The Only Place In Saudi Arabia Where Women Can Drive

Amusement parks in Saudi Arabia are helping women escape – if not defy – the country’s ultra-conservative (read: sexist) driving ban.

It wouldn’t be correct to say that women in Saudi Arabia cannot drive. They can. It’s just that they’re not allowed to.

And when they can, they drive, even if it’s just a bumper car in an amusement park.

The Wall Street Journal reports how the Gulf kingdom’s long-standing ban on female drivers has made bumper cars hugely popular among Saudi women.

Especially on ladies' night, there are long queues of waiting to experience the exhilarating five-minute rush they cannot otherwise experience on the roads.

"We never get a chance to in Saudi Arabia — this is the right place to do it," Sama Bin Mahfooz told the Journal. "Whenever my best friend would hit me, I would tell her: 'No, let me drive, let me drive!"

“I come here to drive,” Joudi al-Omeri, a 27-year-old homemaker, added. “It’s much better than bumping against others.”

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Women in Saudi Arabia need a male guardian or a chauffeur to do that. It’s absurd considering how there are no traffic laws that make it illegal for women to drive in the country. It’s just the ultraconservative religious edicts against female drivers that have constituted a ban somehow.

And it doesn’t look like the restriction is going to lift anytime soon since the deputy crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud, just recently said the Saudi community “wasn’t ready” for women drivers.