A new “pole position” for the young Emirati karting racing driver
Abu Dhabi – 23 September 2019: Young Emirati karting driver Rashid Al Dhaheri’s rising star was recognised, as he won the award for Favorite Sports Star at the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards’ Abu Dhabi 2019. The announcement was made that the voting public had selected Rashid, at an awards ceremony held on Friday 20th September 2019 at Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Centre (ADNEC), featuring co-hosts Jason Derulo and Haifa Beseisso.
Commenting on the Favorite Sports Star award, H.E Aref Al Awani, General Secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council said: “We would like to congratulate young Rashid on this award. He deserves this recognition for his great feats in karting, as his steady rise through the ranks at the international level becomes increasingly well-known. Rashid has such great potential and many years ahead of him to make a name for himself in motor racing. I’m impressed by the maturity and the dedication he shows at such a tender age.”
This recognition is part of a growing momentum that motorsport is gaining in the UAE, with sports cars and racing ingrained in UAE culture. A widespread passion and interest in motorsport have been ignited, which provides a strong and nurturing environment for young talent such as Rashid to emerge. Much of the appeal of racing is driven by the Etihad Airways Formula One Grand Prix, staged in Abu Dhabi as Formula 1’s last race of the season, inspiring young people in the UAE with dreams of a career in racing.
This year has seen great success for Rashid, as he has taken part in the highly competitive World Series Karting Euro Championships against the best young drivers in the world, during his first season with the Parolin racing team. This season, he has secured the double of the WSK Euro Series Championship and the WSK Super Master Championship victory in the Mini category. For the WSK Master Series, Rashid accomplished three wins out of four rounds of racing for this competition, which was the first such achievement by any driver in his category for the past six years.
Commenting on the award Rashid said: “I am honoured to have been elected Favorite Sports Star at the Nickelodeon Kid’s choice award. It’s great to receive such support from the UAE and Arab public and this gives me a lot of motivation to keep succeeding and winning in karting. With the active support of my partners, I am encouraged to progress up the racing ladder to enter one-seater racing championship levels soon.”
The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi and Viacom International Media Networks presented the iconic ‘Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards’ – the first-ever version of the globally renowned kids’ event to be staged in the Middle East. The event featured musical and entertainment performances, while giving young fans the power to vote for their favorite artists and talent across a wide range of categories.