The Libya Rally changes its name and becomes “Morocco Desert Challenge”
It was only a matter of time. After 8 years, the Libya Rally, Africa’s 2nd largest rally-raid, finally gets a new name. In April 2016 the Kingdom of Morocco was –for the 4th time- the host country of this “rally in excile”, with no less than 500 participants and staff members. Today, the political situation in most of the Maghreb countries makes the chance of returning to Libya in the short term very slim. On the other hand Morocco’s stability, the country’s endless off-road possibilities, its beautiful, large desert, combined with the support of the authorities, are reason enough to consolidate the link with the new host country through a new name: the Morocco Desert Challenge.
The title no longer covers the subject
Organiser Gert Duson (B): “In 2008 and 2009 we kicked off in Libya, but unfortunately not for a long time. For political reasons we moved to Tunisia in 2010 and 2012 but when this country as well got a “no go”, Morocco became the new host country. After 8 years the brand name “Libya Rally” has become a concept in the rally-raid world, but it is annoying to keep on explaining to new customers and journalists that the rally no longer takes place in Libya, but in Morocco.
In the meantime the connotation of the word “Libya” doesn’t really improve. The country is, very sadly, since the start of the war in February 2011, embroiled in a tangle ofupheaval and mayham. The fundamentalists of IS are today, according to major news channels, at only 300 km from the gates of Tripoli. Not exactly something an event organiser or a potential sponsor wants to be associated with.
A logical as well as strategic choice
The choice for the name “Morocco Desert Challenge” and the baseline “Extreme Rally-Raid” is both logical as well as strategical. Logical because this rally is one of the most extreme and challenging events of its kind. Every year this tough cross-country rally consists of very long specials and nearly no liaisons. Strategically because we’ve decided to integrate the word “Morocco” in the new name. After the problems in Libya and Tunisia, the Moroccan Ministry of Tourisme welcomed the rally with open arms and gave it the necessary support, year after year. With this name change, we would like to reinforce our future engagement and make a strong statement, namely that Libya Rally has found a new home.
The final date for the official change of name on the internet, social media, etc. will be September 1st 2016.