saudi arabia

Riyadh hosts first women’s car exhibition

Driving fervour grips kingdom as historic day nears

14:31 May 15, 2018

Manama: The first women’s car exhibition in Riyadh marks the latest stage in preparations for the day when women can take to the wheels for the first time in the kingdom.

Dubbed “Pinkish”, the three-day exhibition allowed women to see the high-end cars on display, interact with dealers and insurance company representatives, and learn about special offers.

Organisers reported women enthusiastically discussed with their relatives and companions what cars would suit them best as they spent time on simulators to get a feel for the experience they expect to have starting June 24, when they will be allowed to drive.

At least 80,000 visitors are expected at the exhibition, which opened on Sunday. Support given by state entities showed official commitment to ensuring success of the much-anticipated move. In September, King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz issued an order to allow women to obtain driving licences and to drive in the kingdom.

A grace period until June 24 was given to allow the country to prepare the logistics, including setting up driving schools and hiring women instructors.

Last week, the General Department of Traffic’s Director, Major General Mohammad Bin Abdullah Al Bassami, said that all requirements for women in Saudi Arabia to start driving were in place.

The decision to allow women to drive is in line with the Vision 2030 blueprint for far-reaching reforms in the kingdom spearheaded by Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman.