Previously, women in Saudi would be driven by a male driver
Despite the June 24 date to lift the ban on women riving being postponed to weeks after Ramadan, this development will bring new changes to Saudi roads and the transport industry, according to the General Department of Traffic Director General Mohammed Al-Bassami.
Women aged 18 years and older will be allowed to apply for a driver’s license, Bassami said.
What are car dealerships expecting?
Driving schools for women have been set up across five cities in the kingdom, and teachers will include Saudi women who obtained their licenses abroad.
Women with foreign driving licenses will be able to apply for a local one through a separate process, which will also assess their driving skills.
In fact, Saudi car dealerships are getting ready to see an increase in sales, and coincidentally they have enough stock to fuel the female populace’s demands.
AMEinfo called many dealerships in Saudi: Hyundai, Porsche, Honda, Ford, and Toyota.
None seemed to have any idea on what sales numbers they were expecting, but a collective answer was that they are going to be “higher than ever.”
Nation-wide sales of cars will reach to about 20,000 in the first few months after the ban lift.
Save the date
According to official government figures, there are more than 20,000 women enrolled for driving schools in the first week of applications, with the number expected to rise exponentially in the coming months.
Toyota announced a partnership called ‘Together from the Start’ at an event in Princess Noura Bint Abdulrahman University in Riyadh.
The announcement will see Abdul Latif Jameel Motors provide 500 specially adapted vehicles, ahead of women driving later this year.
The driving schools, which are approved by the General Directorate of Traffic, will open in the coming weeks.
Abdul Latif Jameel Motors will also provide maintenance, spare parts, and technical support to all vehicles as part of the partnership.
Hassan Jameel said: “Women driving will ultimately give them more mobility in every sense – logistically, socially and economically – while at the same time have a positive impact on the country’s development in the long term, which is a key pillar of Saudi Vision 2030.”
The partnership aims to support the government’s drive to get more women in the workforce, which according to local news that is mainly why the ban is being lifted.
The government aims to increase women’s participation in the workforce from 22% to 30%, by 2030