Jeddah, Asharq Al-Awsat – Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz unveiled the first Saudi-made car, the Ghazal 1 yesterday at a reception at his palace in Jeddah. The Ghazal 1, which is named after the desert deer, was designed by a team of students at the King Saud University [KSU]. The Ghazal 1 launch was also attended by Saudi Arabian Minister for Higher Education Dr. Khalid al-Anqari, KSU Rector Dr. Abdullah al-Othman, and the KSU design team that designed the Ghazal 1.
During the launch of the Ghazal 1, a visual presentation of different stages of the car’s production was shown, which included explanations of each stage by members of the Ghazal 1 project team. King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz then unveiled the first Saudi-made car by pressing an electronic button.
In a speech prior to the presentation, Higher Education Minister Dr. al-Anqari said that the car being designed by a team from KSU “confirms the capability of the nation’s youth to overcome all obstacles.” He also said that “what is achieved today is clear proof of Saudi youth to make innovations and inventions…if they are provided with adequate facilities and given opportunities.” The Higher Education Minister also stressed that KSU is exerting effort to “take proactive steps to provide the labor market with rare skills that can be put to good use and practice modern techniques for developed industries.”
KSU Rector Dr. Abdullah al-Othman also congratulated the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz on the launch of the first Saudi-made car, and the King’s focus and promotion of higher education. He said that the production of the Ghazal 1 represents a turning point in the history of Saudi Arabia and “shows that we have capable people who can transform ideas into products of high economic value.” Al-Othman also said that “perhaps this achievement confirms that the Saudi youth are no less intelligent, capable, and able to innovate as others, especially after the Saudi leadership helped them in every way that it could, which is what KSU invested in promoting the knowledge and skills of its students.”
A team of students from KSU came up with the design for the Ghazal 1 over a period of two years. The Ghazal 1 is named after a desert deer, which the Ghazal 1 team says is a speedy animal known for its elegance in the desert’s harsh environment, something that they wanted to evoke in the car’s design. The Ghazal 1 is an SUV and is 4.8 meters long and 1.9 meters wide. This car is designed to be used on-road and off-road, and can cope with difficult terrain. 20,000 Ghazal 1 models are planned to be produced annually.