SR11bn for road projects this year

Updated 22 September 2013
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SR11bn for road projects this year

The Ministry of Transport, in a major exercise to improve infrastructure in Saudi Arabia, has taken up 223 road projects involving laying of roads covering a total length of 3,708 km at a cost of SR11 billion this year. Besides, it will also study the feasibility of laying 1,523 km of new roads in the Kingdom.
The Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said the total length of the road network including expressways, double lane and single lane roads had already touched 65,000 km, and all these adhere to the most advanced specifications.
"This is apart from 145,000 km agricultural roads," SPA reported, citing a source, adding that more than 24,000km of different kinds of roads are under construction in various parts of the Kingdom.
Road networks are of strategic importance for Saudi Arabia's industrial development with huge investments having been made for the development of transport infrastructure in addition to expansion of land, sea and air transport.
This year, the government has also decided to implement public transport systems including a metro and bus service system in Riyadh city to be completed in four years.
The King Abdullah Public Transport Project in Riyadh will comprise six metro lines and four fast bus routes in addition to various feeder bus services connecting residential districts and other important locations with main bus stands.
The 176 intra-city metro routes will have 85 stations, while bus routes covering 1,083 km will have 776 bus depots, according to the report.
Another metro system is being implemented in Makkah, while studies are underway to have advanced mass transit systems in other cities as well.


Saudi businesswomen eye greater role in the economy with end to driving ban

The end of the driving ban is expected to help bring an economic windfall for Saudi women. (Shutterstock)
Updated 23 June 2018
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Saudi businesswomen eye greater role in the economy with end to driving ban

  • The historic move is a huge step forward for businesswomen in the Saudi Arabia, says businesswoman
  • A recent survey by the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce indicated that transportation was a major concern holding Saudi women back from joining the labor market

The end of the driving ban will boost women’s financial power and allow them to play a bigger role in economic and social diversification in line with Vision 2030, prominent businesswomen said on Friday.

Hind Khalid Al-Zahid was the first Saudi woman designated as an executive director — for Dammam Airport Company — and also heads the Businesswomen Center at the Eastern Province Chamber of Commerce and Industry. 

She sees the historic move as a huge step forward for businesswomen in the Kingdom.

“Women being allowed to drive is very important; of course this will help a lot in sustainable development as the lifting of the ban on women driving came as a wonderful opportunity to increase women’s participation in the workforce,” she told Arab News on Friday, ahead of the end of the ban on Sunday.

She added that women in the job market are under-represented; they make up to 22 percent of the national workforce of about six million according to official estimates. Lifting the ban will help to take women’s representation in the workforce to 30 percent by 2030, she said.

“This is not just the right thing to do for women’s emancipation, but also an essential step in economic and social development as part of the reforms,” she said.

She said that there were different obstacles in increasing women’s participation in the workforce and other productive activities, and the driving ban was one of them. It was a strategic issue that needed to be addressed on a priority basis. With the issue resolved, it would help immensely in giving Saudi women better representation as they would help to diversify the Saudi economy and society.

She said that women could contribute hugely to the workforce and labor market as half of Saudi human resources were female, and unless allowed to excel in different sectors it would not be possible to do better, mainly because of restricted mobility.

A recent survey by the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce indicated that transportation was a major concern holding Saudi women back from joining the labor market.

Nouf Ibrahim, a businesswoman in Riyadh, said: “It will surely boost female economic participation and help increase women’s representation in the workforce immensely. It will also help to reduce the overall national unemployment rate as most of the unemployed are women and many of them are eligible as university graduates.”

She echoed the opinion that the move would help to bring an economic windfall for Saudi women, making it easier for them to work and do business, and thus play a bigger and better role that would help economic and social diversification in line with Saudi Vision 2030.

“Being able to drive from Sunday onwards after the ban is lifted will be a wonderful experience. Earlier we were dependent on a male family member and house driver to take us to workplace, to the shopping center, school or other required places for some work, now we can drive and that will allow active participation in productive work,” Sulafa Hakami, a Saudi woman working as the digital communication manager with an American MNC in Riyadh, told Arab News.

“Saudi women can now share effectively the bigger and better responsibilities,” she said.