Car Crazy Saudi Woman I spoke to Badia a 'Car Crazy Girl' from Saudi during my recent trip to the Dubai Motor Show, who interestingly went to school and lived in the US for 8 years. Badia is thirty-one, has a degree interior reconstruction and design and an international drivers license and LOVES to drive and can drive anywhere outside of her own country, at home she owns a Hummer and has a personal driver to get her around. She owns and publishes a popular car tuning magazine in her home country, a very unusual role for a Saudi woman where they are not allowed to drive cars at all and it's all about Badia's love of cars!

In the beginning getting advertisers was tough, but she is one tough car girl and at the three year mark she is near to tuning a profit at 50,000 subscribers. This is a very unique role for a Saudi woman and spending time with her I can attest to the combination of her tremendous drive, energy, charisma and great sense of humor that managed to break though the barriers and succeed. Badia sporting a BIG beautiful Tiffany watch, mentioned she collects them and is addicted to designer watches; badges of courage and a testament to her success.

Her design degree really comes through on the pages of her magazine and so does her passion for the auto industry. She attended the SEMA show in Las Vegas as well as the Dubai Auto Show and travels frequently to attend other car shows around the world looking for article content and stories for her readers. Her web site coming soon at

Badia's parents support her 100% in her business and her love of cars, she just has to navigate carefully on the content of her magazine which is aimed at car tuners, not necessarily a women's magazine.

She shared with me over dinner that Saudi women who have not traveled or lived outside of their home country are accustomed to the lifestyle and don't complain much about the right to drive or for that matter wear whatever they want in public or know any different. Badia seems to move between the culture shifts with ease and comfort, she told me she loves her country and living there. Her home is near the beach so she spends quite a bit of time doing water sports.

I applaud Badia and her success and was so happy to make a new 'Car Crazy Girl' pal in Dubai!

By law women in Saudi must wear and are not allowed to drive cars: THOBE: Women wear the Thobe - a loose, long-sleeved, ankle-length garment, but, for women, the neck and front can be embroidered and decorated with beads.

ABAYA: The Abaya is a large, black cloak, worn either loose and flowing or wrapped around the body. The Abaya is generally made of silk or synthetic cloth.

BOSHIYA: The Boshiya is a black veil, light in weight, worn across the lower part of the face.

SURWAL: The Surwal are cotton or silk trousers worn by women under the Thobe.

I found the dress code in Dubai to be a very mixed bag, covered women from many Arab countries did in some cases wear very carefully applied make-up, carry designer had bags, lots of jewelry and designer shoes. If you looked close many of the garments bore designer labels! A group of Saudi women activists and businesswomen have called for discussing the right of Saudi woman to drive cars during the forthcoming national dialogue.

The women made their viewpoints during the preparatory meetings for the seventh national dialogue due to be held in Qasem region at the beginning of next year.

Lubna Al Gallyeeni, CEO of Odik Consulting and Woman Empowerment Programmes Company, said the national dialogue is an important forum for finding solutions to women’s issues - among them women’s right to drive cars.

“The national dialogue should open the discussion of woman’s transportation in general as it is an important matter that each Saudi and expatriate woman in the Kingdom needs. Many women in Saudi Arabia suffer from lack of safe transportation which in turn has contributed directly to the creation of many social and economic problems,” she said.

What would you do if your right to drive was revoked? What would your life be like depending on a driver, public transportation or your husband, brother or uncle to drive you and/or your family EVERYWHERE?

Please comment below!
Jody DeVere

Flickr Photo of man driving by Ivoryillusion

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