The Moroccan Tourism Authority have announced their backing of the latest offshoot of the famous Gazelle Rally which will see all-female teams taking on a gruelling course in Inner Mongolia from 2020.
The Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles, now in its 30th year, was born in Morocco and features over 150 intrepid teams navigating their way through parts of the Sahara Desert armed with little more than a map, pencil, and a compass.
Apart from being an incredible tool to empower women, over the years, the event has promoted the North African nation’s image around the world. As a result, the Moroccan National Tourist Office expressed its desire to become a title partner of the new Gazelles Morocco China – an event which will take place in the Inner Mongolia region of China in 2020.
A promotional event to launch the new rally will take place in Naiman Qi from October 23-26 this year, with 10 teams made up of drivers from 12 different nations taking part.
The Gazelles Morocco China aims to adapt the unique concept of the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles in Asia. The objective remains to empower women, and is for the more experienced “Gazelles” to share their knowledge with Chinese crews, but also to allow previous participants to test themselves in a new environment.
The first edition will take place during the second half of 2020 and will bring together 60 crews of all nationalities.
Gazelles Morocco China is organised by French company Maïenga in collaboration with Beijing Mitime Sports, a leading promoter of sport in China.
“Morocco has always encouraged sports initiatives with strong human values. The Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles is the perfect example. It’s an all-women adventure that goes beyond personal fulfilment in that it involves the local population as well,” said Mr. Adel El Fakir, Managing Director of the Moroccan National Tourist Office
“This is why the Moroccan National Tourist Office has always supported this event and we are proud today that it is being exported to China, by creating Gazelles Morocco China. We are even more thrilled that China is a nation that is a friend of Morocco. Our links are very strong, having just sealed an important partnership which will undoubtedly allow a considerable development in the flow of tourism.”
The partnership between the two nations will soon be cemented with a direct flight between Morocco and China which is set to begin operation between the end of 2019 and the first quarter of 2020.
Meanwhile, explaining the decision to expand the rally to China, Dominique Serra, founder of the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles, added: “After 30 years of progress, the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles has become a reference and a great springboard for women of all nationalities.
“It was time for me to open a new chapter in Gazelle history, starting in China what I started 30 years ago in Morocco. For two years, I worked hard to develop and to assemble the necessary forces to initiate this new adventure.
“It gives me great pleasure to share the news of this launch with you.”