Cyprus Mail
Motoring

Historic drive by Saudi woman as driving ban finally lifted

Saudi female racer Aseel Al Hamad marks the end of the ban on women drivers in Saudi Arabia with a special drive in a Jaguar F-TYPE

June 24 was a momentous day for women in Saudi Arabia: for the first time they were allowed to drive a car, as the government’s removal of the ban on women drivers came into force. Saudi Arabia is the last country in the world to allow women to drive.

To commemorate the historic day, female Saudi racing driver Aseel Al Hamad joined forces with Jaguar in a call for June 24 to be known as World Driving Day – a global programme which invites both men and women to celebrate the enjoyment of driving, both now and in the future.
It is, they say, a day when, finally, the whole world can enjoy the thrill of being behind the wheel of a car.

Aseel, who had never driven in her home country before, completed a lap of honour in a Jaguar F-TYPE.

Her huge passion for motorsports led her to become the first female board member of the Saudi Arabian Motor Federation; she also serves as the Saudi Arabian representative at the Women in Motorsport Commission for the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA).

After completing her drive, Aseel said: “Having loved cars since I was a child, today is highly emotional for me. This is the best driving moment of my life. What better way to kick off World Driving Day than a lap of honour in my home country in a Jaguar F-TYPE – the ultimate car to roar around the track. I hope people around the world will share in our joy today by sharing their most memorable driving story using #WorldDrivingDay.”

By creating World Driving Day, Jaguar urges people to remember this historic day and what it means to women, to Saudi Arabia and to world progress in general.

As part of its ongoing work with over 40 Universities and Academic institutions globally on future mobility solutions, the company will also be partnering with the University of Saudi Arabia to join this global network. The partnership, to be announced later this year, will be a unique exchange to tap into the brightest young minds in Saudi Arabia to shape the company’s future innovations as it moves to ACES (an Autonomous, Connected, Electrified and Shared future).

Jaguar Land Rover spokesperson, Fiona Pargeter, Customer Experience Director commented: “It’s easy to forget and take for granted the enjoyment of driving and just what a privilege it is to get behind the wheel of a car. World Driving Day is a commitment from Jaguar to celebrate this key moment annually for both men and women.

“This year, we’re really excited to collaborate with the brilliant students from Saudi Arabia to shape the future of mobility for people around the world.”