New 2024 Dakar Rally

The 2024 Dakar Rally certainly sounds like it’s shaping up to be an exciting event, with a diverse range of vehicles and a challenging route that covers a significant distance across Saudi Arabia. The introduction of the 48-hour Empty Quarter marathon stage adds an extra element of endurance and strategy, making it even more intriguing for both participants and spectators.

The mix of vehicles participating, from motorcycles and quads to various categories of cars and trucks, as well as the inclusion of innovative vehicles like the HySE Dakar vehicle, shows the broad appeal and the evolving nature of this iconic rally. The route itself, covering various terrains and distances, will test the skills and resilience of the competitors.

Saudi Arabia Rally

As the event approaches, it will be interesting to follow the preparations of the teams and the individual competitors. The Dakar Rally has always been about more than just speed; it’s about navigation, endurance, and the ability to overcome some of the most challenging conditions on the planet.


Key points of the 2024 Dakar Rally:

  • Dates: January 5-19, 2024
  • Location: Saudi Arabia
  • Total distance: 7,891 kilometres (4,903 miles)
  • Special stage distance: 5,000 kilometres (3,107 miles)
  • Number of stages: 12, including a 48-hour marathon stage
  • Start and finish: Al Ula
  • Number of competitors: 354 across all categories
  • New features:
    • 48-hour marathon stage in the Empty Quarter
    • Separate tracks for motorcycles/quads and cars/trucks in the marathon stage
    • Mission 1000 challenge for low-carbon vehicles
  • Where to follow the event: LivingWithGravity: LivingWithGravity will be covering the event

2024 Dakar Rally Timetable

DateStageStart/FinishTotal DistanceSpecial Stage Distance
Friday, January 5, 2024PrologueAl Ula to Al Ula158 km (98.18 miles)28 km (17.4 mi)
Saturday, January 6, 2024OneAl Ula to Al Henakiyah532 km (330.6 mi)405 km (251.65 mi)
Sunday, January 7, 2024TwoAl Henakiyah to Al Duwadimi662 km (411.3 mi)470 km (292 mi)
Monday, January 8, 2024ThreeAl Duwadimi to Al Salamiya733 km (455.5 mi)440 km (273.4 mi)
Tuesday, January 9, 2024FourAl Salamiya to Al-Hofuf631 km (392 mi)299 km (186 mi)
Wednesday, January 10, 2024FiveAl-Hofuf to Shubaytah727 km (452 mi)118 km (73.3 mi)
Thursday, January 11, 2024 and Friday, January 12, 2024Six – the 48 Hour Empty Quarter marathon challengeShubaytah to Shubaytah766 km (476 mi)532 km (330.6 mi)
Saturday, January 13, 2024Rest DayRiyadh  
Sunday, January 14, 2024SevenRiyadh to Al Duwadimi873 km (542.5 mi)483 km (300 mi)
Monday, January 15, 2024EightAl Duwadimi to Ha’il678 km (421 mi)458 km (284.6 mi)
Tuesday, January 16, 2024NineHa’il to Al Ula639 km (397 mi)417 km (259 mi)
Wednesday, January 17, 202410Al Ula to Al Ula609 km (378.4 mi)371 km (230.5 mi)
Thursday, January 18, 202411Al Ula to Yanbu587 km (365 mi)480 km (298 mi)
Friday, January 19, 202412Yanbu to Yanbu328 km (204 mi)175 km (109 mi)

Endurance Racing

Key Analysis

The 2024 Dakar Rally presents several key points of interest and analysis:

  • Route and Location: Hosting the event for the fifth consecutive year, Saudi Arabia offers a diverse and challenging terrain. The route, spanning over 7,891 kilometres, will test participants across various landscapes, including the daunting Empty Quarter. This diversity in terrain emphasizes the importance of vehicle robustness and driver navigational skills.
  • New 48-Hour Empty Quarter Stage: This new marathon stage is a significant addition. It brings an added layer of endurance and strategy, where competitors can assist each other but face limitations in terms of communication and support. This stage will likely be a critical turning point in the rally, impacting both the physical and mental resilience of the competitors.
  • Vehicle Diversity and Evolution: The range of vehicles, from motorcycles and quads to trucks and innovative vehicles like the HySE Dakar, highlights the rally’s inclusiveness and technological evolution. The introduction of collaborative projects like the HySE Dakar vehicle indicates a shift towards more sustainable and advanced technologies in rally racing.
  • Navigation and Strategy: The Dakar Rally is not just about speed; it’s equally about navigation and strategy. The vast distances, coupled with challenging terrains, require participants to be adept at route-finding and making strategic decisions under pressure.
  • Competitive Dynamics: The mix of 354 vehicles across different categories will create a dynamic competitive environment. The separation of tracks for motorcycles/quads and cars/trucks in the Empty Quarter stage is a strategic move to ensure fairness and add to the challenge, particularly for the four-wheeled vehicles.
  • Physical and Mental Endurance: The length of the rally, coupled with the harsh conditions, tests the physical and mental endurance of the competitors. Success in the Dakar Rally is as much about physical preparation and vehicle reliability as it is about mental toughness and the ability to adapt to unforeseen challenges.
  • Global Appeal and Media Coverage: The Dakar Rally continues to attract global attention, appealing to a wide range of motorsport enthusiasts. Comprehensive media coverage, including updates and insights from sources like RideApart, enhances its reach and engagement with a global audience.

