Women are key to the success of Rally Jameel, the first-ever women-only automotive event in Saudi Arabia
With the first Jameel Rally underway, the organizing team is now busy tending to the competitors, managing the rally route and making sure everyone stays safe during the event. Among the large organizing team, several women all contribute to ensuring that the event runs smoothly.
As part of the Kingdom’s 2030 Vision, which recognizes that a modern and progressive nation must encourage and empower all members of society in all its forms, including sport, women were heavily involved behind the scenes of the Rally Jameel, an initiative of Abdul Latif Jameel Motors. Some hold key roles that are critical to the day-to-day operation and overall success of the event.
“My role is that of the chief medical office of the rally, so I am responsible for the medical safety of all the participants and organizers of the rally,” said His Royal Highness Dr Ahad Al Saud, who in addition to being a doctor- chief in Saudi Arabia, is also the CMO of the F1 Grand Prix of Saudi Arabia, the FIA Medical Delegate for Saudi Arabia and the manager of the Saudi Arabian Marshall’s Club. “I want the rally to be very successful, for all the competitors to finish without a hitch. I think they are so lucky to participate in Rally Jameel, because Jameel in Arabic means “beautiful” and it really is a beautiful rally.
Not all organizers have a background in motorsport, or even in sporting events. For some of the women involved behind the scenes, this is their very first experience of racing, and certainly rallying of any kind. For them, Rally Jameel offers an exciting new experience.
“This event is very important at the grassroots level to bring women who are not normally associated with rallying or racing into sport,” said Aseel Al-Hamad, the well-known figurehead for women in motorsport, the first female member of Saudi Arabia. Automobile Federation and member of the FIA.
Rally Jameel has been supported by the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission, and the aim of the rally is to develop and attract new female drivers, sailors and organisers, and prepare them to compete in future championships. local and international.
Prior to the rally, all teams went through a rigorous training program to prepare for the rally. The training, which was partly conducted by experienced women from the wider motorsport world, covered everything from road book navigation to safety, sand retrieval and general advice on how to to complete what, for some, is their very first driving event.
The inspiration for Rally Jameel initially came from the very successful Rebelle Rally in America. With this as a reference, the organizers worked with members of the Rebelle organizing team to both bring in competitors from the United States and also to help with some of the organization of the rally. Members of the event team even traveled as far as Saudi Arabia for the rally.
“I’m delighted to be part of Rally Jameel, as one of the event stewards. It is really important to show support at a pivotal time for women in Saudi Arabia,” commented Rebelle Rally Founder and Director Emily Miller. “It’s also great to work with the rally organizers as we share a genuine passion for motorsport and adventure, as well as a desire to uplift women. I’m really excited for the future of Rally Jameel .
The navigational rally, which is not designed as a test of speed, started in the north-central town of Hail and is heading towards venues in the town of Al-Qassim. It will then move on to the capital, Riyadh, through hidden checkpoints and challenges.
The local public is invited to get involved and enjoy what looks to be a popular event on the GCC’s annual motorsport calendar.