As the world continues to get into the whole drone hype, Dubai has just announced that they are now welcoming over 100 teams set to participate in the world’s first World Drone Prix on March 11.
The gathering shines a light on the global effort to establish drone racing as a serious sport. And with Dubai—home of the Formula 1 races—playing host to the event, it certainly gives the World Drone Prix an unprecedented level of cachet.
The Drone Prix will bring competitors to Dubai on March 7 to 8 for the qualifiers, where the top 32 will move up to the actual race to be held on March 11 and 12.
The prix itself will see drone fliers pitted against each other, in races with speeds of over 100 kilometers per hour (62 mph). The aerial race course boasts a length of 591 meters (1938 feet), and claims to be the world’s first race course purpose-built for drone racing.
The race will consist of avoiding various obstacles and completing the course in the fastest time, in a very video game-like fashion; it even includes shortcuts that can shave a few seconds off the participants’ final time, if they have the skill and courage to attempt them.
While one can’t really expect the sport to immediately mirror the popularity of the Formula 1 races, it does boost its reputation enough to give more credence to this particular drone racing league.
Participants can expect lavish production and prizes, including a total of $1 million in prizes (with $250,000 going to the champion). Still in doubt? Check out this promo video they released to hype the event below—
And while the prizes are nothing compared to what the major car leagues offer, the money and prestige that it’s poised to bestow on the participants will likely prove to be a big enough draw for aspiring drone racers and curious spectators alike.