Nissan will continue to be title sponsor of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge after agreeing to extend the partnership with the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE (ATCUAE).

The race, which is officially known as the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge Powered By Nissan, sees competitors weave their way through the sand dunes of the Al Dafrah region of the UAE.

“Nissan, and the Nissan Patrol as the official car for the event, have become synonymous with the Desert Challenge over the years, and we are very happy to extend the very close working partnership we enjoy with the ATCUAE,” Kalyana Sivagnanam, president at Nissan Middle East, said.

“We’re proud of the role we have played alongside the national motorsport authority in developing the event’s status and reputation on the international stage, in the process showcasing the appeal of Abu Dhabi and the deserts of the Al Dafrah Region.”

Mohammad Bin Sulayem, president of the ATCUAE and FIA vice-president for sport, added: “Long-running partnerships like the one we have with Nissan Middle East are so rare in rallying, and their consistent support has been vital to keep the event at the top in the World Cup series.”

“We’re fortunate to have the support of a leading manufacturer which shares our enthusiasm for the sport, and like us is committed to making sure it’s future is secure.”

The partnership between Nissan and the Desert Challenge also includes the supply of a fleet of Nissan Patrols used by the ATCUAE’s route planning team to map out the race’s stages.

ATCUAE chief Sulayem founded the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge in 1991. The face of UAE motorsport for the past three decades, he became the first Arab driver to win an international rally outside the Middle East when he claimed victory in Turkey’s Bosphorous rally in 1991.