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Saudi reconstruction program launches water project in Yemen

Time: 13 March, 2020

Water tankers being delivered by the Saudi Development and Reconstruction Program for Yemen (SDRPY) to remote provinces in Yemen. (SDRPY photo)

AL-MAHRAH, Yemen: The Saudi Development and Reconstruction Program for Yemen (SDRPY) has inaugurated a water resource-management project in Al-Mahrah governorate.

The SDRPY was established to work alongside the Yemeni government to devise and implement development projects in all areas affecting the daily lives of the Yemeni people, to facilitate recovery, create job opportunities, provide basic services and support the economy.

The goal of its latest project is to provide water to around 30,000 people in the governorate and a number of directorates in Yemen.

Abdullah Suleiman, director of the SDRPY’s office in Al-Mahrah, said that the project “reflects the continuous support provided by the government of King Salman for the brotherly people of Yemen in order to support vital sectors in Yemen.”

A technical research team from SDRPY has also visited printing presses in Aden governorate, in order to establish the best ways to ensure that educational material for schools can be provided and raise the production capacity of the presses.

This article was first published in Arab News

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Volkswagen unveils new black style of popular Tiguan model

Time: September 03, 2019  

The Tiguan is one of the most advanced compact SUVs with innovative features.

Drivers can now add a host of fashionable and sophisticated black features to their Tiguan with the new R-Line “Black Style” design package, making the compact SUV yet more sporty and dynamic-looking.

The new black style for the compact SUV is available as an optional package in the R-Line Tiguan. This new addition brings black finishes to its R-Line trim with black exterior mirror housings, black roof rail, “R” style bumpers, air intakes with black fins, headlights’ frames in high-gloss black, as well as optional 20-inch Suzuka black alloy wheels — adding more onto the sharp and sporty feel of the Tiguan. 

The black style package comes as an optional extra along with the R-Line package for a total price of 9,226 dirhams ($2,500). It is available in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain.

The Tiguan was first launched in 2007 and is not only a global bestseller, but a bestselling model for the Volkswagen brand in the Middle East region. The second generation of this vehicle was launched in 2016 and became the first Volkswagen SUV to be based on the modular transverse matrix (MQB), the same as the popular Volkswagen Golf and the new Teramont 7-seater. 

Jigar Rajani, product manager at Volkswagen Middle East, said: “We are extremely excited to introduce the new black style package of the R-Line Tiguan to the Middle East. Black packages have earned a wide success across this region and we are pleased to present our compact SUV in this special and sophisticated look. This package is really for those customers who want practicality but want to also make a statement on the roads.” 

The Tiguan is one of the world’s most advanced compact SUVs with innovative features enhancing the vehicle’s safety, convenience, infotainment and dynamism. The vehicle provides optimum comfort including a 9.2-inch Discover Pro infotainment system, LED headlights with cornering lights feature, interior ambience and environment lighting, as well as a panoramic sunroof.

The Tiguan includes an array of available options on the technology front, including adaptive cruise control, parking assist, front assist, and an electric tailgate. It also includes an optional 10.25-inch Active Info display — an interactive fully-digital main instrumental panel and head-up display. Additionally, via App Connect, it integrates all of today’s smartphones of the Apple and Android worlds into the functionality of the infotainment system.

This article was first published in Arab News

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Samaco launches new Volkswagen Passat in Kingdom

Time: August 21, 2019  

Samaco Automotive Company, the official dealer for Volkswagen in Saudi Arabia, has launched the new 2020 Passat in the Kingdom.

Mohamed Mousa, general manager for Samaco Volkswagen Saudi Arabia, said: “The sedan market plays an important role in this region. Last year, the previous Passat model made up nearly 20 percent of Volkswagen Saudi Arabia’s total sales, highlighting the importance of sedan in this region and that this model is a popular choice for customers and businesses alike. So we are delighted to welcome a new and upgraded Passat — one of Volkswagen’s key iconic vehicles. It allows our customers to drive a premium German-engineered car at an affordable price and has long resonated with buyers for its combination of comfort, reliability and driving dynamics.”

