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250 Women Will Get in the Driver’s Seat for Bahrain’s Ground-Breaking Race

Aseel Al-Hamad of Saudi Arabia in the paddock during the Formula One Grand Prix de France. Getty

This year, more than 200 women could make history by getting behind the wheel. Yalla Banat, a women’s initiative, is bringing together females from across the Middle East next month for an all-women car and bike rally. Held at the Bahrain International Circuit on October 19, the high-octane event hopes to create the longest all-women car parade.

The event hopes to connect, inspire, and empower women from the region, who are driving change both in and out of the car, as Saudi’s recent lifting of the driving ban on female motorists has demonstrated. Yalla Banat is inviting women to sign up for the car parade, which will witness 250 women drive around the F1 Outer Circuit Track. Those who participate will follow the race control car for two laps at slow speed in the history-making event.

“The event will make history with the momentum picking up every day and the buzz across all networks sounding calls to celebrate and empower ‘Women in the Driver’s Seat’,” Yalla Banat’s founder and managing director, Martyna Al-Qassab, told Bahrain’s Daily Tribune“The goal of the show is to build a global momentum by highlighting the success of the women of today and inspire the next generation of female innovators and achievers from across the Middle East region.”

The event will also host a photography exhibition that highlights the myriad successes of women in the region, as well as workshops, a female motor show, and a panel discussion. The latter will feature an appearance by Aseel Al-Hamad, the Saudi racing driver who made headlines when she took a lap at the Grand Prix in a Formula One car to celebrate the end of her country’s driving ban.

Yalla Banat is free to attend for women, and tickets for entry can be purchased at Those interested in taking part in the car parade can register by clicking here.

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