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
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.
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.