Confirmed: Dakar Rally Moving to Saudi Arabia in 2020

Toby Price in Dakar 2019
  • The Dakar Rally is moving to Saudi Arabia beginning 2020.

  • The move is due to political and monetary concerns in South America.

  • Stay tuned for the press conference on 25th April.

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The Dakar Rally is moving to Saudi Arabia beginning 2020, after months of speculation.

Rumours of the end of the series in South America began within weeks after the completion of the 2019 edition. There were also rumours of the race heading back to Africa, albeit in the south. Soon, an Instagram post claimed that the Saudis were lobbying to hold the race.

Confirmation of the move was confirmed by a Dakar Rally’s official Facebook post.

Africa had hosted the rally since the beginning but political upheavals in Mauritania forced the cancellation of the 2008 edition. The organizers decided to move to the South American continent, where the rally was held in Argentina, Bolivia and Peru.

However, more political and financial concerns dogged the Dakar, forcing it to be held in Peru along earlier this year.

That’s when rumours began circulating that it might head back to the African continent, but will take place in South Africa, Namibia, Angola and Botswana instead of in the historic northern regions.

But an Instagram post by a competitor identified the Saudi kingdom as the next venue. The rally will now cover part of the 3.6 million square kilometre Arabian desert.

The Dakar’s organizer Amaury Sport Organization (ASO) confirmed that they have inked a five-year deal with Saudi Arabia. The kingdom is now an addition as a motorsport venue in the Arabian Peninsula along with Qatar, Oman and United Arab Emirates.

A press conference will be held on 25th April to reveal the details of the 2020 Dakar Rally.

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