Saudi women prefer minivans to larger SUVs

Saudi women tour a car showroom for women on Jan. 11 in Jeddah. (AFP)
Updated 15 January 2018

Saudi women prefer minivans to larger SUVs

JEDDAH: Le Mall in Jeddah hosted Saudi Arabia’s first women-only car show last week.
The show — held under the slogan “Drive and Shop” — came as a result of King Salman’s historic 2017 announcement that women would finally be allowed to drive in the Kingdom, starting in June this year.
The exhibition offered women information about various automotive brands, as well as financing options from the leading banks and financial houses in the Kingdom.
The automotive showroom was sponsored by a private Saudi dealership offering an assortment of 2018 models and brands.
Samia Mohammed Noor, a housewife and mother-of-five, told Arab News: “My husband has a big SUV due to the size of our family, but I’d like to have a minivan; it’s better for me to handle than a bigger car.”
Raneem Adel, also a housewife and mother-of-six, told Arab News: “I actually wish I could have a minivan. I don’t want a huge SUV that needs lots of gasoline.”
Majed Al-Harbi, who heads the Jeddah branch of the show’s sponsors, told Arab News: “This showroom aims to present cars to women so they can learn more about cars and the choices they should be aware of before they decide to buy one when women are allowed to drive on June 10.”
He added that the show had focused on cars that are fuel-efficient, an important
factor following the Kingdom’s introduction of the value-added tax (VAT).

Saudi Arabia, South Korea reach agreement on visas

King Salman chairs the Cabinet session in Riyadh on Tuesday. (SPA)
Updated 16 January 2019

Saudi Arabia, South Korea reach agreement on visas

  • Cabinet OKs air transport pact with Indonesia

JEDDAH: The Saudi Cabinet met to discuss a series of national and global developments on Tuesday, in a session chaired by King Salman.

At the forefront of the agenda was the escalation in tensions between Israel and Hamas along the Gaza border, and the continuing encroachment on Palestinian land by Israeli settlers in the West Bank. The Cabinet responded by demanding that the UN Security Council intervene. King Salman also relayed to ministers the outcome of his talks with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, which covered many regional issues.

The minister of media, Turki bin Abdullah Al-Shabanah, announced that after reviewing proposals from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a decision from the Shoura Council, a memorandum of understanding between the government and the Republic of Korea on granting visit visas had been agreed upon.

The Cabinet approved the amendment of the air agreement on regular air transport between Saudi Arabia and Indonesia.

The Cabinet, meanwhile, praised the progress of the 2025 Sustainable Agricultural and Rural Development Program, aimed at enhancing farming techniques by promoting sustainable water and renewable energy sources.

They also discussed the framework in Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Program 2020 for building a sustainable renewable energy sector, reiterating aims to lead global renewable energy developments over the next decade, and create projects such as the wind-powered plant at Dumat Al-Jandal, as part of the King Salman Renewable Energy Initiative.

In a statement, though, Al-Shabanah said: “The Cabinet discussed the announcement made by the minister of energy, industry and mineral resources about the Kingdom’s oil and gas reserves, which highlighted the importance of Saudi Arabia as a secure source of oil supplies in the long term.”

He added, in closing, the Cabinet’s praise for the efforts of Saudi security forces in the tracking and arrest of seven people in Qatif, which foiled a planned terrorist attack.