Off-road Motorsport and Rally Navigation

The 2024 Dakar Rally promises to be a blend of rigorous physical challenge, strategic racing, and technological innovation, set against the backdrop of Saudi Arabia’s unique and challenging landscapes.

The 2024 Dakar Rally promises to be a blend of rigorous physical challenge, strategic racing, and technological innovation, set against the backdrop of Saudi Arabia’s unique and challenging landscapes.

For fans of motorsport and adventure racing, the Dakar Rally remains one of the most prestigious and demanding events on the calendar. With the 2024 edition set to continue this tradition, it’s definitely an event to keep an eye on. Remember to check in with RideApart for updates during and after the race to catch all the action and results.

Motorcycle and Quad Racing

Analyzing the 2024 Dakar Rally, we can identify several pros and cons:


  • Technological Advancement: The inclusion of innovative vehicles like the HySE Dakar highlights the rally’s role in advancing automotive technology, particularly in terms of sustainability and performance in harsh environments.
  • Global Exposure and Tourism: Hosting the rally in Saudi Arabia promotes the country as a tourist destination and provides substantial global exposure, benefiting the local economy and cultural exchange.
  • Sporting Challenge: The Dakar Rally is renowned for its extreme difficulty, offering a unique challenge to participants that tests their skills, endurance, and strategic thinking.
  • Diversity of Participants: With various vehicle categories, the rally is inclusive for different types of competitors, from professional teams to independent entrants.
  • Adventure and Excitement: For fans and competitors alike, the Dakar Rally is an adventure, providing excitement and drama as competitors navigate challenging terrains.
  • Promotion of Teamwork and Resilience: The event emphasizes teamwork, particularly in stages like the 48-hour Empty Quarter challenge, and showcases the resilience of both humans and machines.


  • Environmental Impact: The rally, particularly through sensitive desert ecosystems, can have a negative environmental impact, including potential damage to wildlife habitats and increased carbon emissions.
  • Risk of Accidents and Injuries: The extreme nature of the rally poses significant risks of accidents and injuries to participants, requiring stringent safety measures.
  • High Costs: Participating in the Dakar Rally can be prohibitively expensive, limiting access for less well-funded teams and individuals.
  • Logistical Challenges: Organizing an event of this scale, across such difficult terrain, poses enormous logistical challenges and can strain local resources.
  • Cultural Sensitivities: Hosting the rally in different countries, like Saudi Arabia, can raise questions about cultural sensitivities and human rights considerations.
  • Commercialization Concerns: There are concerns that the increasing commercialization of the event may detract from its original spirit of adventure and exploration.

While the Dakar Rally offers significant benefits in terms of sportsmanship, technology development, and global engagement, it also presents challenges related to environmental impact, safety, and accessibility. Balancing these aspects is crucial for the sustainable future of the event.

Rally Strategy


The 2024 Dakar Rally is set to be a spectacular and challenging event that combines the elements of endurance, strategy, and technical prowess in one of the most demanding motorsport races in the world. The introduction of the new 48-hour Empty Quarter stage adds an unprecedented layer of complexity and endurance, testing the competitors’ limits in terms of both physical stamina and strategic acumen.

The diversity of the vehicle categories, ranging from motorcycles to the innovative HySE Dakar vehicle, showcases the evolution of the rally and the increasing emphasis on technological advancements and sustainability in motorsports. The mix of terrains across Saudi Arabia ensures that the rally remains not just a test of speed, but also of navigation skills and the ability to adapt to changing and challenging environments.

The Dakar Rally’s global appeal continues to grow, drawing attention from motorsport enthusiasts worldwide and offering a unique spectacle that combines the thrill of racing with the beauty and harshness of the natural landscape. With extensive media coverage, the event is accessible to a global audience, further enhancing its status as a premier event in the international rally calendar.

Dakar Rally

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