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

Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates - View in Google Maps

Records

2017 Sam Sunderland
2016 Toby Price
2015 Marc Coma
2014 Paulo Gonçalves
2013 Marc Coma
2012 Marc Coma
2018 Cross-Country Rallies
Post-Race Round W1   Abu Dhabi

Monster Energy Honda Team got the rally season underway with the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge. The first round of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship saw, for the first time, the participation of all five team riders getting their first post-Dakar taste of desert racing. Kevin Benavides’ third place overall… read more.


2018 Cross-Country Rallies
Stage Round W1, 5   Abu Dhabi

Monster Energy Honda Team rider Kevin Benavides has managed to finish round one of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship on the rostrum. The Argentinean took third place overall in the rally. Nacho Cornejo clinched the Junior category title. The Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge wrapped up today with Monster Energy… read more.


2018 Cross-Country Rallies
Stage Round W1   Abu Dhabi

Another hot day in the great dunes of Liwa, on a day when many of the backmarkers in the general standings were able to pull back time from the leading riders. Kevin Benavides opened the track, while Paulo Gonçalves managed to post the day’s third fastest time. The fourth and… read more.


2018 Cross-Country Rallies
Stage Round W1, 2   Abu Dhabi

Monster Energy Honda Team rider Kevin Benavides remains on the provisional podium of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge after day three where he opened the track for much of the special stage. The Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, the first round of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship, reached its halfway… read more.


2018 Cross-Country Rallies
Stage Round W1, 1   Abu Dhabi

The second stage of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, held in the middle of the Liwa desert, proved to be a high-speed affair full of many steep, waving dunes, combined with others with sharp descents. So as to avoid potential accidents, riders were forced to be prudent and pay close… read more.


2018 Cross-Country Rallies
Stage Round W1, 1   Abu Dhabi

The first round of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship, the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge sprung in to action in the United Arab Emirates with the first heavy dose of dunes in this open desert race. Benavides, was the best rider of the Monster Energy Honda Team. Riders had to… read more.


2018 Cross-Country Rallies
Preview Round W1   Abu Dhabi

After a two-month hiatus, Monster Energy Honda Team returns once more to competition. The Honda CRF450 RALLY will be back in the fray this week with the dispute of the first World Rally Raid event, the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge. The 2018 FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship opens this week… read more.


2017 Cross-Country Rallies
Post-Race Round FIM-1, 1   Abu Dhabi

April brought with it the first round of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship, with the participation of the Monster Energy Honda Team, who begin a programme of preparation that will ultimately culminate in the Dakar 2018. Monster Energy Honda Team were back in action as the FIM Cross-Country Rallies… read more.


2017 Cross-Country Rallies
Stage Round FIM-1, 5   Abu Dhabi

Monster Energy Honda Team’s debut in the 2017 FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship turned out to be a positive one with good sensations for the team and a fourth overall place for Paulo Gonçalves. There were few surprises in the final stage of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge which unfolded… read more.


2017 Cross-Country Rallies
Stage Round FIM-1, 4   Abu Dhabi

Monster Energy Honda Team make their biggest impact on the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge so far: a stage win and overall leadership for the Honda CRF450 RALLY duo in the penultimate stage. The fourth and penultimate stage in Abu Dhabi, held in the dunes of Liwa desert, proved to be… read more.


2017 Cross-Country Rallies
Stage Round FIM-1, 3   Abu Dhabi

The longest stage of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge failed to produce major changes at the top of the general standings. Paulo Gonçalves, yesterday’s overall leader after the sanction of Walkner, took fourth spot on the day. The third stage of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge sees the race arrive… read more.


2017 Cross-Country Rallies
Stage Round FIM-1, 2   Abu Dhabi

The Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge moves into the heart of the Liwa desert with a dune-filled and navigationally tricky second stage. Paulo Gonçalves battles back from a fall to post second on the day. A penalty to Matthias Walkner for speeding has given the Portuguese the lead of the provisional.… read more.


2017 Cross-Country Rallies
Stage Round FIM-1, 1   Abu Dhabi

Monster Energy Honda Team’s Paulo Gonçalves and Kevin Benavides got their Abu Dhabi adventure underway with a technical first stage. Gonçalves posted fourth and Benavides sixth in a race that promises to be tightly-fought over the coming stages. Some three months after the Dakar, where the riders of Monster Energy… read more.


2017 Cross-Country Rallies
Prologue Round FIM-1, 1   Abu Dhabi

Monster Energy Honda Team get the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship underway in Abu Dhabi with the Super Special at the Yas Marina Circuit. A curtain-raiser of just over two kilometres of Super Special marked the opening of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge at the Yas Marina Circuit this afternoon… read more.


2017 Cross-Country Rallies
Preview Round FIM-1, 1   Abu Dhabi

Monster Energy Honda Team begin the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship campaign this weekend with the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge. Paulo Gonçalves and Kevin Benavides line up for the race. After kicking off the season successfully with American Ricky Brabec clinching a notable victory at the Sonora Rally, Monster Energy… read more.


2015 Cross Countries Rally
Stage Round 1, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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.