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).


Women pit themselves against male drivers in Saudi Arabia’s Formula E race

Updated 5 min 19 sec ago
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Women pit themselves against male drivers in Saudi Arabia’s Formula E race

  • The Rookie Test will take place on December 16 at the newly transformed ancient site into Formula E race track
  • The list consists of a varied group of up-and-coming talent along with well-known faces

DUBAI: Women drivers will compete against male counterparts in Formula E’s “Rookie Test” for up and coming drivers after the inaugural Saudia Ad Diriyah E-Prix race on December 15.

The Rookie Test will take place on December 16 at the newly transformed ancient site into Formula E race track, the Kingdom’s General sports authority said.

Female drivers will line up against male rivals on the grid to take part in the official in-season test for the forthcoming season of the FIA ABB Formula E Championship.

The list consists of a varied group of up-and-coming talent along with well-known faces, including the first Emirati female racing driver, Amna Al-Qubaisi.

Al-Qubaisi has had a steep progression in her career so far, starting karting aged 13, and going on to win the UAE Rotax Max Challenge Championship before more recently competing in Formula 4 with Prema Theodore Racing.

“I'm very proud to be representing women in general and Arabian women in particular. This test drive is another stepping-stone towards my dream of a professional career in motorsports and thanks to the continuous support of Kaspersky Lab, this dream will eventually come true,” Al-Qubaisi said.

Saudi Princess Haifa bint Mohammed bin Saud, Secretary General of the organizing committee for the race, said: “Through the increased participation in and hosting of world-class sports within Vision 2030, we want to inspire the young people of Saudi Arabia towards greater achievement and taking an active role in every part of life.”