Ford Middle East today launched Ford Focus Rabaa, the first ever interactive inter-GCC rally tour, in an unprecedented and never-been-done-before initiative as part of its launch efforts surrounding the all-new 2012 Ford Focus.
Focus Rabaa [referring to a gang of friends in Khaleeji dialect] sets the ground for a fun challenge and a test for driving skills, endurance, and the use of the all-new 2012 Ford Focus technologies, as participants drive across all of the Gulf countries to complete a series of tasks and challenges. Teams will be rated on their skills and performances rather than speed, as well as the level of participation and support of their fans.
The competition calls for six teams – one each from Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE – to represent their country. Each team will be headed by their respective national captains, who are a group of celebrities from the entertainment and sports world in the GCC, and manned by three drivers who will show their skills in driving, road handling and sheer mental power as they compete against each other in a series of challenges along the way.
The national team captains on board the Focus Rabaa are:
Team Bahrain: Ismaeel Abdulatif, Football Striker and Winger, Al Muharraq Club.
Team Kuwait: Barakat Al Wegyan, TV presenter, Al Watan TV.
Team Oman: Nabil Al Busaidi, Arab Adventurer.
Team Qatar: Abdul Aziz Hasan, Vice President – Qatar Football Association.
Team Saudi Arabia: Khalid Khalifa, Comedian.
Team United Arab Emirates: Anas Bukhash, CEO and Managing Partner – Ahdaaf Sports Club; Photographer.
"We are very excited to launch this incredible journey across the region," said Paul Anderson, Marketing director of Ford Middle East. "The Focus Rabaa rally tour is a region-first activity that Ford is proud to bring to the GCC. We have had great feedback from audiences when we first launched similar challenges in other global markets and we are confident that this activity will equally engage a broad audience across the GCC.
"We are also thrilled to have the support of the team captains who have come on board this exciting project with us. We can't wait to get this ball rolling! This will be a great opportunity to put the all-new Ford Focus to the test and showcase the range of new technologies that have been put into this amazing car. A unique experience, for a truly unique car," he added.
DJ, music producer and radio presenter Dany Neville who will be the host of the rally, said: "We are now looking for 18 people to form six brave teams who think they can rise to the 4,000 km long challenge across the land we all call home. Registration will begin in just a few days on the Ford Middle East Facebook page, so keep checking for updates and information – do you think you have what it takes?"
The finalist teams will be selected from a two-round online process featuring voting from friends as well as demonstrations of their own skills. Registration is open from March 7-29, to GCC nationals with a valid driver's license, on the Ford Middle East Facebook page.
Kicking off late April at the Reem International Circuit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the journey will bring the teams through all six GCC countries over the course of 10 days to compete for the most points in seven exciting challenges. Ford will also produce an on-line series documenting the activities, with a new entertaining video episode produced each day of the Rally. Fans can follow the action on the Ford Middle East Facebook page.
The final challenge will take place at the iconic Burj Khalifa in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in early May, after which, the team that successfully finished all seven challenges and earned the most points overall will win an all-new 2012 Ford Focus for each team member.
While the six teams compete against each other during the rally, fans from across the region will have the chance to support their favorite team by participating in online challenges on the Ford Middle East Facebook page that will directly impact the results of the real-life rally. Fans participating online will also have the chance to watch daily episodes of the Focus Rabaa challenges, live streaming video updates and win exciting prizes as they support and cheer for their team. One lucky fan will have the chance to win an all-new 2012 Ford Focus as well.