Articles, Blog

Desert Drifters: Illegal Street Drifting in Saudi Arabia

Desert Drifters: Illegal Street Drifting in Saudi Arabia


Drifting. It’s the controlled blocking of the
wheels at high speeds. The car swerves, swiveling from
one side to the other. And that’s the kick right there. It’s about maintaining control of
your car at all times. They’re hazardous moves
on public streets and have become one of the most popular hobbies
among young Saudis. At the same time a person
dies in a car accident every 90 minutes in the desert state and many of these accidents
happen at illegal drifting events. It’s a societal phenomenon that
often has lethal consequences. I want to understand why Saudis
are so crazy for cars. And I want to meet professional
drifters that are trying to establish drifting
as a legal sport. Saving lives in doing so. Right after landing in Riyadh,
I’m confronted with illegal drifting
on public streets. Fucking mad. Riyadh is a metropolis of about
six million people and as soon as you get
on the streets, it seems like each one of them is
in a car going somewhere. I meet Said Almouri on the
roof of the Al Faisaliah Tower one of the tallest buildings in town. Said is one of Saudi Arabia’s
most famous pro drifters, who like many young Saudis first
came into contact with drifting on the streets of Riyadh and
whose life was influenced by illegal drifting from an early age. One guy you can call a friend had a really, really bad accident. The doors of the car couldn’t be
opened and the car caught fire and nobody could help him. And seeing him dying inside
the car was really sad and people got to know
how dangerous it is. A friend dying under
the fire of a car. When you hear these stories, I mean that must scare people a lot right? It should. Today he’s distanced himself
from the scene and has made it a goal to come
out actively against illegal drifting The only illegal drifting
that I have seen before was in a handful of videos
that show these guys making life-threatening turns
on public streets. I’d like to learn more about it
and drive through the city with Said. He shows me the streets that
people drift on almost daily. But even these hazardous drifts
on public streets aren’t enough of a challenge for
some of the drifters in the scene. You will see tire marks
on the sidewalls here. So people challenge each other
to drive up. I’ll go a bit further. What are the punishments? Usually it was five days in jail and
then they take the car for one month. But now it can reach
to two years of jail. Even people standing on the street
will have the same punishment. Sometimes one month if they are
filming or are doing anything because they are helping for the
exposure of illegal drifting. For the past two, three years
I’ve never seen a live drifting. So it’s good. The police have a reason
cracking down on illegal drifting. One of the most well-known
illegal drifters, Abu Khab killed three children in an accident. He got 20 years in prison and
3,000 lashes for causing the accident. To get to know another
side of drifting I head to the Eastern Province. Here, in the city of Al Kobar the final round of Driftforce
is taking place. It’s one of the biggest prodrift
events in Saudi Arabia and has already drawn thousands of motorsports
fans in the previous rounds. Here I can see up close
how a growing legal scene is developing alongside
illegal drifting. In addition to the pro drift
competition, Driftforce is committed to getting young men off the
streets and onto the racetrack. I meet with Mohammed Kashkash,
one of the event organizers to find out how big of a role the
amateur section plays in pro drifting. It’s huge. I mean it’s the most
important thing, honestly. The only way to get to the professional stage is to go through amateurs and semi pro. They really try to focus
on the amateurs because they are the future. When I drift, it’s like nothing else it’s like the best drug
in the world for me like I know I don’t do it for the money I do it for passion. The drifters are evaluated in
point categories during their runs. There are thirty points
