Bloomberg: Saudi women driving could add $90 bln to economic output by 2030

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A Bloomberg Economics report has suggested that the recent historic decree allowing women to drive in Saudi Arabia could add up to $90 bln to the kingdom’s economic output by 2030.

The report added that the decree which came into effect on June 24 could help Saudi Arabia gain as much income as selling shares in Saudi Aramco itself.


“Selling as much as 5 percent stake in Saudi Arabian Oil Co. -- at the most optimistic valuation -- could generate about $100 billion,” the report read.

“Lifting the ban on driving is likely to increase the number of women seeking jobs, boosting the size of the workforce and lifting overall incomes and output,” according to Ziad Daoud, Dubai-based chief Middle East economist for Bloomberg Economics, told Bloomberg.

“But it’ll take time before these gains are realized as the economy adapts to absorbing growing number of women seeking work,” he added.

Transformation of job market

According to the latest research by online recruitment firm GulfTalent, the employment landscape in Saudi Arabia will be transformed by the historic start to women’s driving.

Based on the survey findings, an overwhelming 82% of Saudi women plan to take up driving this year.

This is expected to contribute to more women growing into senior roles traditionally dominated by men, many women upgrading to higher paying jobs further away from their homes, and many currently unemployed women getting the opportunity to work.

Career advancement is a major factor in empowering women, which is one of the goals of Saudi Vision 2030. The Saudi government’s Vision 2030 aims to raise women’s participation in the workforce from 22% to 30%. The new opportunities created by women driving are set to contribute to achieving this goal.

Ride hailing app Careem, in a press release said it has been preparing for the announcement by establishing the first female only call center to better service its customers and establishing a Women’s Female Captain Committee.

Careem also hired Enaam Gazi Al Aswad as the first woman to get her license as a ‘Captainah’ driver.

According to the ride-sharing platform, 70% of its customers in the Kingdom are women.

Mudassir Sheikha, Co-Founder and CEO of Careem, said the ride-sharing platform intends to have 20,000 women Captainahs by 2020.

He also said that Careem has invested around $100 million over the past five years in its Saudi Arabia operations. Money has gone into infrastructure, call centers, and affordable on-demand transportation services across the country.

Throughout 2018, $30 million is being invested in Careem’s Saudi Arabian operations alone as the company shows its support for Vision 2030.

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