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.


French Embassy celebrates Bastille Day in Riyadh

Bastille Day is celebrated on July 14 every year. (AN photo by Basher Saleh)
Updated 18 July 2018
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French Embassy celebrates Bastille Day in Riyadh

  • Bastille Day is the common name in English-speaking countries for the National Day of France, which is celebrated on July 14 every year

RIYADH: The French Embassy in Riyadh celebrated Bastille Day with great zeal, holding a reception organized by Ambassador Francois Gouyette to honor French-Saudi friendship.

Bastille Day is the common name in English-speaking countries for the National Day of France, which is celebrated on July 14 every year.

On behalf of Prince Mohammed bin Abdulrahman, acting governor of Riyadh , Aloush bin Fares Al-Subaie, acting assistant undersecretary of the governorate of Riyadh for security, attended the national day ceremony.

Speaking at the reception, the ambassador highlighted the achievements of the past few months, saying Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to France in April was the beginning of a new era in the bilateral historical relationship.

The opening of the first French Consulate in Jeddah in 1839 and the visit of the late King Faisal are testament to this friendship and the trust upon which this relationship was built. France and Saudi Arabia are determined to reinforce the strategic relationship in many fields.

“I would like to express my appreciation toward the new bilateral partnership in the cultural, tourist, educational and research fields,” the envoy said, adding that the intergovernmental agreement signed for the development of the site of Madain Saleh, home of the Nabataean civilization, symbolizes this collaboration.

The agreement, he said, “confirms our will to highlight the value of the Saudi culture that originates from the ancient civilizations.”

The Kingdom abounds with priceless archaeological treasures and France is proud to contribute to the valorization of this great heritage, he said.

On this occasion, the envoy greeted French residents and congratulated their national team on reaching the FIFA World Cup final.

France won the final and the cup, beating Croatia on Sunday.

The embassy made an elaborate arrangement with big screens and refreshments for people to come and watch the final.