He added: “This new model has stepped up the style factor and upgraded the technology to make it even more attractive. In addition, we’ve made desirable convenience and driver-assistance features more accessible.”

While the 2020 Passat retains the underpinnings of the previous model, it has been completely restyled. A dynamic coupe-like roofline, dramatic “tornado” line, and dominant grille give the Passat a bold new look — at once, elegant and sporty. Standard slim LED headlights and taillights, along with more prominent Passat badging that runs the width of the rear boot, give the car a more premium look.

This article was first published in Arab News

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Lamborghini Urus wins ‘Best Luxury SUV Car’ award

Time: July 08, 2019  

Representatives of Samaco Automotive Company receive the award presented at a ceremony at the Jeddah Hilton.

The Lamborghini Urus has been named the “Best Luxury SUV Car” at the National Auto Award 2019, organized by PR Arabia in Jeddah, Samaco Automotive Company, the exclusive dealer of Lamborghini cars in Saudi Arabia, has announced.

The seventh edition of the awards, which were recently presented at a ceremony at the Jeddah Hilton, highlighted and recognized excellence in the Saudi automotive sector. The event was attended by a number of car distributors and specialists, in addition to members of the media.
The Lamborghini Urus won the award after being shortlisted through a public voting process.

The Urus features a 4.0 liter V8 twin-turbo engine delivering 650 hp at 6,000 rpm, maximum 6,800 rpm, and 850 Nm of maximum torque already at 2,250 rpm. With 162.7 hp/l, the Urus claims one of the highest power outputs in its class and the best weight-to-power ratio. The car accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.6 seconds, and from 0 to 200 km/h in 12.8 seconds, with a top speed of 305 km/h, making it the world’s fastest 4X4 car. To meet various driving conditions, the Lamborghini Urus features a selection of driving modes, including strada (street), sport, corsa (track), terra (gravel), sabbia (sand), and neve (snow).

Despite the fact that the Lamborghini Urus is an SUV car, it is much lighter than most of its competitors. This is mainly because the Italian automaker used a lightweight body in an aluminum composite design, making the car light as well as strong.

The model’s rear-wheel steering technology provides enormous ease when driving either on low or high speed around the corners.

Mohammed Raffa, chief executive of Samaco Automotive Company, said the Lamborghini Urus deserves the prestigious accolade.

“This is of no surprise to us, Lamborghini cars are the world’s best luxury cars, and Urus is the last model ever made by this brand. Lamborghini Urus combines antiquity and modernity, it stands next to none in its category, and represents the ultimate formula of the modern car.”

The National Auto Awards are one of the top motorsport awards in the region. Every year, a panel of experts, the public and car enthusiasts take part in the voting to select their favorite cars. Assessments for both the categories are based on a series of stringent parameters, such as price, fuel efficiency, styling, comfort, safety, performance, practicality, technical innovation and build quality.

This article was first published in Arab News

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Jaguar Land Rover plots further MENA expansion

Time: June 11, 2019  

The Jaguar brand recorded a major jump in year-on-year growth in key markets in MENA, driving Jaguar sales upwards in the last fiscal year.

Despite all the challenges in the region’s automotive sector, luxury automotive manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover has reported an increase in annual sales in MENA across its two brands for 2018/2019, compared to 2017/2018 results.

Jaguar’s MENA retail sales were up by 46 percent, while Land Rover MENA displayed a 13 percent year-on-year increase.

Jaguar Land Rover has revealed that it is plotting further growth across the MENA region, with a number of new model launches scheduled throughout the year.

The Jaguar brand recorded a major jump in year-on-year growth in key markets in MENA, driving Jaguar sales upwards in the last fiscal year. Sales rose by 327 percent in Bahrain, 115 percent in Morocco, 81 percent in Qatar and 63 percent in Saudi Arabia.

“We’re thrilled to celebrate a profitable year for Jaguar Land Rover in MENA and we are already working to continue that trend in 2019,” said Rob Preston, sales director, Jaguar Land Rover MENA.

