The Congress, hosted by the Kuwait International Automobile Club under its Chairman, Dr Emad Bukhamseen, and its President, Essa Hamzah Alfailakawi, welcomed the FIA President Jean Todt.
“The fifth edition of the FIA Sport Regional Congress Middle East & North Africa has been a great success”, said President Todt.
“I would like to thank our Kuwaiti hosts and especially Dr Emad Bukhamseen, Chairman of the Kuwait International Automobile Club, Essa Hamzah Alfailakawi, President of the Club, together with Mr Mohammed Ben Sulayem, Vice-President of FIA Sport for the MENA region, and the MENA Zone coordinator Imad Lahoud of ATCL LEBANON, for kindly hosting this Congress and for their unique generosity and hospitality extended to the ASN delegations. We were also honoured of the presence of Mr Sager Al-Mulla, Kuwait’s Deputy General Director of the Public authority of Sports, and HRH Prince Khalid bin Sultan Al Faisal Al Saud, President of SAMF, who joined the congress.”
With 26 events registered to the FIA International Calendar, 14 international series events and 8 World Championships, the Middle East & North Africa region represents one of the strongest and well-developed communities in motor sport worldwide.
Details of three new challenge series for karting, drifting and Baja rallies were announced, launching an exciting new era for motorsport in the region.
“Drifting and Karting are now the most popular forms of motorsport in this region so it is important we create the opportunity for national champions to compete against other national champions” said Mohammed Ben Sulayem, Vice-President of FIA Sport for the MENA region and President of ATCUAE.
The annual congress for 18 attending countries, out of 20 in the region, included three different sessions covering a wide range of topics as “Promotion of Motorsport Through Social Media: How to Engage New Generations & E-Sport”, “Developing Grassroots Disciplines”, two workshops: “Rally & Cross-Country” and “Environmental Accreditation”, which has seen a large uptake in the region, and one session on “Event Management”.
In closing, President Todt said: “It has been a very productive session with the MENA representatives in Kuwait and it’s a pleasure to see the smiles on the faces and the fraternity among the participating countries. With the congress’ outcome, we have a solid working base and I look forward to working with the member clubs to keep driving motor sport forward in the region and to examining the opportunities available in the more global context. With creativity and ambition, we are consolidating our leadership.”
President Todt then added: “I have been visiting today the Kuwait Motor Town. It is a unique facility, not only for Kuwait but for the entire region, which has the capacity to host any FIA single seater, dragster, drifting, karting or rallycross event. I would like to congratulate all the people involved in this project for this amazing achievement.”