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How Fashion and Female Drivers Fueled a Celebration of Saudi Arabia’s New Law

Image courtesy of Hyundai

Two months have passed since the landmark decree of King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud brought Saudi women into the driver’s seat. One recent celebration in the Kingdom helped celebrate the milestone reform, bringing together fast cars and fashion under one roof.

Motoring giant Hyundai launched its Kona SUV in Saudi Arabia in recent weeks, unveiling the nimble but powerful ride at a test-drive event at the Bay La Expo Center. Guests were invited to get behind the wheel of the practical yet technologically advanced vehicle, which brings together safety features such as blind spot detection and a parking assistance system.

Hyundai has tailored the SUV for women in the region, pre-installing front door sun shades on all locally sold cars, to keep physical exposure to a minimum. The brand has also invented and installed an industry-first abaya detector system, so drivers do not have to worry about their traditional attire getting caught in the car doors.

Reem Faisal. Image courtesy of Hyundai

Reem Faisal. Image courtesy of Hyundai

The test-drive was followed by a fashion show courtesy of Saudi designer Reem Faisal, who was joined on the day by her fellow Hyundai brand ambassador, radio presenter Shadia Abdul Aziz. “Hyundai is constantly innovating to improve the breadth of experience it can offer,” Faisal said after the show. “I want to be the bridge in connecting the past and the future, ultimately to empower the women of Saudi Arabia to drive their lives forward.”

The launch event formed part of Hyundai’s “What’s Next” campaign, which aims to recognize the Kingdom’s historic milestone and empower women. “We launched the ‘What’s Next’ campaign to celebrate women getting behind the wheel and to support them in unlocking their limitless potential,” says Wonhong Cho, executive vice president and chief marketing officer at Hyundai Motor Company.

Further initiatives include the Kingdom’s first drive-in cinema and the introduction of female-only safety programs to educate new drivers. And, in the theme of Hyundai’s new campaign, we can’t wait to see what’s next.

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