for each of the categories speed drifting in the marked lines
and clipping points. The fourth category is
the drifter’s driving style. Each judge can subjectively
give up to 5 points. In total you can reach
up to 100 points. I saw really particular
cars at Driftforce not just everyday models. For the most part they’re luxury cars
that get tuned in Saudi Arabia. Rahez Motorsports
specializes in converting cars into high-performance vehicles. This is where Said’s mechanics
work on his new car. The head mechanic, Doumit,
can better explain what’s so special about
a professional drift car. I can’t fit in that seat man. The main thing is the roll cage. The roll cage we did it
to make it strong. And this hand brake
does it block all wheels? Or just the rear wheels? Just the rear wheels. You can do a drift without
the handbrake but its not professional and when you need to move the car you can not. Can you tell me something
about the wheels? They look a little bit – off. To let them turn inside
without touching the body you need to make it off a little bit. But it’s not only the roll cage,
the front axel and the handbreak, which distinguishes a drift car
from a regular model. It is also the motor that is swapped,
to give the car the necessary power for drifting. Said has an 800 horsepower
motor installed in his car to be able to keep up with the
evermore powerful competition. The world of pro drifting is
much more than a casual hobby. After learning about the
specifics of drift cars it’s about time I
get behind the wheel. On the outskirts of Riyadh
there’s a new drift academy with a training strip. There, professional drifter and
instructor, Abdulhadi al-Qahtani explains both the theory and
the practice of drifting. There is a front clipping point you have to take the car from here all
over to the clipping point to go out. Usually I don’t instruct, because I I don’t have patience with the students So. Then let’s go. First gear can handle. Just keep it in first, no need
to shift in second gear. But even though the actual
execution of a drift only encompasses a few movements perfecting these movements is a bit
more complex than you’d first think. But how respected is it in
the professional motorsport scene? To find out, I’m going to
the place where conventional motorsports meets
the world of professional drifting. I meet up with Said again,
who as an ambassador for the emerging pro drift scene is promoting his sport to the
established and glamorous GT racers. Pro drifting has become
a recognized sport but how is Said’s engagement
reaching young people? Said, he does a lot.
He goes around and he does like
little showcases where kids can get to see and he talks to them talks about traffic safety and if they wanna actually race
they should come to a track where everything is safe. I see a lot of new faces. Said Almouri acts as a link
between amateurs and a newly developed
pro drift scene. But in spite of his engagement,
a lot of things still have to happen to get a bigger portion of
Saudi youth to understand that you can only be a
true champion on the racetrack. I always say that we have
a lot of petrolheads but we don’t have motorsport. Two totally different things. People love cars, they love speed but when it comes to motorsport where
it needs to be more structured It’s sport. Does it get kids off the street? I don’t know how many
drivers you met with but I am sure they were
more then a hundred. And if you’d ask them,
if they’d go back to the street they’d say no. In Said and his crew’s world a liter of water is more expensive
than a liter of gasoline. The pro drifting community
is a big family that warmly accepts each new member. Me included, even though
I didn’t really know a lot about drifting
in the first place. Illegal drifting is still a problem
on the streets of Saudi Arabia but with the help of Said
and other pro drifters pro drifting has become a legal
and recognized sport that’s prompting more and more
people to celebrate their idols.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

