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.”


DiplomaticQuarter: British consulate in Jeddah marks Queen’s birthday

Foreign Ministry official Jamal Balkhaior joins British Ambassador Simon Collis and Consul General Barrie Peach to cut the cake in Jeddah on Monday. (AN photo)
Updated 26 April 2018
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DiplomaticQuarter: British consulate in Jeddah marks Queen’s birthday

  • The theme of the evening was 'Women in society'
  • Ot is worth mentioning that Saudi Arabia this year was also very important for women as many important developments have accrued thanks to King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman: Collis

JEDDAH: The 92nd birthday of Queen Elizabeth II was celebrated at the British Consulate on Monday.

The theme of the evening was “Women in society” as the UK was also celebrating the 100th anniversary of women being given the right to vote. Also on Monday, a son was born to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. 

The celebration included the attendance of a number of the diplomatic corps, including the head of Makkah branch of the Foreign Ministry, Jamal Balkhaior. 

The British ambassador to Saudi Arabia in Riyadh, Simon Collis, and the consul general of Britain in Jeddah, Barrie Peach, delivered a welcoming speech to the guests.

Collis said: “This year in most British councils and embassies around the world we celebrate under the theme ‘Women in Society,’ and it is worth mentioning that Saudi Arabia this year was also very important for women as many important developments have accrued thanks to King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.”

“We are waiting for women to be able to drive,” said Collis, “but what is more important is the growing opportunity of employing Saudi women in different sectors, and I am glad to say that the British government is providing support in this crucial work as we in Britain consider the Vision 2030 a new historical stage.”

Peach told Arab News: “This year has been a very important one in the bilateral relationship between our two Kingdoms as we recently had the visit of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the UK, where he met the Queen.”

“We signed a strategic partnership with the Kingdom which will see the establishment of a strategic partnership council which essentially says that the UK is very happy and willing to support Saudi Arabia as it seeks to implement all aspects of Vision 2030, and we have a whole range of projects that seek to help Saudi Arabia as you build capacity in a whole range of sectors,” he added.