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JEDDAH: As Saudi Arabia prepares to host the grand finale of the 2018 Drone Racing League Allianz World Championship, some lucky young locals got a taste of the sport’s speed and thrills, while also learning about the technology behind it.

The seventh and final event of this year’s DRL championship will be hosted by the Saudi Federation for Cyber Security, Programming and Drones (SFCSPD) at King Abdullah Economic City in Jeddah on September 14, where 10 of the world’s best drone racers will compete to be crowned world champion

Before the big race, a group of 16 Saudi students competed in their own race after attending a two-day training workshop on building, programming and flying drones, which was supervised by the DRL World Team. The participants used simulation software to learn how to control the aircraft and then got to fly the latest, state-of-the-art Racer 3 drones.

One of the participants, Mutaz Abdullah Al-Jaafari said he was pleased to have the chance to take part because it was a national event that encouraged, supported and motivated young people to get involved in the sport.

DRL fans around the world are looking forward to the final of the 2018 World Championship, which this year comes to Saudi Arabia for the first time. It is hosted by the SFCSPD, with the support of Saud Al-Qahtani, the chairman of the federation and an adviser to the Royal Court.

Nouf Al-Rakan, the federation’s executive director, said the event is in line with realizing the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 and reflects the country’s regional and international leadership in the areas of technology and sports. She added that the federation is working to introduce legislation and regulations that will help to overcome obstacles to Saudis who are interested in taking up drone racing. She said it is also pleased to play a role in introducing this modern sport to Saudi society and attracting international events, and hopes to host more international competitions and support citizens keen to participate in the sport.

Al-Rakan also expressed her pride in the young people who took part in the workshops, praising their enthusiasm and skill in helping to build a model drone that will be used in the final race.

The race in Jeddah on September 14 is the seventh and the final event in the 2018 DRL Allianz World Championship, after qualifying rounds in the United States, France and Germany. Free tickets to attend the event are available online from the SFCSPD.

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