Saudi women to drive female students to school, work in car rental, says transport chief

A file photo shows a Saudi woman driving her car along a street in the Saudi coastal city of Jeddah on Sept. 27. (AFP)
Updated 05 October 2017
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Saudi women to drive female students to school, work in car rental, says transport chief

RIYADH: Certain transportation activities may possibly be limited to women, like female teachers’ commutes, since women will be able to drive school buses and microbuses, Rumaih Al-Rumaih, the president of the Public Transport Authority (PTA), said.
Al-Rumaih also highlighted that transportation activities are available for both men and women, “and as soon as women are permitted to drive and start applying for driver’s licenses, they will have the right to work in all related activities.”
“The PTA does not intend to hire foreign female drivers because the Saudization rate in the transport sector is quite low. We also aim to end the monopoly in this sector,” Al-Rumaih said. “It is not a requirement that women work only driving vehicles; there are many other activities and jobs, like car rental offices and others.”
Through Saudization, the PTA aims to improve service, according to Al-Rumaih, “More than 220,000 Saudi men provide car-hailing services, and we are very likely to hire women among them.”
“Transport regulations were not introduced for men alone, but for men and women equally, and job requirements in the field of transportation are the same for both genders,” Al-Rumaih said, “We are also considering limiting certain activities to women, such as female teachers’ commutes.”
Speaking of his future expectations for women’s status in the transport sector, he said, “The decree was issued a week ago, so we still need to further study implementing it.”
During the launch ceremony of Uber’s new office in Riyadh, Al-Rumaih explained that the company will provide 140,000 part-time and full-time jobs, and the authority is very keen on achieving a high Saudization rate in the sector.
When asked about women’s driving schools, Al-Rumaih said: “Training drivers is the concern of the General Department of Traffic — our job is limited to licensing transportation activities.”


National Day events to explore Saudi heritage, civilization

Updated 20 September 2018
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National Day events to explore Saudi heritage, civilization

  • General Authority for Culture (GAC) organizing folk festivals, music concerts, arts exhibitions, during the Kingdom's 88th National Day celebrations

JEDDAH: Poets, authors, artists and folk musicians are gearing up for a host of cultural events organized by the General Authority for Culture (GAC) to mark celebration of the 88th Saudi National Day around the Kingdom.

These activities, in which citizens and residents participate, include folk festivals, poetry evenings, music concerts, arts shows, film events, and interactive activities.

GAC has organized the “Adwaa wa Atyaf” (lights and spectra) event in Riyadh, which includes a range of activities such as falling green balloons, 3D visual shows, horse shows, sand painting shows, and many others.

The Culture Authority celebrates aviation in Riyadh by playing live national music for the passengers. It has also organized an arts exhibition in Riyadh and a pavilion for cultural heritage.

Between Sep. 19 and 27 a variety of cultural events will run in the provinces of Al-Kharj, Al-Majma’ah, Al-Aflaj, and Thadig, including theatrical performances, poetry evenings, poetry recital competitions, children-only events, women-only events, events for the Ensan Organization for orphans, and cultural seminars.

In Jeddah, GAC has organized the “Naghmet Watan,” a traditional Saudi music event, on Sep. 22. It aims to explore the evolution of the Saudi folklore as well as the Kingdom’s civilization and its heritage, cultural and artistic development through folk music concerts performed by emerging young singers.

In Tabuk, cultural events will take place between Sep. 23 and 25. The program includes a poetry evening, a folk night, and a contest for the best poem, picture, tweet, and article.

The “Lilwatan Maw’ed” (the day of the homeland) event will be held in Al-Ahsa between Sep. 23 and 27. It includes a performance of the Saudi traditional Ardha dance, cultural seminars, and a show about the founder of Saudi Arabia, the late King Abdul Aziz Al Saud.

GAC has organized the “Ya Dar Nestahlak” (we deserve our homeland) event to be held in Buraidah on Sep. 24. This event includes performances by a folk arts band, a photography exhibition, theatrical performances, poetry evenings, and cultural seminars.

In Taif on Sep. 25, the Omsiyat Watan or Saudi evening event will be held, accompanied by a lecture about Taif, an art exhibition, and live poetry recitals.

The Laylat Aflam or movie night event is to be held in Jizan. It will feature the national film “Joud,” which discusses the status of the Kingdom in the Islamic world as well as its cultural and heritage status.

GAC has organized the “Qalo Aan Al-Watan” (they said about Saudi) event in Najran for poets and authors. The event also features a documentary film.

In Al-Jawf, the “Ihtifaliyat Watan” to be held between Sep. 23 and 25 will include poetry and writing competition as well as interactive activities for children.