Allowing women to drive will create 50,000 jobs in Saudi Arabia

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During the event, women were urged to invest in the great transformations society is witnessing, through active participation and taking advantage of the series of historic decisions issued by the government.(AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
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AN photo by Huda Bashatah
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AN photo by Huda Bashatah
Updated 11 July 2018

Allowing women to drive will create 50,000 jobs in Saudi Arabia

  • The leadership of women will contribute to providing a large number of job opportunities
  • The Saudi government aim to achieve social justice by enhancing the role of women

JEDDAH: A two-day forum targeting 20,000 women and bringing together under one roof all the services related to women driving began on Sunday.
Specialists at the forum expect that lifting the ban on women driving will create more than 50,000 jobs after a year.
The event, titled “You Take the Lead,” was inaugurated at Leylaty Hall by Prince Khalid bin Sultan Abdullah Al-Faisal, chairman of the Saudi Arabian Motor Federation.
Six bodies related to women’s driving services and facilitation are participating, including the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Media, with the strategic partnership of Traffic Management, the Saudi Committee of Traffic Safety and the Standardization Committee, in addition to automobile dealers, banks, insurance companies and logistical service providers.
The program of the first day of the event included seminars by distinguished speakers discussing the economic effects of Saudi women driving, penalties for obstructing women from driving, how lifting the ban on women driving will create new jobs for women, the negative aspects of depending on expat drivers, and finally the success story of the first Saudi female rally driver.
The prince said that the decisions taken by the Saudi government aim to achieve social justice by enhancing the role of women as they represent half of the community, and are a main component to achieve economic growth according to the strategies set out in Vision 2030.
He called on Saudi women to invest in the great transformations society is witnessing, through active participation and taking advantage of the series of historic decisions issued by the government to support Saudi women. The prince expected that the leadership of women will contribute to providing a large number of job opportunities and help women enter the labor market, achieving one of the pillars of Vision 2030, with is to raise the participation rate of women from 22 to 30 percent.
President of the forum’s organizing company Suhail Al-Tayyar stressed that they work through the forum to raise awareness of the role of women in the country’s economic, social and cultural development, in addition to providing quality services, creating job opportunities, and making the best conditions for women. He also revealed the requirements of women’s leadership as a key partner in the community and the role of car dealers in the provision of facilities and technology in vehicles and accessories for women, as well as the banking and insurance sector services.
The managing editor of Al-Bilad newspaper and Aqra’a magazine, Manal Al-Sherif, spoke about the economic and social disadvantages of depending on expat drivers, and how to deal with them.
When Rasha Imam, the first Saudi rally driver, spoke about her experience and success, she said she was thrilled with the lifting the ban on women driving as she will be able to represent her country in many competitions.
She plans to move forward to participate in Arab and global races, noting that she received a degree in business administration from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah and works in the field of marketing and public relations. She has benefited from traveling abroad with her family to learn to drive and master a lot of leadership skills.
Basma Khazneh, driving trainer and one of the invited guests at the forum, told Arab News: “When I first came to Saudi Arabia 22 years ago I was shocked that women were not able to drive, and now I am very happy that my dream came true and I can finally drive in Saudi Arabia.
“I already have public and private vehicle driving licenses, and also an international driving license, and I would be very glad to have the chance to train Saudi women.”
Samia Basha, 34, an attendee at the forum, told Arab News: “I am here to look at the offers car dealers are providing for us. I cannot wait to get my license and set off!
“We have waited too long,” she added.


Organizers promise ‘exceptional’ Saudi National Day celebrations

Updated 30 min 20 sec ago

Organizers promise ‘exceptional’ Saudi National Day celebrations

  • We are keen to have the largest international events to create an exceptional season, says GEA CEO Amr Banaja

RIYADH: Fireworks, concerts, festivals and international performances will be among the highlights of the 89th Saudi National Day celebrations this year.

The General Entertainment Authority (GEA) has announced a season of record-breaking events for the annual celebration.

At a press conference in Riyadh on Sunday, GEA CEO Amr Banaja said that Saudi citizens and residents can enjoy a number of entertainment activities planned across 13 regions of the Kingdom as part of the National Day season being supervised by the GEA from Sept. 19 to 23.

“The GEA is proud to oversee the Saudi National Day Season activities by launching a unified identity that brings together the society under “Himma Hatta El-Qimmah,” Banaja said, inspired by the words of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman: “The Saudis’ strength is like that of the Tuwaiq mountain.”

The GEA was proud to be overseeing the occasion, Banaja said. “We are keen to have the largest international events to create an exceptional season befitting this dear country,” he said.

“This year fireworks celebrations will continue for several days where more than 700,000 shots will be fired at an altitude of up to 300 meters, accompanied by music,” he said.

Celebrations will be held in all regions during the season, and visitors will be able to enjoy a range of activities that reflected the unity of the nation and the cohesion of the people and leadership.

“Distinctive international shows designed especially for the National Day will be held in Riyadh from Sept. 21-23,” he said.

Fireworks will light up Jeddah over Al-Hamra Corniche accompanied by sound and light effects and laser shows.

At the five-day Dhahran Exhibition in Dammam starting on Sept. 19, the world’s largest theatrical producer “Cirque du Soleil” will present a specially designed show for Saudi National Day.

Forty artists will present 14 shows of acrobatics, sports, music, and dance. Eight concerts will also be held in a number of regions where, besides international stars, Saudi and Gulf artists will present patriotic songs.

The concerts will begin on the first day of the season on Sept. 19 at Al-Jouf University Stadium in Sakaka with performances by Khaled Abdulrahman and Nabil Shuail.

The next day, a concert will be held at King Khalid Sport City in Tabuk staged by artists Abdullah Al-Rowaished and Aseel Abu Bakr.

On Sept. 21, Majid Al-Mohandes and Dalia Mubarak will perform at Prince Abdul Aziz Bin Musaed Stadium in Hail.

On Sept. 22, two concerts will be performed at King Abdullah Sports City in Buraidah by artists Rashid Al-Majid and Balqees Fathi; the second at Prince Sultan Cultural Center in Jazan by “The Artist of Arabs” Mohammed Abdo and Turki.

On Saudi National Day (Sept. 23), three concerts will be held in Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam.

Thousands will gather at King Fahd Cultural Center in Riyadh to listen to singers Hussein Al-Jasmi and Abadi Al-Jawhar.

In Jeddah, Rabeh Saqr and the artist Waad will perform at King Abdullah Sports City, while in Dammam, and in the Green Halls in Riyadh, Kuwaiti singer Nawal and the artist Ayed will entertain the audience.

Five forums will take place in five cities, where a number of speakers will present inspirational events.

Forums will be held in Madinah and Tabuk on Sept. 19, while in Abha and Buraidah the forum will be held on Sept. 21 and in Hail on Sept. 23.

Banaja said that the GEA had created 150 smartphone apps for the National Day celebrations with 40,000 downloaded so far.

He thanked the security authorities for their efforts to make the season a success, and all government, private and nonprofit sectors for their contribution.

The programs were mostly free, he said, though there were some concerts for which tickets could be purchased online.

There will also be a major aero show in Riyadh, Jeddah and the Eastern Province, and a Saudi falcon show will be organized in Riyadh, Jeddah and Alkhobar.