Key moments in the driving history of Saudi women

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Updated 25 June 2019

Key moments in the driving history of Saudi women

  • A Sept. 26, 2017, royal decree ordered the lifting of a ban on women driving in Saudi Arabia
  • Last April, Saudi racing car driver Reema Juffali made her Formula 4 British Championship debut in UK

Sept. 26, 2017: A royal decree orders the lifting of a ban on women driving in the Kingdom.

Jan. 11, 2018: The first car showroom for women only opens in a Jeddah shopping mall.

June 4,2018: The first driving licenses are issued to 10 Saudi women in the Kingdom, who exchange their foreign licenses for Saudi ones ahead of the historic day.

June 8, 2018: Laura Alho, otherwise known as Blue Abaya, is the first European woman to get a Saudi driver’s license.

June 24, 2018: The first day women are allowed to drive on the Kingdom’s roads. Many female drivers, including Shoura Council member Leena Almaeena, hit the roads after midnight. Traffic police hand out flowers to female motorists in the morning.

June 24, 2018: Aseel Al-Hamad becomes the first Saudi woman to drive an F1 car in a symbolic lap around the French Grand Prix circuit in Le Castellet.

June 27, 2018: Saramma Thomas, a nurse, becomes the first Indian woman to get a Saudi driving license.

April 6-7, 2019: Saudi racing car driver Reema Juffali makers her Formula 4 British Championship debut at Brands Hatch in the UK.


Abdullah bin Mufreh Al-Dhayabi, president of Tabuk University

Updated 11 December 2019

Abdullah bin Mufreh Al-Dhayabi, president of Tabuk University

  • Al-Dhayabi began his academic career as a lecturer at KAU
  • Al-Dhayabi is a member of the higher committees for female colleges in the Kingdom

RIYADH: Dr. Abdullah bin Mufreh Al-Dhayabi has been the president of Tabuk University since October 2017.

Prior to that, he was the deputy head of educational affairs at King Abdul Aziz University (KAU) in Jeddah, where he served in the position for one year. 

He has also been the chairman of the promotion and job competition committee, as well as the safety committee, at Tabuk University since November 2012. 

Al-Dhayabi began his academic career as a lecturer at KAU, where he received his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the College of Science. 

He later traveled abroad to pursue his higher education, earning his master’s degree in mathematics from the University of Missouri, US. He obtained his doctorate from the University of Birmingham, UK.

After that, he returned to the Kingdom and joined KAU as an assistant professor. He remained in that position from 2005 to 2010, then served as an associate professor between 2010 and 2014.

Al-Dhayabi is a member of the higher committees for female colleges in the Kingdom and the community colleges higher committee at the Ministry of Higher Education.

He congratulated King Salman on the release of the government’s annual budget for 2020.

“Approximately one-fifth of the budget is allocated to education, which reflects the leadership’s keenness to invest in the human element through education and training ... to open new horizons and job opportunities for Saudi youth and encourage them to invest in the diverse resources in the Kingdom,” Al-Dhayabi said.