The countdown has started in Saudi Arabia for women to sit behind the wheel, when women will be allowed to start driving in the kingdom starting from June 24.
While many Saudis are waiting to see the new scene on Saudi roads, which has been long awaited by women, many are preparing for this day, while others are taking driving lessons in order to obtain driving licenses.
In September 2017, a royal decree announced the end of a decades-long ban on women driving.
Women 18 years of age and older would now be allowed to apply for a driver’s license in the kingdom.
In an interview with al Arabiya.net, Salwa al-Rajhi said when she received her driving license, it puts an end to her struggle with drivers, especially since the issue of commuting for Saudi females was a major obstacle for family stability.
Al-Rajhi said: “I learned driving under the supervision of my dad since a while in Saudi and I had previous knowledge of driving, and when I got my driving license during my studies in Britain it was for me an easy thing.”
Al-Rajhi said her first trip will be to take her parents for a short drive somewhere.
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Several initiatives and driving centers have been launched in order to ease the process for women in Saudi Arabia to take the driver’s seat for the very first time.
In November last year, a young Saudi woman Noura al-Dosari took the drivers seat for a specific purpose. She used to drive around in the residential compound she lives in in the eastern city of Dhahran, as her daily routine.
As soon as Saudi Arabia allowed women to drive, Dosari launched a voluntary initiative to teach women to drive cars.
On the other hand, Uber has stepped up and expressed its great interest in hiring Saudi women drivers to work for the huge company.
Uber announced the launch of a new registration portal on Sunday for Saudi women. The portal, accessed through the ‘Masaruky’ landing page on its website, will serve as a one-stop shop for Saudi women interested in driving for Uber, and learning more about the company’s initiatives for women in the kingdom.
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The world is watching this historic time in Saudi Arabia, supported by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Vision 2030 that aims to push women to the forefront, and June 24 will see this vision put into action.