DOHA (Qatar): This year’s Manateq Qatar Cross-Country Rally would not have been possible without the support of crucial sponsors who have offered vital backing to the Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation (QMMF) for the fourth round of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies and round two of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship, taking place this week.
Representatives of Manateq and Katara were present at the first of two pre-event press conferences being hosted by the QMMF at the Katara cultural village late on Tuesday afternoon. Milaha is also a vital sponsor of this year’s event.
Manateq’s CEO Fahad Al-Kaabi joined QMMF President Abdulrahman Al-Mannai at the pre-event sponsors’ press conference.
This opportunity for members of the media to meet senior officials from the three companies preceded a second press conference for a selection of leading drivers taking part in the event.
Qatar’s Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah and Adel Abdulla, South African Giniel de Villiers, Czech Martin Prokop, Russian Vladimir Vasilyev and Poland’s Jakub Przygonski were in attendance at the drivers’ press conference.
Manateq is a Qatar Government organisation and has formed a strategic partnership with the QMMF to support all motor sporting events and activities for the next couple of years. The company has a vision to promote economic diversification for the benefit of the State of Qatar and a mission to create a world-class business environment that enables domestic and foreign investors to deliver products and services to local, regional and international markets.
The company was established in 2011 under the chairmanship of His Excellency Sheikh Ahmed Bin Jassim Al-Thani, the Minister of Economy and Commerce, and is a vital cog in the effort of achieving economic development under the Qatar National Vision 2030. One of the policies is to look way beyond the 2022 World Cup and to establish non-oil related industries in Qatar.
Manateq’s CEO Fahad Al-Kaabi said: “We are proud to sign the sponsorship agreement with the QMMF to be title sponsor of all its rallies for the coming two years. These events attract thousands of fans of all ages.
“Manateq always demonstrates its continuous support for Qatar National Vision 2030 and would always promote the nation’s aim to become a global sports’ destination and to host world class sporting events. We extend our best wishes to all the competitors who will be taking part in the Qatar Cross-Country Rally and the Baja this week.”
Katara is Qatar’s cultural village and hosted the ceremonial start and the pre-event press conference for the first time, with competitors lining up at the start podium in front of Katara’s renowned amphitheatre.
The impressive facility was built on the eastern coast between West Bay and the Pearl, north of Doha, and opened in October 2010 during the Doha Tribeca Film Festival. It features an opera house, cinema, conference hall, beach, a souq, a maritime museum and numerous restaurants and up-market retail stores.
Milaha (Qatar Navigation) runs under the chairmanship of His Excellency Sheikh Ali Bin Jassim bin Mohammed Al-Thani and is one of the Middle East’s largest diversified maritime and logistics services companies.
It began life as the Qatar National Navigation & Transport Company (QNNTC) back in 1957 and was the first shipping agent in Qatar. The company gathered impetus through various joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions and underwent a strategic transformation into Milaha in 2011.
A first direct container service between Qatar and India was launched in 2015, an offshore office was opened in Singapore in 2016 and warehousing facilities were set-up in Oman last year. The company now has an expanding fleet, state-of-the-art equipment, well-trained manpower and world-class partners.
“Running an event as complex as the Manateq Qatar Cross-Country Rally requires a considerable amount of logistical expertise and co-operation between many different companies and Government departments,” said QMMF President Abdulrahman Al-Mannai.
“We are delighted to be working closely with Manateq, Katara and Milaha this year and look forward to seeing the event continue to develop as part of the portfolio of motor sporting events that are staged by the Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation.”
The competitive action gets underway with a 4.50km super special stage at the Losail International Circuit from 16.15hrs on Wednesday afternoon.