Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Saudi women gear up to hit the road, test simulator

This article appeared in the May 15, 2018 Khaleej Times. You can link to the story here, and the text is below.

Women in Saudi Arabia are all gearing up for the red-letter day on June 24 when they will hit the road for the first time in a generation. The popularity of the ruling to allow women to drive was clear this week at the Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Center from the scurry of activity at the venue of the Saudi capital's first women's exhibition for cars, dubbed 'Pinkish'.

The first day of the three-day show on May 13 drew curious visitors in droves, who carefully examined the many new vehicles on display, interacted with car dealers and insurance-company representatives, learnt about special offers and checked out car accessories. They also enthusiastically discussed with their relatives and companions which car would suit them best as they spent time on simulators to get a feel for the experience they expect to have in a few weeks when the Kingdom opens the way for them to take the wheel.

The organisers, who have braced themselves for at least 80,000 visitors over the course of the show, have arranged for special lessons for attendees on driving skills and how to choose the right car.

The event is organised with the support of General Directorate of Public Security, the administrative authorities of the Riyadh region, the Saudi General Department of Traffic Department, the General Entertainment Authority, the Ministry of Commerce and Investment and the Ministry of Culture and Information.

With the long-awaited start date for issuing driving licences to women in the Kingdom just around the corner, the General Department of Traffic's Director, Major General Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Bassami, has announced last week that all requirements for women in Saudi Arabia to start driving were in place.

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