“We continue to remain focused on delivering sustainable growth and expect to surge in all-around performance and customer desirability in 2019, driven by new models and technologies to provide our Middle Eastern customers with the next generation of Jaguars and Land Rovers,” he added.

This article was first published in Arab News

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Careem launches bus service between Jeddah and Makkah

Time: May 15, 2019  

Careem has expanded operations to the Kingdom beginning with a direct bus link between Jeddah and Makkah.

Careem Bus has launched in Saudi Arabia, with Jeddah as the first city of operations and a direct service from Jeddah to Makkah.

Following the successful launch of Careem Bus in Egypt in December last year, Careem has expanded operations to the Kingdom, with a journey between the two cities costing SR25 ($6) each way. The service comes as part of Careem’s commitment to solving transportation issues, improving mobility and creating jobs.

The route has been approved by the Saudi Public Transport Authority.

Hadeer Shalaby, director of Careem Bus, said: “Careem Bus will revolutionize mass transportation across Saudi Arabia and bring a new level of sophistication and price to our customers. The 13-seater service has been a huge success in Egypt, easing traffic flows and providing a safe and efficient way to commute. Through our superior technology, the app-based service is as seamless as ride-hailing a car, allowing customers to enjoy the benefits of our tech as well as enjoying cheaper travel and reducing traffic on the roads.”

Customers will be able to check the availability of the bus using the app, monitor its arrival and secure a seat. Walk-on passengers will also be accepted. The service is currently cash only, but soon passengers will be able to pay with several payment methods, such as the Careem wallet on the app or a registered credit card.

The service operates through a separate app from the ride-hailing app and is available for download on iOS and Android. Customers are able to pick the bus that best suits their travel time and will be able to track the bus as it arrives, the same as when ordering a Careem car.

The buses are provided in partnership with vendors who employ the captains, paying them a fixed monthly salary. Fares collected by the Careem Bus captains go to Careem, while Careem pays the bus vendors a fixed daily amount, regardless of the number of trips they make.

“The introduction of Careem Bus will help Saudi Arabia with the Vision 2030 plan for smart cities, contributing to app-based integrated transport options. It also helps the government achieve its ambitions to reduce pollution and ease congestion, as every Careem Bus has the potential to represent 13 fewer cars on the road,” a statement said.

The service will initially start with 13-seater buses.

This article was first published in Arab News

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Vision 2030: All you need to know about Saudi Arabia’s giga-projects

Time: May 07, 2019  

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The Red Sea Project has been described as one of the world’s most ambitious tourism and hospitality projects, aimed at setting new standards in sustainable development and redefining the world of luxury tourism. (Supplied)
  • Huge developments aim to put Kingdom on global tourism map
  • Work on first development in $500bn NEOM zone set to complete in 2020

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is making sincere efforts towards economic, social and cultural diversification with the works in progress on giga-projects, which are designed to be places of inspiration, discovery and fruitful engagements for the millennial generation.

The biggest development projects till date: Qiddiya Entertainment City, NEOM, the Red Sea Project and Amaala resort will shape the future of tourism as an important hub to meet and satisfy the recreational, social and cultural needs of the Kingdom’s current and future generations.

Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman in 2016 mandated the development of long-term model of prosperity for the Kingdom and the result was Vision 2030, an ambitious yet attainable blueprint to ensure that Saudi Arabia is a vibrant society, a thriving economy and a progressive nation.

These developments are part of the Crown Prince’s ambitious plan Saudi Vision 2030 that aims to diversify the economy, away from a dependency on oil and society with varied and rich experience of a quality lifestyle including world class tourism.

In response to multiple societal challenges including limited entertainment options, demographic and social change, careers in a world beyond oil, and public health, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), a sovereign wealth fund owned by Saudi Arabia has been tasked with developing the series of “giga-projects.”

Qiddiya city has been named after the Aba Al-Qid road (Camel Trail) that used to connect Al-Yamama to Hijaz. (Supplied)


The Qiddiya project aims to meet these challenges by providing a destination where Saudis find excitement, inspiration, creative communities and career and investment opportunities.

