Europe- Orient- Rally goes United Arab Emirates
Driving towards international understanding in classic cars- a daredevil approach
Dubai- Abu Dhabi, hot sand in the desert and the Persian Gulf these are most likely the destinations of the Europe- Orient-Rally 2020. On the way you have to manage difficult stages under harsh rally conditions.
The interesting journey across Germany, Austria, the Balkans with their diverse cultures and people will finally bring you to Istanbul on the Bosphorus. After a special task in Istanbul the Asia leg of the rally will pass through remote parts of Anatolia all the way to the Iranian border. Entering Iran Tebris, Teheran, Esfahan and Bandar Abbas are only some of the many oriental cities on the way to the Persian Gulf. The only ferry allowed on the rally will bring the rally cars to the United Arab Emirates where the remaining extra challenges have to be completed in the hot desert.
The rally is pretty much the exact opposite of a luxury event:
The cars are old and can only cost a maximum of 999,99 Euro, the motorcycles a maximum of 99 Cent per cubic centimetre. Participants sleep in their cars, tents or in low budget hotels for a maximum of 11,11 Euro per night. Highways and GPS are forbidden. For navigation only maps and a compass are allowed.
The rally is for fun, adventure and experiencing different cultures and countries . “We don‘t care about politics, that’s why the rally exists for 15 years now”, said Wilfried Gehr founder and President of the Europe- Orient- Rally formerly known as Allgäu- Orient Rally.
“In our daily life we treat every human being with dignity and respect and without any political or religious prejudice. Our organisation committee consists of Muslims, a Jewish lady, Christians and people not convinced of any religious belief . This works very well, because we believe that people all around the globe can be good as long as politicians and religious fanatics don’t get involved”.
The rally doesn’t necessarily go through some of the most politically stable regions, which is why sometimes improvisations for the route have to be made. Rescheduling of the route may be possible.
In 2019 the rally had to be rerouted to Georgia though we actually had the permission to enter Iran. Due to the tensions in the Persian Gulf, Iran consequently denied the rally participants to enter.
“That’s the way it is”, said Wilfried Gehr. That is the reason the Europe-Orient-Rally is one of the last automobile adventures in the world. There wouldn’t be a great deal of problems just driving through Europe.
But then we would miss meeting these great people and seeing these beautiful landscapes from the Balkans, Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Cypress, through Israel, Palestine, Syria and Jordan all the way to Iran. And in 2020 the United Arab Emirates will be added.