Meet ‘Captainah’ Enaam, Careem’s first female driver in Saudi Arabia

Enaam Gazi Al-Aswad
Updated 16 May 2018
0

Meet ‘Captainah’ Enaam, Careem’s first female driver in Saudi Arabia

  • Enaam Gazi Al-Aswad was selected to become the first “captainah” — the female version of the Careem “captain,” as the firm calls its drivers
  • The 43-year-old learned how to drive in her native Syria

Careem, the Middle East’s ride-hailing firm, has named its first female driver in Saudi Arabia, as the Kingdom prepares to allow women behind the wheel from next month.

Enaam Gazi Al-Aswad was selected to become the first “captainah” — the female version of the Careem “captain,” as the firm calls its drivers — from among around 3,000 women looking for employment with the company. “When the authorities announced in September that women would be allowed to drive, I wanted to be the first and contacted Careem straight away,” Al-Aswad told Arab News at a media event in Dubai.

“It is wonderful to think that after all this time we will have the freedom to drive. It will help all of us build the future together in accordance with the Vision 2030 strategy.”

The 43-year-old divorcee learned how to drive in her native Syria, and has a driving license from that country. She expects to be able to obtain a Saudi license when she has completed 10 hours of driving tuition under the new laws. 

“I already have my own car, a Kia I bought in 2013, and I hope to be able to do the 10 hours of lessons in a few days,” she said.

She has already received all the necessary training from Careem to enable her to become a “captainah,” having been hand-picked by the Dubai-based company soon after last year’s royal decree on women driving.

“It is good for women’s career enhancement, and for their social lives. But also I think it is our national duty. It is a job to do for the Kingdom,” she said.

Al-Aswad trained as an airline flight attendant in Saudi Arabia before studying management science at King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah, where she lives. She expects that being a Careem driver will be the stepping stone to a better life for her and her two sons.

“For a woman on her own, it is a good way to earn a living and pay the bills. My sons are excited and very supportive of me. Careem drivers earn good money, I know. I am telling lots of my female friends to think about it too. I would like to be a guide as well as a driver,” she said.

Mudassir Sheikha, the co-founder and CEO of Careem, said that he expected new business to eventually make up for any short-term fall-off in revenues when women — who previously formed a majority of the firm’s passengers in the Kingdom — are able to take to the roads themselves. About 95 percent of drivers in the Kingdom are Saudi nationals, he added.


Arab forum on meteorology to begin in Jeddah

Updated 13 min 48 sec ago
0

Arab forum on meteorology to begin in Jeddah

  • Forum to tackle weather forecasting and warnings, and distribution of climate information and news

JEDDAH: To mark World Meteorological Day, a special conference will on Sunday be opened in Saudi Arabia under the theme “atmospheric phenomena and the role of media in society.”
Dr. Khalil bin Musleh Al-Thaqafi, president of the Saudi General Authority of Meteorology and Environmental Protection, will inaugurate the Arab Forum for Meteorology and Media being staged at the Casablanca Grand Hotel in Jeddah.
The ceremony will be attended by officials and experts from the Arab League, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), and the media.
The forum will tackle subjects including weather forecasting and warnings, and liaison with media outlets over the distribution of climate information and news. 
Saudi Arabia is one of the founder nations of the WMO and a permanent member of its governing council and is a leading international player in the exchange of information and scientific research on meteorological issues.
The Kingdom has launched a number of initiatives aimed at developing systems to improve the accuracy of both long- and short-range weather forecasting and is also working on establishing an early warning center for weather and pollution alerts.
Other events will be held in regions throughout the Kingdom to mark World Meteorological Day on March 23.