Saudi companies and families plan to hire expat female drivers

Women Drivers Better Than Men
Updated 01 October 2017
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Saudi companies and families plan to hire expat female drivers

RIYADH: Car rental companies, businesses and Saudi families are looking to hire female drivers from overseas in the wake of King Salman’s decree last week allowing women to drive.
“The hiring of women expatriate drivers, if the regulatory provisions of the government allow, will go a long way in improving public transport and the conveyance of women and children,” said Alam Razak, an agent with Arafat Recruitment in Jeddah.
“The recruitment agencies and business houses are waiting for the new regulations, which are to be released within a few months.”
But in general, he said, “permission for women to drive will cut reliance on foreign drivers in Saudi Arabia, whose number currently exceeds 1.3 million.”
Abdullah Elias, co-founder and chief executive of the car-booking app Careem, said he expected business to flourish. “The decision will not affect major rent-a-car companies or international companies like Careem,” he said. Careem is reported to be planning to hire 100,000 female staff to capture a new market segment in the Kingdom.
“Another good aspect of it is that now perhaps expert women drivers from abroad can also be hired for families to pick up and drop off girls at schools and universities,” the prominent Islamic scholar and social worker Hussain Zulkarnain said.
“Far better than male ones, as these ladies can live inside the house and also help in household chores without the need to hire separate maids.” Many Saudi families will hire female drivers from abroad, especially from traditional labor-exporting countries, he said.
Nora Al-Hamdan, a Saudi businesswoman, said the environment would soon become female-friendly, once women started driving. “While there is a long way to go, improvements are being made every day,” she said.
Madiha Shunan, a Pakistani teacher, predicted safer roads. “It is important to note that women are better drivers than men, which has been proved by many surveys,” she said.


Saudi Arabian Military Industries to build five corvettes with Spain’s Navantia

Updated 34 min 44 sec ago
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Saudi Arabian Military Industries to build five corvettes with Spain’s Navantia

  • The program will start this autumn with the last unit to be delivered by 2022
  • The contract will generate 6,000 direct and indirect jobs for five years

RIYADH: Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) has announced the signature of a Joint Venture (JV) Agreement for the design and construction of five Avante 2200 corvettes with the Spanish state-owned shipbuilding company Navantia. The program will start this autumn with the last unit to be delivered by 2022.
In line with the contract, Navantia and SAMI have agreed on the establishment of a JV in Saudi Arabia, which will provide an exceptional opportunity to consolidate the position of the integrated systems and technologically advanced solutions provided by Navantia in the Saudi market and area of influence, perfectly aligned with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 by localizing 50% of the total military spending by 2030.
The contract will generate 6,000 direct and indirect jobs for five years, as follows: 1,100 direct jobs, more than 1,800 from the auxiliary industry, and more than 3,000 indirect jobs generated by other suppliers.
In this respect, the JV will focus on program management and combat system integration and installation, system engineering, system architecture, hardware design, software development, testing and verification, prototyping, simulation, modelling, and through-life support.
Ahmed Al-Khateeb, Chairman of Saudi Arabian Military Industries, said: “SAMI remains committed to being a key enabler of the Saudi Vision 2030, and the establishment of this Joint Venture with Navantia will localize more than 60% of ship combat systems work including, installation, and integration, which contribute to the Kingdom’s objective to be at the forefront of shaping the local military industries ecosystem. We will continue to explore collaborations and leverage partnerships that meet our key mandate to localize more than half of the Kingdom’s total military spending.”
Esteban Garcia Vilasanchez, Chairman of Navantia, said: “Navantia is very happy with the signature of this contract that means a starting point for the collaboration with Saudi Arabia. Navantia is committed to contributing to Saudi Vision 2030 and will support the country in this endeavour. The JV between SAMI and Navantia is an opportunity to develop capabilities in the country and jointly explore future opportunities.”
For the Avante 2200 contract, the JV will be responsible, among others, of supplying the Combat System of all five ships. Corvettes 4th and 5th will be finalized and delivered to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where the JV will do the installation, integration and test of the complete Combat System.