If you are into driving in sand, then this is the event for you! Four-wheelers, cars, motorbikes speed across the country in the second event of the Dakar Rally. If you are missing it this year, plan on being here next January 2022! You are sure to meet people from around the world. The following is an excerpt from article in arabnews.com, Jan. 11 2021, written by Hala Tashkandi. The link at bottom of the page contains full article and also has great photos.
“RIYADH: For the second year in a row, Dakar Rally drivers, bikers and other assorted daredevils are hitting the dunes, and as the race continues across the diverse terrain of the Arabian Peninsula, problems can occur with the rough tracks.
Leave it to Saudis to come to the rescue. Videos on social media have appeared since the start of the race on Jan. 3, with locals excitedly taking to Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram to share footage of their encounters with the Dakar racers as they offer them directions, cold water, hot coffee and assistance with their vehicles.
Naif Al-Harbi, founder of the interfaith NGO Saudis for Peace, tweeted a series of pictures of Dakar drivers sipping tea around a campfire with some locals and being offered dates, Arabic coffee and even bukhoor (traditional Saudi incense) inside a traditional Sadu tent.
Al-Harbi told Arab News he was excited that the Kingdom had the opportunity to show the world the true beauty of its landscape, as well as the kind nature of its people. “Big international events like the Dakar Rally are great opportunities for Saudis to learn about the world, but also for the world to learn about Saudis. The tourism visas were just the beginning; they opened the door for the world to visit us, and with events like the Dakar Rally, the Formula E races, and now the Formula 1 race, people have more incentive than ever to visit the Kingdom,” he said.”