WATCH: Viral video of historic moment first female driving license is issued in Saudi Arabia

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The video shows the woman, who already has an international driving license, being given her Saudi license by officials, as per regulations allowing her to drive in the Kingdom. (Screenshot - Twitter: @saudalzmanan)
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A Saudi Arabian woman shows her new driver license issued on Monday June 4. (Twitter: @Ahlamalthunayan)
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Photo released by the Saudi Information Ministry, shows Esraa Albuti, as she displays her brand new driving license, at the General Department of Traffic in the capital, Riyadh, Monday, June 4, 2018. (AP)
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Photo released by the Saudi Information Ministry, shows a Saudi Arabian woman buckling her seat belt before doing a driving test, Riyadh, June 4, 2018. (AP)
Updated 20 June 2018
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WATCH: Viral video of historic moment first female driving license is issued in Saudi Arabia

  • A video capturing the first time a driving license has been issued to a female in the Kingdom has gone viral
  • On May 8 it was announced by General Department of Traffic Director-General Mohammed Al-Bassami that Saudi women would be allowed to start driving in the kingdom from June 24

RIYADH: It is a monumental moment in the history of Saudi Arabia, and a video capturing the first time a driving license has been issued to a female in the Kingdom has gone viral.
The video shows the woman, who already has an international driving license, being given her Saudi license by General Directorate of Traffic (GDT) officials, as per regulations allowing her to drive in the Kingdom.
“Thousands of congratulations to the daughters of the homeland, being issued the first license in Saudi Arabia,” the tweet containing the video by @saudalzmanan read.

The GDT has now started replacing women’s Kingdom-approved foreign driving licenses with Saudi ones.

After confirming the validity of foreign licenses submitted via an online portal, and assessing applicants’ ability to drive by conducting a practical test, the first group of women received their Saudi licenses on Monday.
On May 8 it was announced by the General Department of Traffic Director General Mohammed Al-Bassami that Saudi women would be allowed to start driving in the kingdom from June 24.

“All the requirements for women in the kingdom to start driving have been established,” Al-Bassami said in a statement.

Procedures to replace and obtain licenses for everyone are expected to be announced soon.

A Saudi Arabian woman shows her new driver license issued on Monday June 4. (Twitter: @Ahlamalthunayan)

In September 2017, a royal decree announced the end of a decades-long ban on women driving — the only one of its kind in the world.
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.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, 32, is seen as the force behind the lifting of the ban, part of a series of reforms being pushed by the Crown Prince.
His Vision 2030 reform plan for a post-oil era seeks to elevate women to nearly one-third of the workforce, up from about 22 percent now.


Hajj 2018: What’s on pilgrims’ bucket lists

Masjid Quba in Madinah is a favorite destination for Hajj pilgrims, according to tour guides. Below: The Cave of Hira, Al-Baqi’ cemetery and the Prophet’s Chamber allow visitors to step back in time. (Getty Images)
Updated 15 August 2018
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Hajj 2018: What’s on pilgrims’ bucket lists

  • A number of companies in Makkah and Madinah help people organize their trips, making sure they cover the important sites in the two holy cities
  • Most of the sites in the two holy cities are spiritual, giving pilgrims a sense of the prophecies

RIYADH: Hajj is one of the biggest dreams of every Muslim’s life, and pilgrims looking forward to their stay in Makkah and Madinah say a bucket list is the best way to plan the trip. 

Most of the sites in the two holy cities are spiritual, giving pilgrims a sense of the prophecies. Standing in the places of the Holy Prophet transports them back to the past as if they lived those incredible moments. 

A number of companies in Makkah and Madinah help people organize their trips, making sure they cover the important sites in the two holy cities.

Sayed Shafei, an operation manager for City Sightseeing, a tour company in Madinah and worldwide, told Arab News: “We offer a special tour with a multilingual tour guide presented in eight languages. We also offer 24-hour tickets. We have scheduled tourism trips starting from the Prophet’s Mosque to 12 destinations every 30 minutes. The whole trip lasts for 14 hours a day.” 

Asked about the most popular requests, Shafei said: “Our customers always ask to visit Masjid Quba, the Sayed Al-Shuhada Mosque in Uhud, which is considered a vital historic landmark of Madinah, and Al-Qiblatain Mosque.” 

Most of the group’s customers are from East Asia, but many also visit from Kuwait, Bahrain, the UAE, Indonesia, Malaysia, the US and Europe.

Munirah Al-Jebreen, an English instructor at Princess Noura University who will perform Hajj this year, told Arab News her bucket list began with an online search. 

“I found a travel guide on Google that has all the best sites in Madinah and Makkah, so I decided to visit Uthman ibn Affan’s Farm and Well in Madinah, the Holy Qur’an exhibition, and one of the most important places I want to visit is the grave of the Holy Prophet,” she said.

The area between the Prophet’s Chamber, which holds his grave, and the Mimbar is known as the Rawdah, which is actually the Garden of Paradise. It is presently distinguished by a green carpet.

Al-Jebreen also listed some of her planned tour destinations in Makkah, including the Cave of Hira, where the Holy Prophet meditated frequently during the first 40 years of his life and the site of the first revelation. 

She will also visit Bilal Mosque and Mount Abu Qubais and, finally, will try Al-Garmushi, one of the famous traditional restaurants in Makkah.