The first Emirati desert rally racer, Mohammed al-Balooshi, hopes to raise the UAE flag high in next year's division of the legendary motocross race, which is set to take place January 2014.
With great determination to win, Balooshi has already began a strict fitness program which requires him to ride his bike five days a week, followed by a 35 km run and lengthy hours at the gym.
Commenting on the first time he participated in the Dakar Rally 2012, Balooshi said in a statement: “Dakar was the race that had the biggest impact on my career. It’s a race I have literally dream of. The sense of anticipation I have for Dakar reminds me of the butterflies I got in my stomach for my first race.”
During his first Dakar race, Balooshi had an accident on the 10th day when his bike crashed over a 3-meter unmarked cliff, ultimately leaving him with his collarbone and left wrist broken.
He had started from 130th position on day one and was up on a 43th position on Day 10 when disaster struck.
“With the crash and the injury I sustained the last time I participated, I feel like Dakar is a chapter in my life that was left unfinished.
“I did however gain a lot of experience during those 10 days I was riding in, and I find myself often referring to those learning’s in my training,” the 32-year-old rider said.
Having only started riding at the age of 20, his triumph and talent has directed him to establish his own MX academy which trains up-and-coming athletes in Dubai.