Women allowed in Jeddah motor show

The women-only event is held for the first time in the Saudi kingdom. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s attempts to modernise the kingdom continue.

Riyadh (AsiaNews/Agencies) –  Saudi Arabia is holding its first women-only car show at Le Mall in the city of Jeddah, a few months after the ban on women driving was lifted.

Pink, orange and yellow balloons filled the mall's showroom as women posed for photos and selfies in front of the cars.

The showroom carried signs with the slogan ‘Drive and Shop’, a play on words in Arabic, using the female form of the verbs.

For chief saleswomen Sharifa Mohammad, “women are the largest section who shop in malls,” and “All the cashiers are women. Everyone in the restaurants are women.”

At the same time, whilst aspiring female drivers can now try out cars, female football fans are also preparing to enter for the first time in a Saudi stadium.

The Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s "modernisation" plan continues in the context of his ‘Vision 2030’ programme.

Nevertheless, there are still serious limitations on women. Their hair and body must still be covered in public, and they cannot travel or receive medical treatment without the permission of a male guardian (usually a father, husband or a son).