Dubai-based Person of Determination reaps the rewards of Dubai Autodrome’s hand-operated go-karts


It is the first time these models will be used in the Middle East region, with Dubai Kartdrome benefiting from its partnership with leading karting brand Sodi, who originally developed the system to bring them to the UAE.

Rakan, who also plays basketball at the Dubai Club for People of Determination and competes in wheelchair races, regularly visits the kart every few weeks. He believes the special karts have given him the opportunity to rediscover his passion for karting, one of the many sports he is currently involved in.

He explained: “When I saw this particular kart that was being designed for People of Determination, I told my dad I really wanted to try it. It wasn’t an easy experience at first. When I first tried the handheld kart there were some challenges, especially as I was not used to it as I had to stop karting before my accident. However, Dubai Kartdrome team was very helpful in sharing their knowledge which made it easy to adapt and learn.

“I feel like I’ve made a lot of progress since using the manual karts and managed to cut my lap time by ten seconds here at the kart track, which makes me very happy. If I can set better lap times, even if it’s just a few tenths of a second, it makes a big difference for me.”

The introduction of hand-operated go-karts at Dubai Autodrome is in line with the Dubai Government’s goal of creating an inclusive society for all and is part of Dubai Autodrome’s ongoing drive towards inclusion.

Dubai Autodrome General Manager Faisal Al Sahlawi said: “It’s all about inclusion – karting is a lot of fun and we want to include people with determination in the experience. There have been a few occasions over the years where we have noticed that guests were visiting the track with some family members who were unable to attend due to their challenges and we wanted to remove those barriers and allow people with determination to enjoy karting.”

He added: “As well as operating the karts, we also have the two-seater kart, which allows a driver to take a passenger around the track. It’s an exciting experience and a good introduction for those who might be considering using the handheld kart and might need a bit of confidence.”

Rakan, one of the few people of determination to use the karts, hopes more people of determination in the UAE can get involved with karting, which can lead to greater participation in local series and championships.

He said: “Karting plays an important role in my daily life. After each session it really boosts my morale as it gives me the belief that I can compete with others whilst at the same time increasing my confidence and being more independent in other activities that I do.

“The UAE is doing a lot to create an inclusive society for all through various initiatives. I hope more people with determination in the country know about these specially adapted karts as it is a fun activity. There are many benefits to go karting as it helps improve your skills and hopefully can provide a platform for people to test themselves on a competitive stage.”

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