Qiddiya city has been named after the Aba Al-Qid road (Camel Trail) that used to connect Al-Yamama to Hijaz. When completed Qiddiya will become a place to live, work and play, a prominent landmark and an important hub to meet and satisfy the recreational, social and cultural needs of the kingdom’s current and future generations.

Qiddiya, an important hub planned in the Saudi capital to fulfill the recreational and entertainment needs of the people, will see the launch of the construction phase this year. Qiddiya CEO Mike Reininger told Arab News in January: “2019 will see Qiddiya move from the planning and design phase to the construction phase.”

The Qiddiya site is 40 kilometers from the center of Riyadh city. When completed, this prominent landmark is expected to be the world’s largest entertainment city, surpassing Walt Disney World in Florida.

The ambitious project hopes to attract local, regional and international tourists. It includes theme parks, entertainment centers, sports amenities capable of hosting international competitions, training academies, desert and asphalt tracks for motorsport enthusiasts, water- and snow-based recreation, adventure activities alongside nature and safari experiences, and an array of historical, cultural and educational activities and events.

Visitors will have access to more than 300 recreational and educational facilities designed around five cornerstones of development that drive the strategy: Parks and attractions, sports and wellness, motion and mobility, nature and environment, and arts and culture.

The area earmarked for the NEOM project offers excellent prospects for leisure tourism, combining the Red Sea, beautiful beaches and islands and unspoiled natural beauty. (Supplied)


NEOM, is a giant zone being being developed in the northwest of Saudi Arabia with a $500 billion investment support from the Public Investment fund (PIF).

The project, which has been described as “the destination for the future of living,” will stretch across the Egyptian and Jordanian borders and aims to transform the Kingdom into an international pioneering example, through introduction of value chains of industry and technology.

The area earmarked for the NEOM project offers excellent prospects for leisure tourism, combining the Red Sea, beautiful beaches and islands and unspoiled natural beauty.

The origin of the name is a combination of the Latin word “neo” meaning “new,” and the first letter “m” of the Arabic word “mustaqbal” which means “future”.

NEOM, which was announced in 2017 and is in a pristine position on the Red Sea, is expected to focus on luxurious living, and will include high-end hotels and villas. Moreover, homes in the development will be marketed to both regional and international buyers.

Saudi Arabia announced in January this year that it will start developing the first urban area of the zone after the founding board, chaired by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, approved the master-plan for NEOM Bay, which will include homes, lifestyle and tourist facilities, and “innovation centers.” Construction work was expected to start in the first quarter of 2019 and will be completed in 2020.

“We are now preparing for the development of NEOM Bay area, which will provide a new concept of urban living that will enable it to become a platform for attracting the world’s top minds for creating advanced economic sectors,” said Nadhmi Al-Nasr, NEOM chief executive, in January.

In late January, Saudi Arabia established a company to develop NEOM. The closed joint-stock NEOM Company will be fully owned by the PIF and will develop the vast project, which will include multiple cities, airports, a seaport, tourist areas, industrial complexes and “innovation centers.”

According to Al-Nasr, the new entity will be responsible for developing a new global destination from scratch on a huge area and a futuristic civilization that is based on sustainability and livability.

“All this aims to turn NEOM into a global center for attracting investment, knowledge, innovation and technology in order to compete with all economic capital cities,” he said.

NEOM’s economic prospects will focus on 16 sectors: Energy, water, mobility, bio-tech, food, manufacturing, media, entertainment, culture, and fashion, technology including digital, tourism, sport, design and construction, services, health and well-being, education and liveability.

The Red Sea Project will set new standards in sustainable development and redefine the world of luxury tourism with objectives to position the Kingdom on the global tourism map. (Supplied)


The Red Sea Project, one of the giga-projects announced by the crown prince in 2017, is billed as one of the the world’s most ambitious tourism and hospitality projects: An ultra-luxury destination that is being created around one of the world’s hidden natural treasures.

