Two Emirati Contestants Head to Jordan to Participate in First-Ever Toyota Gazoo Racing MENA Digital Cup

  • Jordan to host first official digital motorsports cup in MENA region 
  • Event officially sponsored by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), with the support of Toyota Gazoo Racing
  • Accurate simulation of real racing tracks, featuring 24 male and female contestants – including two representing the UAE 

UAE: Jordan is slated to host the first-ever Toyota Gazoo Racing MENA Digital Cup in the region on Saturday 11 September, 2021, with the participation of 24 eager contestants. The mega sporting event, which simulates actual international racing tracks, is organized with the support of Toyota Motor Corporation – represented by Toyota Gazoo Racing – as Title Sponsor, Bank al Etihad as Gold Sponsor, Umniah as Silver Sponsor, Desert Fox Racing, Fanatec and Jordan Digital Sports Federation, as well as Jordan Motorsport as organizers, all under the official sponsorship of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA).

22 of the contestants will represent 11 countries: Lebanon, UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Cyprus, Tunisia, Mauritania, Oman and Jordan – whereby two racers, Sultan Khalifa and Salem Al Mesmari, will represent the UAE. An additional two female contestants will also participate in the cup. 

The championship will replicate the real racing world with unprecedented accuracy thanks to a partnership with one of the most advanced online driving simulator games – Gran Turismo Sport – and the latest hardware and software technologies pertaining to racing rigs and racing simulators. One day before the event, a welcoming ceremony will be held at the Royal Automobile Museum in Amman in the presence of prominent influencers and motorsport fans, during which exhibition races will take place.

Toyota Gazoo Racing MENA Digital Cup Project Lead, Nadim Haddad, stated, “With around 330 million video racers in the MENA region alone, taking motorsports into the digital realm with an official event like this will enable a wider segment of youth to experience the thrilling and competitive world of racing. Given its accessibility, safety and affordability compared with real-life racing, digital motorsports has been rapidly growing, bringing together drivers from all over the world. We are excited to have Toyota Motor Corporation – represented by Toyota Gazoo Racing – support such an outstanding event that presents youth throughout the region with a prime platform to showcase their talents in digital motorsports and compete within the global arena. That being said, we eagerly look forward to further competitions in the upcoming years.”    

In turn, Jordan Motorsport CEO, Zaid Balqez, expressed his excitement at the Kingdom’s hosting of the first digital motorsports championship in the region, “This one-of-a-kind event is a true chance for young individuals to explore and grow their talents before making serious investments in motorsports, especially as accessibility becomes more difficult and more expensive. Moreover, the championship is an excellent opportunity for advancing motorsports in the Kingdom, while exporting exceptional Arab talents within this field to the world.” 

About Al-Futtaim Toyota:

Toyota, a Japanese automotive manufacturer founded in 1937, is the world’s market leader in sales of hybrid electric vehicles. Toyota has been exclusively distributed in the UAE by Al-Futtaim Automotive, part of Al-Futtaim Group, for over six decades, and has been leading the sustainable mobility movement since 2008. 

With a large line-up of vehicles ranging from SUV, compact, sedan, coupe, MPV and LCV, as well as a wide range of Hybrid options, Al-Futtaim Toyota is setting new benchmarks for clean motoring in an effort to actively contribute to a lower carbon footprint in the UAE. 2017 saw the introduction of the zero-emission hydrogen-powered Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) Toyota Mirai, in a pilot aiming at studying the possibilities of establishing a hydrogen-based, carbon-free society.

Toyota’s line-up features several hybrid vehicles including the sporty, practical and environmentally friendly RAV4, the C-HR, an innovative compact SUV, the seven-seater Highlander which is the brands biggest HEV to date, the powerful and efficient Corolla and the sleek and sophisticated Camry. 

In September 2019, after a 17-year wait, Al-Futtaim Toyota launched the new 2020 Toyota GR Supra in the UAE, much to the delight of fans and loyalists across the country. With the all-new fifth-generation model, the legendary name returned to set the roads ablaze with a comeback only fitting of the Toyota Supra story, with the 2021 version launching a year later in October 2020. 

In August 2020 Al-Futtaim Toyota shook up the lifestyle pickup segment with the introduction of the all-new eighth-generation Toyota Hilux Adventure. This was the first time ever that the Hilux is available as a retail model in the UAE, meaning that it is no longer limited to dominating the commercial-use sector.

About Al-Futtaim Automotive:

Al-Futtaim Automotive, one of the main five operating divisions within the UAE-based Al-Futtaim Group of companies, is a conglomerate of motoring-related businesses, franchising some of the world’s most-recognized automotive brands and services.

Operating in 10 countries across the Middle East, Asia and Africa and empowered by around 9,000 associates, the UAE-headquartered Group’s services span across distribution of new and used vehicles, manufacturing, leasing, and aftersales.

Ranging from passenger cars to SUVs, commercial vehicles, industrial and construction equipment as well as motorbikes and quads, Al-Futtaim Automotive Group offers an integrative customer-centric experience for motorists, fleet operators and contractors alike, and strives to become the leader in tailor-made mobility solutions.

About Al-Futtaim:

Established in the 1930s as a trading business, Al-Futtaim Group today is one of the most diversified and progressive, privately held regional businesses headquartered in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. 

Structured into five operating divisions; automotive, financial services, real estate, retail and health; employing more than 42,000 employees in more than 20 countries in the Middle East, Asia and Africa, we partner with over 200 of the world’s most admired and innovative brands. 

Al-Futtaim’s entrepreneurship and relentless customer focus enables the organization to continue to grow and expand; responding to the changing needs of our customers within the societies in which we operate. 

By upholding our values of respect, excellence, collaboration, integrity; Al-Futtaim continues to enrich the lives and aspirations of our customers each and every day.