Driving change: Saudi Arabia gears up for women motorists

Saudi Arabia’s historic decision to allow women to drive from June has been cheered inside the Kingdom and abroad. (AFP)
Updated 10 May 2018

Driving change: Saudi Arabia gears up for women motorists

  • Five Saudi universities have launched driving schools for women
  • The first motor insurance center for women in the Kingdom officially opened for business on May 1, 2018

JEDDAH: No sooner had the announcement been made in September 2017 that Saudi women would be free to drive in Saudi Arabia from June 2018 than many of world’s largest car manufacturers began to target them with advertisements.

In addition, driving schools for women were set up in the Kingdom for the first time, while motor insurance companies made plans to target the new female market, and ca maintenance workshops for women are being offered.

Five Saudi universities have launched driving schools for women: Princess Nourah Bint Abdulrahman University in Riyadh, King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah, Tabuk University, Taif University and Imam Muhammad ibn Saud Islamic University.

The Saudi Driving School, at Princess Nourah University, the first for women in the capital, was launched in partnership with the Emirates Driving Institute in Dubai, an established driving school in the region.

The first motor insurance center for women in the Kingdom officially opened for business on May 1, 2018. The Salama Insurance office, at Salama Tower in Jeddah, is run by an all-female staff.

“The company has many initiatives in employing females, where we have integrated departments managed 100 percent by Saudi female employees, such as the contact center management in the men’s section,” said Salama CEO Omar Al-Ajlani at the grand opening. “Today’s initiative adds a lot to the business as we became the first company to open a specialized women’s center to take into account the privacy of women in Saudi Arabia.

“When a claim is received by the company, we will automatically get the client’s information from Najm insurance services or from the General Department of Traffic, then adjustments will be made until compensation is transferred.”

Al-Ajlani added that “having a female center will allow women freedom and comfort to deal with employees who understand that women are new to this process. Banks and telecoms companies have had female branches for many years but this is the first time an insurance company has opened a female branch.”

Mirfat Halawani, a section manager in the new office, said: “After receiving the accident report from the client, it will take five days to cover the damage caused by the insured vehicle.”

Sultan Al-Ghamdi, a claims manager, said: “This initiative will allow women to manage their car claims in a safe and facilitating environment.” 

 


King Salman’s guests laud Hajj facilities

They paid tribute to the guest program, which allowed them to visit the sacred places, historical sites and Islamic landmarks in Makkah and Madinah, all at the expense of King Salman. (SPA)
Updated 23 min 24 sec ago

King Salman’s guests laud Hajj facilities

  • There were 634,379 domestic pilgrims, of whom 67 percent were non-Saudi

MADINAH: A number of guests from Tunisia and Morocco, who also came as part of the program, lauded the efforts and services provided them during the season.
In statements to the Saudi Press Agency, they admired the projects in the Two Holy Mosques and the holy sites, citing them as evidence of the Kingdom’s dedication to pilgrims and its keenness to help them worship in comfort.
They paid tribute to the guest program, which allowed them to visit the sacred places, historical sites and Islamic landmarks in Makkah and Madinah, all at the expense of King Salman.
There were 2,489,406 pilgrims at this year’s Hajj, according to the General Authority for Statistics (GASTAT), and 1,855,027 of them came from outside the Kingdom. There were 634,379 domestic pilgrims, of whom 67 percent were non-Saudi.