Saudia Cargo signs sponsorship agreement with female rally driver

Saudia Cargo has signed a sponsorship agreement with Saudi Arabia’s first female, accredited rally driver at Rally Dakar, Mashael AlObaidan.

Image: Saudia Cargo

The 33-year-old driver is ready to take part in Rally Dakar in 2022, as the first Saudi and Arab female participant, in the prominent worldwide race event. The event will kick off next year in Saudi Arabia for the third time in a row with drivers of 70 nationalities participating in Rally Dakar’s five different categories.

The rally track will start from the City of Hail ending in Jeddah and is famous for being the world’s longest and hardest rally track where drivers cross multiple cities facing different weather conditions and challenging complex topographies. 

In line with Vision 2030 that recognises a successful, modern nation must empower all members of society, including women, Mashael aspires to lead a new generation of female rally racers in the Middle East, and represent women empowerment across motorsports in Saudi Arabia. She is the first Saudi and Arab female to obtain a rally license in Saudi Arabia. Soon after becoming the first female licensed rally driver in KSA, Mashael placed 1st in the T3 category at Sharqiyah Rally and 5th overall out of 19 racers.

“We realise the importance of all events hosted by the Kingdom and the active role we play by utilising our capacities and logistics services to ensure the success of such premium and challenging races,” said Teddy Zebitz, Saudia Cargo CEO. “It is important to recognize the shared values and attributes between rally drivers and Saudia Cargo, where both face challenging routes, undergo long-haul races, and recognise the necessity of overcoming obstacles with great elegance under pressure. This requires agility, flexibility and unwavering resilience and commitment. These are the qualities and standards that drives us daily, as we deliver our services around the world. Clearly, the common values between Saudia Cargo – that exists to serve our global community – and rally driver Mashael AlObaidan are distinctly recognisable.”

AlObaidan said: “It is an honor to participate in one of the toughest rallies in the world, with Saudia Cargo as a partner. Thanks to Saudia Cargo’s sponsorship, I have reached a major milestone in my career. This is an exciting time for me on several levels, primarily as having the opportunity to represent my country, and to honour the tenets of Vision 2030 in progressing the Kingdom forward.”


AlObaidan became the first Arab female driver from GCC to take part in the international Rally Dakar following her participation in the Spanish Baja Aragon Rally – the fifth stage of the World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas organised by FIA. Mashael also managed to finish second in the T3 category of the Hail International Rally in Saudi Arabia – the final round of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies – making her way through as the first Arab female rally driver to win a title in this race.