In a couple of days, the anniversary for Saudi women hitting the roads will have come. A whopping 50,000 female drivers are behind the wheels, and to rejoice in that Volkswagen enthusiast, Ammal Farhat – who was also one of the first Saudi female Careem captains – took it upon herself to create the first all-women car club in the kingdom.
The Jeddah citizen was always an advocate for gender equality in her country, and she wants the club to be able to characterize and embody that. The single mother of two and entrepreneur also wants the club to bring individuals, who share the same interests, together, while working on removing any hindrances and offering opportunities for other women.
“We were given the opportunity to drive a year ago and what a difference that year has made for thousands of women across Saudi Arabia. The Volkswagen Women’s Car Club unites us in a way that we never thought possible before. Now that we can get behind the wheel, we feel more empowered and have a greater sense of independence and control over our own lives,” says Ammal.
“Waking up in the morning, getting into the car and being able to go where we need to has been life changing. My son had a bad accident two days before I got my driver’s license and I felt helpless as I couldn’t drive him to the hospital,” she explained, “Now that’s no longer the case and I can’t put into words what a relief it is knowing that if I need to go somewhere or get something done, I can. We aim to continue growing the women’s car club and host events that will bring more of us together to share our unique experiences and to have fun. It’s an exciting time for everyone involved.
A widespread product in Saudi Arabia, Volkswagen Middle East believes the club will flourish and grow from strength to strength. As it encourages more women to join, the club’s plans include accommodating multiple events, rousing up family spirit, and engaging with women in the region and beyond.
Deesch Papke, Managing Director of Audi Volkswagen Middle East said, “Having the opportunity to meet up with likeminded women to talk about their passion for driving, and simply their daily lives has meant that real, genuine friendships have been forged. The Volkswagen brand is all about bringing people together and car clubs like these truly are our heart beat. This particularly special club is yet another milestone in the history of women driving in Saudi Arabia, further cementing their road to empowerment.”