The Moscow-Doha motor rally team was accorded a warm welcome on their arrival in Qatar last week on a ‘first-of-its-kind’ initiative.

Starting from Russia on April 18, the team arrived in Qatar after completing a 20-day journey.

The team comprised 11 participants, including Qatari student Ahmed Yussef al-Hail, who is studying at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO).

Qatar’s ambassador to Russia Fahad bin Mohamed al-Attiyah, along with Hassan al-Ibrahim, assistant secretary-general of the Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC) and other dignitaries welcomed the rallyists who attended a reception held in their honour. The reception celebrated the success of the rally.

Al-Attiyah, while addressing the reception, said the rally will be an annual event. Describing it as successful, he said the rally would have public participation in the coming years.

The vehicles used by the team.

Al-Ibrahim said the rally will support sports tourism, which is one of the four main pillars identified by the National Tourism Sector Strategy 2017-2023.

“This initiative aims to achieve the objectives of growth and development in the sports tourism sector. We have been able to strengthen the status of Qatar over the past years as a preferred sports tourism destination desired by all athletes and sportspersons from different sports fields and sectors.

“Through such impactful initiatives, the National Tourism Council works to promote and increase its diversity, highlighting Qatar’s unparalleled capabilities, facilities and offerings in the region. With this rally, we are cultivating one of the most fruitful results of those efforts,” he said.

Alexander Korobko, who was leading the Russian Hour film crew documenting this first episode of the rally, thanked Qatar for the warm welcome they received from the moment they arrived in Doha.

He said the Moscow-Doha Rally would attract more youth towards sports and stressed its growing importance.

The participants travelled in three UAZ Patriots, the renowned Russian vehicles known for their capabilities on all types of tracks as well as off the road. After departing Moscow, the team travelled in the UAZs for 20 days, with stops in major cities such as Kursk, Volgograd, Elista, Makhachkala, Derbent, Baku, Tehran, Isfahan and Shiraz.

After that, the team took the water path from Bushehr to Al Ruwais in the northern part of Qatar to reach Doha.