By Dalia Darweesh

Dakar Rally - Competitive Driver Tariq Al-Rammah: Aramcon Al-Rammah, Dakar Driver, Rallies Around Jiddah
Aramcon Tariq S. Al-Rammah, shown here raising the Saudi flag after competing in the Dakar Rally, is racing again this year. The race concludes this weekend.

The famous Dakar Rally is racing through the deserts and dunes of Saudi Arabia for a second time. The 43rd off-road race, which started in Jiddah on Jan. 3 and ends in the city on Jan. 15, covers more than 7,000 km in new routes, providing many challenges for the more than 200 participants, 12 of whom are female.


One of the participants is Aramcon Tariq S. Al-Rammah — an HR generalist with the Environmental Protection Business Staff Group — who is driving in the rally for a second time. Looking back at last year’s rally, he said, “I found the entire experience to be outstanding. The event’s organization, the layout of the track, and its spectacular routes, in addition to the adherence of high safety standards — exceeded all of my expectations.”

Al-Rammah said that it’s nice to see what Saudi Arabia and its people can achieve. He noticed great interest from rally participants, who admired the rally’s organization and safety standards during the entire event. He said it was also a great experience to introduce and share the country’s local culture with fellow drivers during the event.

Even at a young age, Al-Rammah was fascinated by rally sports and has worked hard to develop his skills to eventually obtain an International FIA/ FIM Cross-Country Rally license from the U.K., which enabled him to participate in races and rallies, including the Dakar Rally.

Dakar Rally - Competitive Driver Tariq Al-Rammah: Aramcon Al-Rammah, Dakar Driver, Rallies Around Jiddah

Lasting impact

This year, the Dakar Rally has the environment as its theme. It will help support ambitious initiatives to promote and develop innovative low-emission vehicle solutions, including the use of fuel-efficient engines, electric motors, and green energy.

The rally has stringent rules and regulations in place and it is not easy to be a participant. Prior to the start of the event, organizers inspect the competitors’ vehicles to ensure adherence to the strict race guidelines. Those who don’t follow the rules are immediately disqualified.

Dakar Rally - Competitive Driver Tariq Al-Rammah: Aramcon Al-Rammah, Dakar Driver, Rallies Around Jiddah

Safety first

Al-Rammah always promotes the importance of safety and protection of the environment and his goal is to always represent himself and Aramco with the best image. The Dakar Rally is more about being a safety event rather than an extreme sport.

“The rally will showcase Saudi Arabia’s talented pool of competitive drivers, showing the entire world what we can achieve in the spirit of competition,” he said.

COVID-19 protocols

Sanitary protocols have been established and will be implemented at the 43rd Dakar Rally as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The event’s organizers along with Saudi authorities have developed sanitary protocols according to current regulations, including building a sanitary bubble, extensive PCR testing, and the wearing of masks. This safety strategy is governing every aspect of the race from start to finish.

— The Arabian Sun: January 20, 2021 | Vol. LXXVI, No. 3