Saudi women prefer minivans to larger SUVs

Saudi women tour a car showroom for women on Jan. 11 in Jeddah. (AFP)
Updated 15 January 2018
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Saudi women prefer minivans to larger SUVs

JEDDAH: Le Mall in Jeddah hosted Saudi Arabia’s first women-only car show last week.
The show — held under the slogan “Drive and Shop” — came as a result of King Salman’s historic 2017 announcement that women would finally be allowed to drive in the Kingdom, starting in June this year.
The exhibition offered women information about various automotive brands, as well as financing options from the leading banks and financial houses in the Kingdom.
The automotive showroom was sponsored by a private Saudi dealership offering an assortment of 2018 models and brands.
Samia Mohammed Noor, a housewife and mother-of-five, told Arab News: “My husband has a big SUV due to the size of our family, but I’d like to have a minivan; it’s better for me to handle than a bigger car.”
Raneem Adel, also a housewife and mother-of-six, told Arab News: “I actually wish I could have a minivan. I don’t want a huge SUV that needs lots of gasoline.”
Majed Al-Harbi, who heads the Jeddah branch of the show’s sponsors, told Arab News: “This showroom aims to present cars to women so they can learn more about cars and the choices they should be aware of before they decide to buy one when women are allowed to drive on June 10.”
He added that the show had focused on cars that are fuel-efficient, an important
factor following the Kingdom’s introduction of the value-added tax (VAT).


Saudi customs thwart smuggling attempts on buses transporting Umrah worshippers

Updated 18 min 59 sec ago
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Saudi customs thwart smuggling attempts on buses transporting Umrah worshippers

RIYADH: The Halat Ammar Customs on the Kingdom’s northwestern border prevented two attempts to smuggle a quantity of 184,737 Fenethylline tablets, also known by the brand name of Captagon.
The pills were discovered hidden on two buses that were transporting passengers to the Kingdom’s holy sites.
Mohammed Qaisi, the customs general manager, said the first bus was carrying 47 passengers and after the customs procedures were finalized and the passengers were processed, a bag containing 100,000 tablets was found.
“The narcotics were hidden in an artistic way and were placed inside the bag’s lining,” he said.
Qaisi also said the second attempt was thwarted in a similar way. The other bus was transporting 31 passengers, on which a total of 84,737 Captagon pills were seized.
Saudi Arabia usually witnesses a rise of smuggling attempts during the Umrah and Hajj seasons, as they are exploited by smugglers trying to transport narcotics and other contraband. 
Saudi Customs said it is exerting great efforts and working with all its human and technical capabilities to prevent the entry of illegal substances.