Ford trains 1,600 motorists in Mideast, Africa in 2018

Ford hosted the global debut of its Driving Skills for Life for Her (DSFL) program in Jeddah. (Photo/supplied)
Updated 11 December 2018

Ford trains 1,600 motorists in Mideast, Africa in 2018

Ford Driving Skills for Life (DSFL) has wrapped up a successful 2018 having added programs in two new markets — Morocco and Madagascar — as well as having launched a women-only program in Saudi Arabia. The training program reached more than 1,600 inexperienced motorists in 10 cities around the Middle East and Africa.

Providing free training and instilling safe driving practices, the DSFL program offered an opportunity to gain experience in the four main primary driving skills: Hazard recognition, vehicle handling, speed management, and space management.

This year, Ford DSFL was run in the UAE (Dubai), Kenya (Nairobi), Uganda (Gulu Town), and four cities in South Africa (Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Rustenburg, and Pretoria), while Casablanca welcomed Morocco’s first-ever DSFL for three days of training in October. 

Antananarivo in Madagascar also joined the DSFL family when it played host to 50 members of the media, and a train-the-trainer for distributor staff, in September, becoming the eighth market in sub-Saharan Africa alone to benefit from the introduction of Ford’s program.

In addition, on its return to Jeddah, Ford hosted the global debut of its DSFL for Her, a new customized version of Ford’s award-winning safe-driving initiative, helping to build confidence behind the wheel as participants in the Kingdom prepared to be among the first-ever women to be issued a driving license in the country.

The DSFL for Her course followed the landmark decision last year, as decreed by King Salman to lift the ban on females driving in Saudi Arabia.

“Safety continues to be a key priority for Ford, and providing campaigns such as DSFL can only help reduce the number of road accidents, and increase young drivers’ knowledge and confidence on the road,” said Jim Graham, global manager, Ford Driving Skills for Life. 

“Ford also made history in 2018 when it hosted the first-ever practical hands-on driving training for women in Saudi Arabia — DSFL for Her — specifically designed to accommodate Saudi females embarking on their first journey behind the wheel of a car. These are the kinds of occasions that make Ford exceptionally proud of the success DSFL has enjoyed this year, as the program continues its rapid expansion, and evolves to adapt to the needs of the markets in which it operates,” Graham added.

Ford Driving Skills for Life was established in 2003 by Ford Motor Company Fund, Governors Highway Safety Association, and a panel of safety experts to teach newly licensed drivers necessary skills beyond standard driver education programs. In 2008, the program expanded to Asia Pacific, and in 2013, Ford DSFL branched out into both Europe and the Middle East.

In 2017, the free program celebrated reaching the one-millionth newly licensed driver trained.


Al-Murjan, Mediclinic to develop new Jeddah hospital

Updated 01 June 2020

Al-Murjan, Mediclinic to develop new Jeddah hospital

Al-Murjan Group, a Saudi family business group, has partnered with Mediclinic Middle East, an affiliate of the UK’s Mediclinic International, for the establishment of an internationally accredited private hospital with 200 beds in Jeddah. Mediclinic Middle East will manage the hospital and support Al-Murjan Group with expertise and advisory services in planning, design and construction, while the commissioning of the hospital is expected to open by the second quarter of 2022.

Abdulrahman Khalid bin Mahfouz, chairman of Al-Murjan Group, said: “Today, we are pleased to announce the appointment of Mediclinic as our strategic partner for the hospital in Jeddah. We believe this will serve as the cornerstone for high-quality health care services in Saudi Arabia, offering state-of-the-art health care facilities, from some of the best practitioners, using best practices and meet international quality standards, and contribute to the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.

“Al-Murjan has committed itself for over 40 years to delivering excellence in all its areas of work and we view this joint venture as a continuation of that commitment. We welcome Mediclinic into Saudi Arabia and look forward to working together to serve the people of the Kingdom.”

“Al-Murjan Mediclinic will provide more than 1,000 job opportunities, and will create new opportunities for entrepreneurs in the health care sector,” said Sultan Khalid bin Mahfouz, vice chairman of Al-Murjan Group.

David Hadley, chief executive officer of Mediclinic Middle East, said: “We are pleased to announce our strategic partnership with Al-Murjan Group today and Mediclinic’s entry into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. There is a growing demand for high quality, internationally recognized standards of health care services in Saudi Arabia. Mediclinic, with more than 35 years’ experience of delivering health care services across Switzerland, Southern Africa and the UAE, is excited by the opportunity to partner with Al-Murjan Group to establish a leading private hospital in Jeddah and further expansion opportunities across Saudi Arabia. We are committed to being an ethical and responsible corporate citizen delivering sustainable, cost-effective, high-quality health care services and outstanding client experiences in all our hospitals and clinics.”

Situated on King Abdul Aziz Road in the northern part of Jeddah, the hospital will address the growing demand for private health care in the Kingdom. The hospital, designed and to be completed in accordance with international standards, will comprise eight floors, offering comprehensive inpatient and outpatient services including general surgery, internal medicine, cardiology, orthopedics, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, emergency, and trauma care.

Phase 1 of the hospital, which is 80,000 square meters, will be built on 18,000 square meters, with an investment of more than SR1 billion ($266 million), with the expansion capacity of another 200 beds on adjacent land set aside for this purpose.