Saudi Arabia’s female drivers to make first ever show in Dakar Rally

Mahmoud Elassal , Thursday 16 Dec 2021

Saudi Arabia’s Automobile and Motorcycle Federation (SAMF) has granted the necessary licenses for female drivers Dania Aqil and Mashael Al-Obeidan to take part in Dakar Rally 2022, according to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

Saudi Arabia s female

The two Saudi drivers will be the first ever women to represent the kingdom in the Dakar Rally.

The 44th edition of the Dakar Rally is scheduled to start on 1 January, 2022 with Aqil and Al-Obeidan participating in the T3 category aboard a Can-Am Maverick.

“Participating in this big event in Saudi Arabia is like a dream coming true,” Mashael Al-Obeidan was quoted as saying on SPA.

“When I learned that Saudi Arabia will host the Dakar Rally, I contacted the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation to inquire about receiving a license to compete, then I received a phone call from federation president Prince Khalid bin Sultan Al-Abdullah Al-Faisal, informing me I was approved to take part in the race,” she added.

Last year, she participated on the sidelines of the event, learning to navigate the course over 12 days.

Meanwhile, Dania Aqil expressed her appreciation for the federation’s approval after completing several tests before the issuance of the license.

“The Saudi Dakar Rally 2022 is characterized by its diverse course that goes through various geographical locations in Saudi Arabia; in addition, the strong competition requires good psychological and fitness preparations for drivers,” Aqil said.

Saudi Arabia granted women the right to drive for the first time in 2018.

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