Uber trains women to drive in Saudi Arabia

Published: Updated:

Uber has announced its intention to set up a specialized training center for women who want to work in the company in Saudi Arabia, pointing out that 80% of the users of the Uber app are women.

“We welcome the decision for women to drive in Saudi Arabia,” said Pierre Coty, Uber vice president and head of operations for Europe, Middle East and Africa, pointing out that 80% of the app’s users are women and revealing the company’s intention to establish a specialized women’s center to train women wishing to work in the company. The registration process is expected to start soon.

The Public Transport Authority of Saudi Arabia confirmed that there is no intention to impose taxes on smart transport applications companies, stressing that the regulations of transport activities did not indicate that the activity was restricted to men. Therefore, all activities are open to both sexes, pointing to the existence of a tendency to restrict some of the transport activities to just women, including transportation of female teachers and other activities that can be allocated to women.

Al-Sharq Al-Awsat quoted Dr Ramih Al-Ramaih, head of the Saudi Arabian Transport Authority, as saying on the sidelines of the inauguration of a new Uber office in Saudi Arabia: “we are ready to provide job opportunities for Saudi youth of both sexes.” He also acknowledged the weak Saudization rate in the transport sector due to the existence of a monopoly of other nationalities with a commercial cover.

He stressed that the entry of women in the areas of transport will reduce monopoly, noting that the Commission will not allow the recruitment of foreign female drivers, and will continue in the efforts of bringing more Saudi Nationals to the transport sector.

Uber announced on Tuesday that about 140,000 Saudi partners (drivers) are working with them, explaining that about 65 percent of Saudi partners are working part time as drivers and more than 80,000 partners use the application every month in Saudi Arabia, which is the highest figure in the Middle East. Coty said that reaching 100.000 partners in less than a year is considered an important achievement.

Zaid Harish, general manager of Uber in Saudi Arabia, said that the company would provide the required services after the decision to allow women to drive, adding that allowing women to drive would enable a growth factor for the company, revealing the addition of thousands of drivers on a weekly basis.

Uber has been operating in Saudi Arabia since 2014. It is present in 18 Saudi cities, including Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam.

The company has recently signed a number of agreements to provide customers with a wide range of mobility options, including a contract with the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GCAA) to provide areas for passenger to and from Saudi airports.