The Red Sea Project will set new standards in sustainable development and redefine the world of luxury tourism with objectives to position the Kingdom on the global tourism map.

Once completed, visitors will be able to explore the wonders and rich cultural heritage of Saudi Arabia’s untouched Red Sea Coast.

This is a touristic project that includes more than 50 islands located between the cities of Umluj and Al-Wajh. It covers a number of the Red Sea’s untouched islands, as well as the archaeological site of Madain Saleh and a nature reserve containing regional flora and fauna.

Situated between the cities of Umluj and Al Wajh on the west coast of Saudi Arabia, the site is strategically located at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa and within eight hours’ flying time of 80 percent of the world’s population.

The vision of the project include creating an exquisite ultra-luxury destination within a pristine 28,000 sq km area that includes an archipelago of more than 50 unspoiled islands, volcanoes, desert, mountains, nature and culture.

The project is planned to set new standards for sustainable development and environmental protection, exceed expectations with the highest standards of service excellence and use technology to enable a seamless personalized experience that will position Saudi Arabia on the global tourism map.

The project offers a secure and stable environment for investors within the world’s fastest growing tourism region. In December 2018 King Salman received a team from the Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC), led by CEO John Pagano at Al-Yamama Palace in Riyadh that gave a progress report on the ambitious tourism and leisure project with a presentation detailing the master plan and its economic and developmental objectives, which aim to establish it as a leading global destination in the luxury tourism sector.

The first phase of the project, scheduled for completion in 2022, includes 14 luxury and hyper-luxury hotels providing 3,000 rooms across five islands and two inland resorts on the Kingdom’s west coast, an airport to serve the destination, and marinas, along with residential properties and recreational facilities.

By the time the project is completed, there will be 22 developed islands out of a total of 90 islands.

It is expected to create 70,000 jobs and play a significant role in driving economic diversification in the Kingdom by attracting nearly a million visitors a year and contributing SR22 billion to the country’s GDP.

Notably, plans to develop the project have been given the green light. The TRSDC has received final approval from its board of directors for the program’s master plan in January this year.

Commenting on it Pagano said: “With the master plan approved, we are now identifying investors and partners who are interested in working with us on realizing the objectives of the project and who share our commitment to enhance, not exploit, the natural ecosystems that make the destination so unique.”

Significantly, the Red Sea project ensures protection of ecology. As part of the planning process, major environmental studies were carried out to ensure that the area’s sensitive ecology was protected both during and after completion of the development.

Furthermore, the master plan is underpinned by an extensive smart destination management system that will support a wide range of personalized products and services designed to appeal to the modern luxury traveler.

The TRSDC employed the world’s first destination-scale computer simulation techniques, created in Saudi Arabia, to assess the impact of the development and future tourism on the environment. The resulting plan now targets a 30 percent net increase in biodiversity over the next two decades, a conservation equivalent to designating the site as a marine protection area.

Technology also underpins the destination’s sustainability initiatives, with a suite of sensors and monitoring devices in place to track and measure variations in environmental factors such as water salinity, temperature, visibility and tidal flows.

“The leadership of the Kingdom has shown great foresight in its insistence on balanced development of this pristine destination,” said Pagano. “Our plan not only envisions a stunning luxury destination, it also takes tangible, measurable steps to enhance that destination for future generations to enjoy and cherish.”

The Amaala resort, already being dubbed the Riviera of the Middle East, will be focused upon wellness and healthy living. (Supplied)


The Amaala project is another global destination aims to focus on ultra-luxury “wellness tourism” and the arts alongside other Red Sea mega-projects NEOM, a 26,500 square mile business zone and Saudi Arabia’s answer to Silicon Valley currently under development in the northwest of the kingdom and the Red Sea project.

This ultra-luxurious destination on the Kingdom’s northwestern coast of the Red Sea has been announced by the PIF, which is spearheading the project and will provide initial funding. Partnership and investment packages will be available to the private sector as it progresses.

