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Car capers

When we moved to Riyadh in 2016, times were different and there were no public celebrations of any sort. An evening’s entertainment topped out at the local boy racers drifting their Ford Mustangs on the quieter streets at the edge of the city. As time progressed, the powers that be loosened the restrictions and the National Day of 23rd September in 2018 saw fireworks and illuminated public buildings for the first time, in recent times at least. Five years later and this public holiday is now a major event with all sorts of official events, concerts, gatherings and celebrations. All the major clothing shops have window displays of Saudi green clothes and accessories, and on the day itself 100s of drivers take to the roads and drive up an down the city streets waving giant flags out of their cars and blaring music out loud.

So here are a couple of photos of the celebrations…




Of course, this behaviour doesn’t help improve the still appalling traffic accident rate. Rarely on my 15-minute commute do I not see the aftermath of a vehicle prang, or the ever-busy Najm loss-adjuster response cars hard at work.

In the UK a vehicle accident will mean an insurance claim and a trip to the vehicle bodyshop for a return to the car’s original shape. I’m sure this happens in Saudi too, for at least some drivers. But others don’t seem to bother and as long as their car is still mobile off they go again as if nothing has happened. And I don’t mean the occasional dent or lost trim, some of the rolling wrecks are truly wondrous. I have seen so many, but unable to photo them due to driving at the time. However these offerings were taken either as a passenger, or when my car was stationary. Enjoy!




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