The erstwhile UAE Desert Challenge, one of the world’s most prestigious international cross country rallies, entered a new era in March 2009 when it was renamed the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge with the five-day motor sport spectacular being staged in its entirety across Abu Dhabi emirate under the auspices of the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA), with the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE (ATCUAE) retaining its event organisational role.

Originally the last round of both the FIM Cross Country Rallies World Championship and the FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup, in 2014, the Desert Challenge will be the season-opening round for the FIM World Championship and round 3 of the FIA World Cup, and is, over the years, expected to further strengthen Abu Dhabi’s credentials as a tourism destination of distinction and major sporting events hub.

While previous Desert Challenges have seen motorbike, quad-bike, four wheel and truck competitors battle cross-emirate stages, the event in recent years has gradually migrated towards a majority routing through Abu Dhabi’s majestic desert areas.

During the Challenge, competitors face two days of documentation and scrutinising (usually on a Friday and Saturday), before a Super Special Stage (on a Sunday) which decides the starting order. Competitors then brave the Liwa Desert and the Moreeb area of the Empty Quarter for five days.

Supplied by : http://abudhabidesertchallenge.com/ 

Location Information

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2015 Cross Countries Rally
Stage Round 1, Stage 5   Abu Dhabi

A sandstorm puts paid to the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge 2015. Race authorities, unable to offer the riders adequate measures of security, decide to cancel the final stage before the race start, therefore meaning yesterday’s final results stand. Ricky Brabec wins the junior category and finishes fifth in the general… read more.


2015 Cross Countries Rally
Stage Round 1, Stage 4   Abu Dhabi

The penultimate day of racing at the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge failed to produce the kind of results that Team HRC had been hoping for; Barreda, opening the track, took sixth place; Brabec finished seventh. Paulo Gonçalves was unable to make it through the special stage. Team HRC, who had… read more.


2015 Cross Countries Rally
Stage Round 1, Stage 3   Abu Dhabi

Portuguese rider Paulo Goncalves grabbed the third stage victory in the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, climbing up one place into second spot in the general rankings. Noteworthy specials too from Barreda – home in fourth – and Brabec in seventh. The Honda CRF450 RALLY was back in a starring role… read more.


2015 Cross Countries Rally
Stage Round 1, Stage 2   Abu Dhabi

Shaking off yesterday’s troubles which ruled out any chance of winning the overall rally, Joan Barreda today re-established himself with a second-stage triumph in the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge. Paulo Gonçalves remains in third and Brabec finishes among the top riders. The longest stage in the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge… read more.


2015 Cross Countries Rally
Stage Round 1, Stage 1   Abu Dhabi

Team HRC overcomes various setbacks to make it through the first day of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge with Paulo Gonçalves and Ricky Brabec finishing the special among the front-runners in third and fifth respectively. The asphalt of the Yas Marina circuit in the pre-rally build-up has given way to… read more.


2015 Cross Countries Rally
Prologue Round 1, Preview 1   Abu Dhabi

It will be symbolic special stage at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi that raises the curtain on the 2015 FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship. Paulo Gonçalves will be out to defend his victory in last year’s edition. With the competition now celebrating twenty-five years of history, including twenty… read more.


2015 Cross Countries Rally
Preview Round 1, Preview 1   Abu Dhabi

The action returns once more as we bid farewell to silly season. It will be sand, dunes and competition galore as the first race of the FIM Cross Country Rallies World Championship – the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge – fires up this weekend and Team HRC will be right there… read more.


2015 Cross Countries Rally
News Round 1   Abu Dhabi

Countdown to the new rally season. It’s ten weeks since the Dakar 2015 ended and Joan Barreda is now all fired up and ready to get down to business with Team HRC at the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge. Back to the grind! Joan Barreda is a man on mission: to… read more.


2014 Cross Countries Rally
Stage Round 1, Stage 6   Abu Dhabi

Paulo Gonçalves has won the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, the first race in the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship after winning the fifth and final stage of the race. Joan Barreda finished third and Hélder Rodrigues was fourth on the final day. In what was a great all-round team effort… read more.


2014 Cross Countries Rally
Stage Round 1, Stage 5   Abu Dhabi

Joan Barreda wins yet another stage of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, commanding from the start after a spectacular motocross-style start. Paulo Gonçalves, is second in the overall standings keeping open his chances of winning the rally.   Joan ‘Bang Bang’ Barreda rode a superb fourth stage of the Abu… read more.


2014 Cross Countries Rally
Stage Round 1, Stage 4   Abu Dhabi

A highly productive day for Team HRC riders at the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, with Joan Barreda flying to victory in the third special just ahead of team-mate and reigning world champion Paulo Gonçalves. It was a terrific win for Joan Barreda in the third stage of the Abu Dhabi… read more.


2014 Cross Countries Rally
Stage Round 1, Stage 3   Abu Dhabi

Team HRC’s Paulo Gonçalves finished the second stage of the Desert Challenge in third place and Joan Barreda likewise repeated yesterday’s fourth place. Hélder Rodrigues crossed the line in seventh after starting out from way behind. The second stage went as planned with the three riders on the Honda CRF450… read more.


2014 Cross Countries Rally
Stage Round 1, Stage 2   Abu Dhabi

The first stage of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge wound up in Qsar Al Sarab, at the gateway to the great erg in the southern region of the country, after a vertiginous day that included 290 km against the clock and considerable dangers. The stage was also marked by the… read more.


2014 Cross Countries Rally
Stage Round 1, Stage 1   Abu Dhabi

Joan Barreda proved to be the fastest in the Super Special at the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, the first test in the FIM World Championship of Cross-Country Rallies. Paulo Gonçalves finished in fifth and Hélder Rodrigues sixth. It was an excellent start for Team HRC at the Abu Dhabi Desert… read more.


2014 Cross Countries Rally
Preview Round 1, Preview 1   Abu Dhabi

Paulo Gonçalves, current world champion in the FIM Cross-Country Rallies, starts the championship in Abu Dhabi with the number one emblazoned on the fairings of his Honda CRF450 RALLY. Team HRC waltzed through the mandatory checks today ahead of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge which gets underway tomorrow at the… read more.