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2024 Dakar Rally spans 7,891 km

The 2024 Dakar Rally will be the fifth in Saudi Arabia, though sixty percent of the route will proceed through ground not previously visited. The full route was revealed Monday, spanning 7,891 kilometres with 4,727 km in Selective Sections.

The route is shorter than the 8,549 of the 2023 race, though it has more Selective Sections-the actual part of each stage where competitors are timed-than last year’s 4,704. However, the 4,727 km still falls just short of the highest Saudi SS of 4,767 in 2021.

Al-‘Ula will kick off the rally on 5 January with a 27-km loop, serving as its start and finish. The race “formally” begins with Stage #1 heading to Al Hinakiyah followed by Dawadmi the day after.

Marathon rules, which prohibit crews from assisting drivers and bikes, apply in Stages #3 and #4. Both will serve as a warm-up of sorts for the bigger Chrono Stage that will run for forty-eight hours in Stage #6, taking competitors to and from Shubaytah in the easternmost part of the country. Once it is 4 PM on 11 January, teams must report to the nearest rest area, of which six are available, where they camp through the night before resuming the Chrono Stage the next morning. Once they complete the stage, they head to Riyadh for the rest day on 13 January as they did in 2023.

The second half of the rally, a trip westward, commences on the 14th with the longest total stage back to Dawadmi at 873 kilometres. A stop in Ḥa’il is followed by a return to Al-‘Ula. Yanbu will host the twelfth and final stage on 19 January with another loop.

The Stage #1 start date of 6 January is the latest for the Dakar since 2020, intended to give teams time to celebrate the new year. They will head to Barcelona at the end of November for inspection before shipping out to Saudi Arabia.

2024 Dakar Rally route

StageStartFinishTotal DistanceSelective SectionsRoad SectionsDate
PrologueAl-‘UlaAl-‘Ula157 km27 km130 km5 January
1Al-‘UlaAl Hinakiyah532 km405 km127 km6 January
2Al HinakiyahDawadmi662 km470 km192 km7 January
3DawadmiAl Salamiya733 km440 km293 km8 January
4Al SalamiyaHofuf631 km299 km332 km9 January
5HofufShubaytah727 km118 km609 km10 January
6ShubaytahShubaytah818 km584 km234 km11/12 January
RestRiyadhRiyadhN/AN/AN/A13 January
7RiyadhDawadmi873 km483 km390 km14 January
8DawadmiḤa’il678 km458 km220 km15 January
9Ḥa’ilAl-‘Ula639 km417 km222 km16 January
10Al-‘UlaAl-‘Ula609 km371 km238 km17 January
11Al-‘UlaYanbu587 km480 km107 km18 January
12YanbuYanbu328 km175 km153 km19 January


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