100 thoughts on “Desert Drifters: Illegal Street Drifting in Saudi Arabia

  1. This was the worst VICE segment I've ever seen. The reporter hasn't even got the slightest clue about motorsport.

  2. There's a video around that shows illegal Saudi drifting gone wrong; with cars going into crowds, crashing into other cars on the road, ejections, and tumbling. One of the most striking ones shows a drifter rolling his car at high speed, and clearly a whole arm comes flying out one of the windows.

  3. y'all ever think… drifting is about controlling the car while sliding but drifting means u the car is technically out of control? idk maybe. maybe not

  4. Hombre, wenn Du noch fragen musst, ob die Handbremse alle 4 Räder blockiert, oder nur die hinteren, bist Du der falsche für den Report…

  5. Also these fucking idiots have a "head mechanic" that said it's almost impossible to drift without a handbrake. Ever heard of a clutch kick? Weight transfer? Scandinavian Flick? Literally the way 80% of people correctly drift. If you need a handbrake to initiate any kind of slip angle you shouldn't be drifting

  6. "Drifting is simple.. Just go as fast as you can turn left then turn the wheel right.."

    This guy is a fucking idiot.. Shit reporting.

  7. Most of the cars at the organized drift event were rwd cars drifting while many of the illegal cars "drifting" are usually fwd, they can't do those same things on a small course

  8. The first car was just laying tire. Not drifting! And the videos of the guys in the silver car is just dudes driving like asses!

  9. The only thing that is illegal here is this Gah Dahm misleading title. This should have been a CNN report. When vice sys "illegal drifting", we tend to expect "illegal drifting" coz its VICE. You guys have been to gah dahm North Korea damnit. What were you scared of

  10. Shit video. It's not about illegal anything. There's no illegal drifting in this video. Vice, once again you've disappointed us. You liberal fucking cunts.

  11. Front wheel vehicle drifting is absolutely impractical, it is the same as shooting outdoor video on laptop, it is possible, but not meant to be….. never understood and wont support such dangerous driving on the public road. True pro competition happening worldwide such as D1 in japan or RDS in Russia and similar events happening in Europe

  12. most videos i have seen of saudi "drifting" is just people spinning there cars out not actual controlled drifting

  13. Too funny in Saudi Arabia there drifting, but across the border in Yemen people are dieing. Vice supports terrorist funding country

  14. My guy said the red Chrysler in the beginning was drifting. There is a big difference between drifting and peeling out without holding any angle.

  15. This reporter doesn’t know shit about cars or drifting. My man said a engine swap is something that distinguishes a drift car from a regular car. He also stated that he swapped a 800hp motor in. You know that motors don’t just come with 800hp right?

  16. Shoulda had a car dude do this…this guy says "he put a powerfull motor in it" "tell me about the wheels, they look weird" it's called a LS and angel fool

  17. this reporter was terrible with this topic, seems as if no prior research was done other than watching a few youtube videos. He knows nothing about cars altogether or anything related to drifting or racing. The title says "illegal street drifting" while this dude focuses on legal drifting on the track. I need a redo with a more knowledge and better-prepared reporter!!

  18. What do you expect, Saudis are Muslim in appearance, American at heart. Their idol is Indiana Jones for guys and Hannah Montana for girls. Modernisation what the rulers want remember.

  19. Second best VICE video.. if it’s about drifting I’m there. Especially Streeto!! Major skill. This dude talking about people dying because drifting though. Get the fuck outta here ya bam 😂

  20. Arabs are fucking insane drivers. They have bigger balls that a elephant… they really have either massive skill… or no brains. Either way, keep it up you fucking nut cases

  21. This used to be a problem when i was younger. I’ve never seen drifting before in my life; thank god. The government really cracked down on those idiots who would drift in public. `Its super rare now 🙂

  22. Rich kids with more money from Daddy's oil fields. Got bored with a tiger & the Lamborghini is in London for screaming up & down Sloane st.
    Wankers

  23. كريم رجال الصحراء هو العلاج الفعال للتخلص من المشاكل الجنسية ك قضيب صغير و ضعف الانتصاب و سرعة القذف للحصول على المنتج يرجى التواصل مع الدكتور مصطفى المالكي على الواتساب00212689611487
    خلطة رجال الصحراء هو علاج طبيعي وكل مكوناته طبيعيه ١٠٠٪ ولا يتسبب أي أثار جانيه امن تماما.
    خلطة رجال الصحراء هو المنتج الأكثر مبيعا في دول العالم عامة وفي الشرق الأوسط خاصة بسبب لنجاحه مع كل العملاء اللذين استعملوه
    كريم رجال الصحراء منتج مرخص من هيئة الغذاء والدواء
    فوائد كريم رجال الصحراء
    1-يعمل على تكبير القضيب
    2-مفيد لي تأخير القذف
    3-يساعد على لانتصاب
    لا تترددوا وغيروا حياتكم للأفضل…
    نحن نرسل الخلطة لجميع دول الخليج و دول العالم

  24. I never thought I'd like news or documentaries until I found out how vice does news and documentaries. Now it's all I watch.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *