JEDDAH: Jeddah was the second city after Alkhobar to host the Road to Ad Diriyah E Touring Village, on Nov. 22-24.
The event aimed to publicize the upcoming Formula E Road to Ad Diriyah race on Dec. 13-15 in Riyadh.
Activities, which were free, included an outdoor cinema, virtual-reality gaming, and a simulation of driving a Formula E car.
Prince Khalid bin Sultan Al-Faisal Al-Saud, president of the Saudi Arabian Motor Federation, inaugurated the village and announced the start of an excitement weekend.
“The aim of such events is to raise awareness about the Formula E race that the Kingdom is hosting for the next 10 years. We need to let people know more about the race,” he told Arab News.
“It also aims to enable all families and youth in Saudi Arabia to enjoy and be introduced to this international event that the Kingdom is hosting,” he said.
“Such events emphasize the potential of the Kingdom and its youth in management and organization.”
Princess Haifa bint Mohammed Al-Saud, managing director of the General Sports Authority, told Arab News: “The event is critical because it’s raising awareness about motorsports. We have a society that has been focused for so many years solely on a single sport, which is football, so it’s nice to be introduced to a different sport.”
She said: “For women specifically, now is their chance. We’re allowed to drive now in Saudi Arabia, and I think there are a lot of women out there with this talent, so it’s nice to direct this talent to a beautiful sport that’s recognized and celebrated globally, and to have women play a major role in that.”
Attendee Ohoud Bukhari, a housewife and racing enthusiast, said: “Such events are really keeping up with all the changes that we’re living through nowadays.”
She added: “Openness is priceless, and I really wish to see a Saudi participant in the next formula race.”
Tickets for the historic race in Riyadh start from SR395 ($105.3), and can be bought at www.ad-diriyah-eprix.com. People will be able to watch the race and access entertainment areas.