Sliding behind the wheel of a sleek electric SUV, Reema Juffali is blazing a trail in male-dominated motor sports as the first Saudi woman to race in the kingdom.
Reema Juffali, 27-year-old will be competing in the Jaquar I-PACE e TROPHY, an electric race in Dirriyah.
Such adrenalin rushes were unimaginable for women in the ultra-conservative kingdom until June last year, when it overturned the world’s only ban on female motorists as part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s wide-ranging liberalisation drive.
Sliding behind the wheel of a sleek electric SUV, Juffali made her motoring debut just months after the decades-old ban ended.
“The ban was lifted last year and I never expected to race professionally,” said Juffali, sitting in her black-and-green Jaguar I-Pace, an electric sports utility vehicle.
Juffali, who hails from the western city of Jeddah and was educated in the United States, is participating as what organisers call a “VIP” guest driver, becoming the first Saudi woman to race on home soil.
Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki al-Faisal, Saudi Arabia’s sports authority chief, has touted it as a “watershed” moment for the kingdom.
“Reema will have thousands cheering her on, as a professional racing driver,” the prince said.
Juffali, who made one of her first appearances in competitive racing at the F4 British Championship at Brands Hatch in April, has only about a year of professional racing experience under her belt.