An FIA Formula 4 championship for the United Arab Emirates has been officially launched.
The UAE F4 Championship will use the Tatuus-Abarth car that is already raced in the German, Italian and SMP series.
The inaugural season will consist of 18 races over six events held at Abu Dhabi Grand Prix venue Yas Marina and the Dubai Autodrome between October 2016 and March 2017.
Only drivers holding a licence from within the FIA's Middle East and North Africa region will be eligible to score points towards the championship, although drivers from outside can still take part in races.
Cars will be run by teams, rather than centrally like in the SMP series.
Mohammed Ben Sulayem, the president of the Automobile and Touring Club of United Arab Emirates which will organise the series in cooperation with local promoter AUH Motorsports, was present at the launch in downtown Dubai.
"The UAE Formula 4 Championship is a much anticipated addition to motorsport in the UAE, and wider region," he said.
"It is the perfect opportunity for young drivers to graduate from karting, and is the first step on the ladder to a career as a professional driver.
"It would be fantastic to see a driver progress all the way from UAE Formula 4 Championship to Formula 1."
Subscribe to Autosport Plus
Register for free