In the wee hours of Sunday, Saudi social media became abuzz with celebratory videos and posts, as police officers handed out roses to female drivers during the first hours of the first day women are allowed to drive legally in Saudi Arabia.
It was almost like an undeclared street party like no other: Many Saudis stayed up late until the early hours of June 24, to mark the historic moment.
"I can't believe it," exclaimed one of the first women to drive legally in Riyadh, the Saudi capital, in a video posted by a passenger on Twitter.
"This is a proud moment. Congratulations Saudi Arabia," says a tweet sent out by another showing a female driver behind the wheel.
"I'm so proud to be a Saudi womannn!... I can't wait see what the future holds. Never forget to always wear a seatbelt and please always stay safe!!" posted Reem Alsanea (@reemalsanea_) on Twitter.
Meanwhile, pictures of Saudi police officers handing out roses to female drivers are going around on social media, too.
June 24, Sunday, marks the first day women are allowed to legally get behind the wheel of a car in the Kingdom as the longstanding ban on women driving has been lifted.
"It's Your Big Day Girl," posted Afraah Alkhudri in a twitter video showing a female driving a Lexus.
A video posted on Instagram early on Sunday shows the first Saudi woman driving through Saudi-Kuwait border in Khafja.
#قيادة_المرأة_للسيارة_في_السعودية . . . . . . . . . فولو حق الحساب @3agraab . مساحه اعلانيه خاليه👇🏼. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . #حليمه_بولند #مريم_حسين #السعودية #الكويت #شجون #هيا_عبدالسلام #بلقيس #شجون_الهاجري #الرياض #امل_العوضي #بثينه_الرئيسي #فوز_الفهد #نهى_نبيل #روان_بن_حسين #فرح_الهادي #عقيل_الرئيسي #خلود_امين #دكتوره_خلود #شوق_الهادي #مي_العيدان #حلا_الترك #سناب #شيماء_علي #فاشنيستا #مشاهير #قيادة_المرأة #الخفجي #احلام #ريناد
End on driving ban
The end of the ban on driving of women in Saudi Arabia places the Gulf nation in step with the rest of the world.
It also represents the culmination of years of campaigning for women to be allowed to get behind the wheel.
In September, King Salman announced by royal decree lifting the ban.
Special driving schools have been set up, car showrooms are heaving with prospective female buyers, and events are being held in Riyadh to encourage new drivers.
The first group of women received their Saudi driving licences on June 4.
The Saudi Press Agency (SPA) stated that authorities then also started swapping international licences for Saudi ones in multiple locations across the kingdom, with women applicants made to undergo a "practical test".
The move is part of Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman's far-reaching liberalisation drive as he seeks to modernise the kingdom.