· The 19-year-old Dubai-born racer will start in the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge in the T1+ category, the second round of the FIA World Rally-Raid Championship.

· She will be navigated again by experienced French co-driver Sébastian Delauney.

· Aliyyah Koloc is competing in both the FIA World Rally-Raid Championship and the FIA Middle East Cross Country Bajas in the off-road category. In addition, she continues endurance circuit racing in the 24-Hour Series.


This will only be the second time that Aliyyah participates in the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge. Last year, still in the T3 category in a Can-Am, she finished third among the registered FIA World Rally-Raid Championship runners in her class. This year, for the first time at the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge in a T1+, she is aiming for a trouble-free rally, getting some more experience under her belt.


“It will be my second time doing the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge but this time in the Ultimate category. It is a really difficult rally, only driving in the desert with some tricky dunes, particularly with this heavier car. Abu Dhabi will also be a very hot race, so it will be physically very demanding. Driving on the dunes there is difficult as you can get stuck quite easily. I remember that there are a lot of dunes in Abu Dhabi that can be broken, they are really hard to read. However, I have done fairly well in the Empty Quater during the Dakar, so I’m just going to try and do the same,” said Aliyyah before the Desert Challenge.


The Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge is one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious international cross-country rallies, founded in 1991. This year, the event will start in Al Dhannah City and run almost 1200 km of selective sections across sand and dunes. There will be new route sections and a return to Mezaira’a in the Liwa Oasis for the first time since 2002.


A busy and successful year already


2024 has already been a busy year for Aliyyah in her Buggyra Red-Lined Revo T1+ car. Racing in the FIA World Rally-Raid Championship as well as the FIA Middle-East Cross Country Bajas in the Ultimate category, Aliyyah looks back on a 25th overall result at the Dakar Rally last January as well as an excellent 5th in the Saudi Arabian Baja in Hail earlier this month.


Also, from a social media and PR outreach, Aliyyah has been very successful. During the Dakar Rally, over 80 hours of TV coverage that featured Aliyyah were distributed worldwide, and her videos recorded 28 million views. Her followers on Instagram have now reached the 1,7 million mark, with more than 200.000 on TikTok, to list just her most successful channels.


2024 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge timetable

February 26: Prologue Abu Dhabi to Al Dhannah

February 27: Stage 1 Al Dhannah

February 28: Stage 2 Al Dhannah to Mzerr’ah

February 29: Stage 3 Mezaira’a

March 1: Stage 4 Mezaira’a

March 2: Stage 5 Mezaira’a to Abu Dhabi