MERC: Extra security for Dubai event

Sulayem says official support vital to keep Dubai International Rally on course Dubai, UAE, 22nd November, 2006: The region's top rally drivers will battle out the final round of the 2006 FIA Middle East Championship in Dubai next week...

Sulayem says official support vital to keep Dubai International Rally on course

Dubai, UAE, 22nd November, 2006: The region's top rally drivers will battle out the final round of the 2006 FIA Middle East Championship in Dubai next week with the benefit of a major safety operation co-ordinated by Dubai Police.

Details of the safety plan for the Dubai International Rally were finalised yesterday during a meeting between Brigadier Dr. Jamal Mohammed Khalifa Al Marri, Deputy Commandant General, Dubai Police, and Mohammed Ben Sulayem, President of the Automobile and Touring Club for the UAE (ATCUAE), the event organisers.

When the event gets under way next Thursday (30th November), Dubai Police helicopters will provide air cover and emergency support if needed as the 30 cars tackle special stages in the Hatta and Jebel Ali areas.

A sophisticated Dubai Police communications system will allow the ATCUAE to provide an instant response to any incidents, and a fleet of ambulances will be on standby throughout the event.

"Obviously, we're hoping that there will be no emergency situations and the chances are that the rally will go off without any serious incidents," said Sulayem.

"But we have to always appreciate that accidents can happen in rallying, and because of that we're indebted to Dubai Police for the invaluable support they have provided for the Dubai International Rally since it began in 1979"

Sulayem, who won the event 15 times and also captured 14 Middle East rally titles, added: "The expertise the Police bring to the event makes it probably the safest rally in the Middle East Championship, and all drivers will appreciate that."

He also praised the Unified Ambulance Centre for its comprehensive rally support, and said the backing of Dubai Ports World and the Dubai Immigration authorities was vital to provide quick and easy access to Dubai for competitors and their vehicles arriving from other parts of the Gulf and overseas.

"The public see the drivers and their cars in action either live, or on TV, but behind the scenes it takes a huge team effort to make the event happen," he said. "We couldn't do it without the great support we receive from the authorities in Dubai."

The 2006 Dubai International Rally takes place from 29th November to 1st December under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of the Dubai Department of Civil Aviation, Chairman of Emirates Group and Chairman of Dubai Aerospace Enterprise.

The event enjoys the full backing of the Government of Dubai and is sponsored by Nakheel, Dubai's premier property developer, Emarat, Hertz UAE, the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, Shamil, Mashreqbank, Damas and the Al Bustan Rotana Hotel, the official headquarters for the event.

Qatar's Nasser Al Attiyah, who has already clinched the Middle East drivers' title for the second year in a row, heads a powerful line-up of drivers away from the start at the Al Bustan Rotana Hotel at 9.30am next Thursday. A 640-km route containing 14 special stages finishes at the hotel at 3pm the following day.

-credit: Total Communications

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Series RALLY