GLOBAL AUTO SALON
Street Trucks|April 2020
A WORLDWIDE RECORD-SETTING EVENT
MIKE ALEXANDER

IT’S CERTAINLY NOT EVERY DAY THAT YOU GET INVITED TO TAKE PART IN A CUSTOM AUTOMOTIVE EVENT SLATED TO BREAK SOME HEFTY WORLD RECORDS. It’s also not every day that said event takes place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia!

That’s right, we were on hand for the 2019 Global Auto Salon, the first-ever automotive festival in Saudi Arabia. There were a ton of “firsts” for a global festival of this scale, especially being held in the capital of Saudi Arabia. I mean, let’s be straight up here: This is a place where alcohol is still illegal, women just recently received the right to drive and Middle East unrest is still part of daily life. It’s not exactly the most likely place to host such an insane gathering of motorsports celebration. But there is a reason for the season—Saudi Seasons, that is.

The Saudi royal government has undergone quite a shift over the last few years. The younger generation is working toward opening up to more tourism via its Saudi Seasons initiative, which was launched by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage. The country is also competing with Dubai and raising overall citizen morale in the process with more modern amenities, outside cultures and tolerance of “Western influence,” as they say (movies and music are only recently allowed as well).

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