Saudi-Uruguayan travel accord to be signed soon

Updated 30 March 2015
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Saudi-Uruguayan travel accord to be signed soon

The Uruguayan-Saudi air travel agreement proposed during the International Civil Aviation Conference in Jeddah nearly two years ago is expected to be signed in the coming weeks by the two countries.
“If and when the air travel accord is signed, cooperation between the two countries in various sectors will be stepped up,” Uruguayan Ambassador to the Kingdom Carlos A. Mora told Arab News.
The envoy expressed hope that eventually Saudia could fly direct to his country and a Uruguayan airline could also fly directly to Saudi Arabia.
At present, four airlines — Qatari, Emirates, Etihad and Turkish airlines fly to Argentina and Brazil. From there, passengers fly to Uruguay.
The envoy said that he had just received a message from the home office that Saudi Civil Aviation had agreed to sign the agreement.
Earlier, Mora called for enhanced relations between his country and Saudi Arabia.
He said that with the accord signed, it will be easier and faster for Uruguayans to visit the Kingdom for various purposes such as trade, investment, tourism, among others, and vice versa.
He said that Uruguay could collaborate with the Kingdom in terms of food production as the former has 16 million hectares for agricultural production and raising cattle.
Asked how big his country is, he said that “Uruguay is 170,000 square kilometers.”
He added that in the wake of the signing of the air travel accord, he’ll introduce a treaty for the protection and promotion of investment both in Uruguay and Saudi Arabia.
He noted that the Kingdom also has similar agreements with other countries.


World applauds as Saudi women take the wheel

A Saudi woman and her friends celebrate her first time driving on a main street of Alkhobar city in eastern Saudi Arabia on her way to Bahrain on June 24, 2018. (AFP / HUSSAIN RADWAN)
Updated 25 June 2018
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World applauds as Saudi women take the wheel

  • As the de facto ban on women driving ended after more than 60 years, women across the Kingdom flooded social media with videos of their first car trips, while some police officers among the large number out on the streets distributed roses to the first-ti
  • The celebrations even reached as far as France, where Aseel Al-Hamad, the first female member of the Saudi national motorsport federation, drove a Formula 1 racing car in a special parade before the French Grand Prix at Le Castellet 

JEDDAH: The world awoke on Sunday to images and video footage many thought they would never see — newly empowered Saudi women taking the wheel and driving their cars.

As the de facto ban on women driving ended after more than 60 years, women across the Kingdom flooded social media with videos of their first car trips, while some police officers among the large number out on the streets distributed roses to the first-time drivers.

The celebrations even reached as far as France, where Aseel Al-Hamad, the first female member of the Saudi national motorsport federation, drove a Formula 1 racing car in a special parade before the French Grand Prix at Le Castellet.

“I hope doing so on the day when women can drive on the roads in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia shows what you can do if you have the passion and the spirit to dream,” she said.

In a tribute to Saudi female drivers, the Lebanese soprano Hiba Tawaji released a special video of a song she performed live in Riyadh at a concert last December “Today women in Saudi Arabia can legally drive their cars,” she said. “Congratulations on this achievement, this one’s for you!”

Back home in Saudi Arabia, the atmosphere was euphoric. “It’s a beautiful day,” businesswoman Samah Algosaibi said as she cruised around the city of Alkhobar. 

“Today we are here,” she said from the driver’s seat. “Yesterday we sat there,” she said, pointing to the back.

“I feel proud, I feel dignified and I feel liberated,” said Saudi Shoura Council member Lina Almaeena, one of the first women to drive in the Kingdom.

She told Arab News that the event was changing her life by “facilitating it, making it more comfortable, making it more pleasant, and making it more stress-free.”

Almaeena urged all drivers to follow the traffic and road safety rules. “What’s making me anxious is the misconduct of a lot of the drivers, the male drivers. Unfortunately they’re not as disciplined as they should be. Simple things such as changing lanes and using your signals — this is making me anxious.

“But I’m confident: I’ve driven all around the world when I travel, especially when I’m familiar with the area. It’s really mainly how to be a defensive driver because you have to be.”