to the UAE’s natural desertic terrain, the introduction of a Cross-Country Baja format made the event accessible not just to cars but also to buggies, bikes, and quads. This transformation has proved a success with an influx of entrants from across the region and internationally.


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