Actually, the keys belong to me: why the world needed an all-female supercar club.
Hanan Mazouzi Sobati is the woman responsible for establishing the world’s first all-female supercar club: Arabian Gazelles. Its creation was her dignified response to a growing frustration with how women were dismissed and underrepresented within the automotive landscape.
“You can’t be fully happy if you are not yourself,” says Hanan, who felt women that share her passion for supercars deserved a safe space in which they could meet, network, learn, and of course, drive fast cars.
“It’s not a sexist, anti-men movement,” she continues. “Until recently, women have been overlooked, what I’m saying is don’t overlook us.”
Based in Dubai, with plans to launch in Saudi Arabia and a TV programme in the pipeline, Hanan hopes that international recognition will help raise awareness of the club’s core mission; to push gender equality and change the way in which the industry sees and understands women.
“There are so many tiring clichés,” explains Hanan, who channels a positive mindset when interacting with those that are sceptical about Arabian Gazelles. “The more people like this that I meet the happier I get because you have the chance to win them over. At events they would always think that I was just someone’s wife. In the showroom they think we have come in for a family car. I had to do something about it, I had to change it. We are not saying you have to make supercars for women, you make it and market it for both genders."
Collaborating with luxury manufacturers has been instrumental to the Arabian Gazelles movement. By attending and contributing to panel and round table discussions, as well as test driving vehicles, the group has begun to change the narrative around what women are perceived to know, and want. Where they were previously unheard, the women of Arabian Gazelles now have a voice.
To qualify for membership, women must drive certain makes and models of supercar, but the most important thing is the passion. If you crave the adrenalin hit of a track day or drag race, and you’re happy to refuel your Ferrari in your wedding dress, on your wedding day (like one member did) you’ll be among kindred spirits.
Respectful and humbled by the commitment her members make, Hanan curates events, from charity drives to weekends away, that are open to partners and families. As a wife, mother, entrepreneur and champion of female empowerment, Hanan knows how challenging it can be to find the right balance, but ultimately her advice is: “it’s time to start living your passion.”
Are you a woman with a passion for supercars? From Bugatti to Lamborghini which combination of supercars would make the perfect garage?
In honour of International Women's Day we also celebrated other women who have challenged the status quo in the automotive sector and motor racing sport. Find out why Hannah Gordon a female mechanic enjoys her job, learn about six historic female figures in the automotive industry and find out more about the world's first female to qualify for the Formula One Grand Prix.