Although the agreement between Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), organiser of Dakar Rally, and Saudi Arabia is of five years, there is a catch in it which could allow other countries like Jordan and Egypt to be a part of the 2021 Rally.
As per the agreement, the 2020 Rally will be limited to Saudi Arabia only in the first year (2020) but after that, it is open to exploring other options.
According to the event’s director David Castera, Dakar is looking to expand the event beyond Saudi Arabia and into other countries for 2021. He says that ASO is already looking into which other countries could join the route in 2021.
Castera said, “Only the first year will it be held 100% in Saudi Arabia and then we will evaluate other countries too. For example, there is Jordan. I’ve been talking with their representatives these days and they’ve asked me to go there. It is true that it is not so simple, but it is clear that there are other countries that can enter.”
Jordan, which borders Saudi Arabia to the northwest, is considered to be the main contender along with Egypt, which had previously hosted the rally in 2000 when it began in Dakar and ended in Cairo, and in 2003, when Sharm el-Sheikh temporarily replaced Dakar as the event’s finishing point.
Preparations for Dakar 2020 are in full swing; the route has been finalised, registration has been opened. We are super excited about this major event that’s going to take place on the Middle East soil for the first time.
Stay tuned for the latest updates.