The “Amaala” resort, already being dubbed the “Riviera of the Middle East,” will be focused upon wellness and healthy living. The resort will be located in the Prince Mohammed bin Salman Nature Reserve. PIF said Amaala will sit alongside NEOM and the Red Sea Project as part of a giga-projects investment portfolio, which will establish a unique “tourism ecosystem,” supporting economic diversification and creating high-value job opportunities.

Nicholas Naples, a veteran luxury hospitality and development executive, will be the CEO of the project, PIF said in September 2018.

“Amaala will awaken the world’s imagination by rephrasing the current concept of the luxury tourism experience, especially in terms integrative wellness, specialty treatments and related recreational offerings,” Naples said at the time.

“Amaala represents a unique and transformational luxury experience where full-fledged wellness tourism is integrated alongside a curated mix of arts, culture and sports offerings that are individually tailored for the ultra-luxury lifestyle, including the availability of  a fashion scene, healthy-living services, and year-round sea expeditions,” Naples added.

According to the developers, Amaala will feature “extraordinary architecture and unprecedented luxury in both hotels and private villas as well as a quaint retail village.”

It will also include an arts academy that will foster the growth and development of young artists from Saudi Arabia and the region.

PIF announced there will be cultural events, artistic performances and related conferences in a bid to bring international visitors to the region, where they can enjoy a wide array of unique and personalized holiday experiences set against stunning scenery, mountainous landscapes and diving among pristine coral reefs.

The project will include marinas and a yacht club and aims to be a destination for boutique luxury cruises.

The retail areas will include a mix of galleries, ateliers, artisan workshops and bespoke outlets along with a wide range of international and local restaurants.

As envisioned in Vision 2030, Amaala – along with the other giga-projects — will support the diversification of Saudi Arabia’s leisure and tourism industry, while promoting cultural conservation, ecological preservation and sustainability.

This article was first published in Arab News

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Saudi race driver Reema Juffali makes F4 debut


Reema Juffali made her debut as the first female race driver from Saudi Arabia at the F4 British Championship at Brands Hatch last weekend.

Juffali participated in the single-seater motorsport series based in the United Kingdom, driving for the Double R Racing team along with Louis Foster and Sebastian Alvarez.

“It’s been an honor to represent my country, coming into racing later in life means I have a lot more ground to cover in comparison to the other drivers. My goal this season is to improve race to race and be competitive enough to fight in the middle of the pack,” Juffali told Al Arabiya English.

The 27-year-old Northeastern University graduate made her debut competing in two-seater racing in October last year, just months after the ban on women driving was lifted in Saudi Arabia as per a June 2018 royal decree.

“I didn’t grow up around a racing culture and I struggled to imagine even driving a car in Saudi Arabia let alone representing my country as a female racing driver,” she said about women driving in the Kingdom.

“I used to think that racing was something you had to grow into from a young age, but after watching my first Le Mans race, I realized that some of the drivers were much older than me. That’s when I thought ‘why not?’ It’s not too late,” she added.

Juffali said that “one of the great things about motorsport is that women and men can compete against one another on an even playing field. Being the only woman amongst men has never affected me.”

“I’m quite a competitive person so it has actually pushed me to perform and prove my ability even more,” she added.

Juffali said it’s only the beginning of her journey. “I’m learning something new every day. For now, it’s about taking it step by step and making sure I develop my skills as a driver.”

“I love the feeling I get when I’m behind the wheel, that’s where I’m happiest, but more than that it’s the challenge that keeps me going,” she added.

This article was first published in  Al Arabiya English

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All new BMW Z4 rolled out in Saudi Arabia

Time: April 08, 2019    

MOHAMED Yousuf Naghi Motors, the official importer of BMW Group in Saudi Arabia, introduced the all new BMW Z4.

With dynamic performance, sumptuous interiors and the seamless adoption of the latest on-board connectivity, entertainment and communication technology, the Z4 is poised to achieve the status of ‘new classic’.

