Dania Akeel to become the first Saudi female rider holding FIA license

Dania Akeel, after receiving her competition license, announced that the UAE National SportsBike Super Series will be her first competition. (Supplied)
Updated 19 November 2019

Dania Akeel to become the first Saudi female rider holding FIA license

  • Akeel set to receive license for Speed Bikes Competition

JEDDAH: Dania Akeel is set to become the first Saudi female to receive her Speed Bikes Competition license after applying through the Saudi Arabian Motorsport Federation.

The General Sports Authority and the Saudi Arabian Motorsports Federation have been supporting Saudi athletes through special programs held to attract young people and develop their sporting experiences.

Akeel, after receiving her competition license, announced that the UAE National SportsBike Super Series will be her first competition, taking place in Dubai Autodrome. She will be riding a Ducati 899.

“I am very grateful to God for the opportunities that have transpired for me to be able to race in the upcoming UAE National Sportbike Super Series organized by Furiosa Racing.”

She added: “I would like to thank the Saudi Arabian Motorsports Federation for aproviding me with the utmost support in obtaining the license. Their methodology has been extremely efficient and helpful. I would also like to thank the Emirates Motorsport Organization and Furiosa Racing for their support and effort in guiding me through this process.”

The UAE National SportsBike Super Series grid will host the competition between more than 15 racers for five consecutive rounds. 

Akeel has been practicing with professional racers, including national champions, to sharpen her skills.


Saudi Arabia to stage first professional ladies golf tournament

Updated 12 December 2019

Saudi Arabia to stage first professional ladies golf tournament

  • Royal Greens Golf & Country Club will host a Ladies European Tour event in March

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia continued its groundbreaking sporting development with Thursday’s announcement that a Ladies European Tour (LET) event will take place at the Royal Greens Golf & Country Club in King Abdullah Economic City from March 19 to 22.

The 72-hole stroke play tournament will be the first time that professional female golfers have played in the Kingdom and will  have a $1 million prize fund for which 108 golfers are expected to compete. It will be broadcast domestically and to more than 340 million homes across more than 55 countries worldwide, according to a press release from Golf Saudi.

Royal Greens Golf & Country Club is also the host of the men's European Tour’s Saudi International. Dustin Johnson won the first staging of the competition this year and will return in January to defend his title against a world-class field including Brooks Koepka, Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia, Tony Finau and Henrik Stenson.

Yasir Al-Rumayyan, chairman of the Saudi Golf Federation and Golf Saudi, said in the press release announcing the ladies competition: “We are delighted to be creating history by hosting the inaugural ladies professional tournament in March. I hope the tournament will inspire many women to take up the great game of golf and awaken their interest in this wonderful sport. We warmly welcome all the players to the Kingdom and wish everyone a rewarding experience in our magical country.”

“I am incredibly excited by this announcement and it is an honor for the Tour to be part of history in bringing the first-ever professional women’s golf event to Saudi Arabia,” said LET CEO Alexandra Armas in the press release. “(It) is an exciting prospect for everyone at LET and having seen the quality of the event staging for the Saudi International, I am sure this will be a fantastic experience for our players.”

Alongside the announcement of the tournament, Golf Saudi also revealed several new ambassadors from the LET who will help to promote golf in the Kingdom. The UK’s Carly Booth, Amy Boulden and Rachel Drummond, and Swedish pair Camilla Lennarth and Isabella Deilert will each wear the Golf Saudi logo as ambassadors of the program.

Looking ahead to the inaugural LET event, three-time Tour winner Booth said: “I’m looking forward to being part of history with the other ladies on the tour and of course to competing over the Royal Greens course. I have visited Saudi Arabia on a number of occasions and been lucky enough to spend some time teaching local women and girls how to play; they have been so enthusiastic and I am sure that seeing professional golfers compete in their country will inspire them to take up the game and strive for their dreams.”