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The Dakar Rally will move to Saudi Arabia in 2020 after the rally organisers, the Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), signed a five year deal with the Saudi authorities.

This is the third chapter in the history of Dakar rally which ran in Africa for 30 years and in South America for 11 years.

David Castera, who assumed the responsibility of Dakar rally director in March, said in a statement: "It is a real pleasure to have to create a race in such monumental geography and proper one to the most daring routes. Saudi Arabia can offer 1.4 million square miles of desert for the Dakar route."

The 2019 Dakar Rally was hastily assembled with a route situated entirely in Peru after the late withdrawal of both Bolivia and Chile. This was the first instance of the Dakar running entirely within one country.

The ASO says more details of the 2020 event are due to be released on 25 April.

Saudi Arabia is increasing its involvement in motorsport, having also hosted the FIA-backed Middle East Rally Championship back in 2015 and the Formula E Ad Diriyah E-Prix in December 2018.