Saudi Royal decree will help families save money currently spent on private drivers

A street in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (Shutterstock)
Updated 27 September 2017
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Saudi Royal decree will help families save money currently spent on private drivers

DUBAI: The UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, has welcomed King Salman’s announcement allowing women to drive in Saudi Arabia, calling it a positive step.
In a tweet Guterres wrote: “I welcome Saudi Arabia’s decision to lift the ban on women drivers. An important step in the right direction.”
The ruling will see a consultation over the next 30 days on how to implement the new rules granting women the right to apply for driving licenses and it will be brought into force in June 2018.

By allowing women to drive frees them to go to work without incurring excessive additional costs caused by the need to hire drivers, and thus bring home additional income into the household, which will ultimately increase people’s spending power and help boost Saudi Arabia’s national economy.
Saudi writer and journalist, Ghada Ghunaim said: “This will have a huge impact on Saudi Arabia’s economy. We have to remember that our Kingdom produces more female graduates compared to our male counterparts,”
Most Saudi families are reliant, to varying degrees, on private drivers to transport the female members to school, work and any other place they need to go to.
The most recent statistics suggest there are nearly 800,000 men – mostly South Asian – working as drivers for Saudi women.
Drivers are paid approximately 1,000 – 1,500 riyals ($267 — $400) per month. But there are additional costs incurred, such as residence permits, accommodation, health care and food, and flight tickets, which cost Saudi families a national total of approximately 19.14 billion riyals ($5.1 billion).
Ghunaim said Tuesday’s royal decree would ultimately help low income families who currently struggle to meet the financial burden of hiring drivers.
“A lot of families in Saudi Arabia are not able to afford paying a driver a monthly salary, this royal decree will help ease a lot of families who struggle with their women not being able to drive,” she added.


King Salman invites Indonesian centenarian to perform Hajj

Updated 18 July 2019
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King Salman invites Indonesian centenarian to perform Hajj

  • The man said he and his family can’t financially afford to perform Hajj
  • He was welcomed by the Saudi ambassador to Indonesia

DUBAI: King Salman has invited an Indonesian man, who is reportedly 140 years old, and his family to perform Hajj, the Saudi embassy in Jakarta said on Wednesday.
“The Custodian of the Two Holy mosques invites elderly Indonesian man and his family to perform Hajj,” the embassy tweeted.

The centenarian sent his appeal to King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in a video, asking the Saudi rulers to invite him and his daughters to perform Hajj for the first time, as they were unable to afford it on their own.
Social media users shared his video, in which he and two of his daughters explained their situation in Arabic

The man was hosted by Saudi ambassador to Indonesia Esam Al-Thagafi in Jakarta, who broke the good news to him.
The Saudi rulers saw the video and Hajj authorities will take care of their travels and necessities, Al-Thagafi told the man and his family.

Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam, and Muslims should aim to perform the ritual at least once in their lifetime.