With its elongated bonnet, arrow-shaped contour lines directed at the kidney grille and wheel arches in the “clamshell” style, the latest BMW Z4 is built in the mold of the marque’s classic sports roadsters.

A premium two-seater open-top sports car, the Z4 is built for maximum agility, thrills and enjoyment. The design of the front and rear axles gives the Z4 a sportier edge while guaranteeing superb levels of comfort.

The interior has been reimagined with a clear focus on creating a high-class ambience. The cockpit design perfectly adds to the roadster’s aura thanks to the intuitive arrangement of controls

Both driver and passenger enjoy premium upholstered Vernasca leather seating as well as the latest, class-leading BMW driver assist, connectivity and entertainment technology.

Boosting the advanced nature and character of the new Z4 are sophisticated Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning, and City Breaking functions. Fitted as standard, they are designed to seamlessly aid the driver in any situation.

Boot capacity has been increased by more than 50% compared to the outgoing Z4 model, with 281 liters available whether the soft-top is open or closed. A choice of nine exterior paint shades are available, while the fabric soft-top comes in Black or Anthracite with silver effect.

Available in three models that all feature the latest eight-speed Steptronic Sport transmission – the Z4 M40i, Z4 sDrive30i and the Z4 sDrive20i – the Z4’s central seating position, low centre of gravity and ideal 50:50 weight distribution give it a dynamism worthy of its position as the new head of BMW’s family of two-seater roadsters.

This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette

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Saudi female racer Reema Juffali set for F4 UK championship debut at Brands Hatch

Time: April 04, 2019  

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Trailblazing Saudi Arabian racing driver Reema Juffali is set to make her Formula 4 British Championship Debut at Brands Hatch in the UK at the weekend. (Jakob Ebrey Photography/Formula 4)
  • Juffali, 27, will be racing for defending champions Double R Racing
  • Juffali, on debut, was one of only three women in the GCC to hold a race licence

LONDON: Saudi Arabian racing driver Reema Juffali is set to make her Formula 4 British Championship debut at Brands Hatch at the weekend.

Juffali, 27, will be racing for defending champions Double R Racing with her teammates Louis Foster and Sebastian Alvarez.

Having made her debut in racing in October 2018, a few months after the Kingdom lifted the ban on women driving and started issuing licences in June of the same year, Jeddah-born Juffali said she was excited about the coming year ahead.

“In terms of being from Saudi Arabia, it’s such a great thing for me to do and represent my country,” she said, highlighting her pride at representing Saudi Arabia. She also thanked her family, friends and fans for their support thus far.

“It’s a great honor for me. It’s something I didn’t really think about until quite late in life, I want to say maybe about three or four years ago that I started thinking about the idea of racing. To be here today is quite unbelievable and to have done it in such a short space of time, I’m very grateful and happy about that,” she told the British F4 website.

“It’s a good time in Saudi to be doing such a thing and all the support I’ve gotten from friends, family, people I don’t even know, has been fantastic and it’s only been pushing me to do better.

“Brands Hatch is the heart of motorsport. It’s going to be a tough year in such a competitive championship, but I’m ready for the challenge,” she added.

Juffali, who studied in the US before moving back to the Kingdom, was announced as Double R Racing’s latest addition to the team in March – and having joined the UK-based set-up, she said: “I’m happy to be joining Double R Racing, a championship-winning team with such a great history, and to be competing in British F4 where many great drivers have started.”

Juffali was one of only three women in the GCC to hold a race licence on her debut and the first Saudi female to compete in the TRD 86 Cup at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi.

Team principal Anthony Hieatt said: “We’re really looking forward to working with Reema in British F4 this year and delighted she’s joined Double R for her first full season of racing at any level.

“I know there’s a huge amount for her to learn – the car, the style of racing and all of the British tracks which are very unique – but Reema has shown a great deal of promise already.

“It’s fantastic to be working with someone who is breaking down barriers as Reema is, and has been over the past few months, since she decided to start racing.”

The F4 championship is a multi-event, open-wheel single seater championship held at various racetracks across the UK between April and October.

This article was first published in Arab News

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