How phone apps are helping women travel in Saudi Arabia
Some of the apps give detailed data on the car coming to pick up, such as the car’s number, model and the expected time of his arrival
Women usually face transport difficulties inside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia because their family providers are usually busy and they spend most of their time outside home. Many women need to go to work, visit their family or friends, entertain their children, or go shopping, in addition, some girls attend schools or universities. Many families do not agree to the idea of hiring a private driver nor letting their daughters use public transportation. Thus, the availability of modern and safe solutions, such as an application that could be downloaded on different smart phones, such as Uber, is of an utmost importance.
Any woman can use the application and press on a button to order a car wherever she is. Instantly, the application presents detailed data on the car coming to pick her up, such as the car’s number, model, the driver’s name, his mobile number, his current location, and the expected time of his arrival, in addition to sharing the destination route with her family. Once operating the application, the geographical location is accurately detected and sent to the nearest driver in the area without the need to call the driver or stop on the roads waiting for a taxi and a prompt message will be sent to the user as soon as the driver arrives.
This service provides another feature, through which the user can reach the car or the driver himself in case she forgets her personal bag or any shopping bag in the car. Through the application, she can retrieve the car and/or the driver’s information and contact him easily through email to reclaim her belongings, which is quite impossible in case of using a traditional taxi on the road.
According to the company established in 2009, Uber service in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was launched in Riyadh before it expanded to include Jeddah and the eastern region. The company intended to further expand its services to cover the largest possible area in the Kingdom.
Uber pointed out to the fact that 80% of the application users in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are women. This application also works in Egypt, Bahrain, Qatar, and Jordon. The application interface supports several languages including Arabic. The application changes its language automatically according to the language used in the user’s smart phone.
Uber has also announced signing a cooperation agreement with London Cab for taxi services headquartered in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Uber has also launched its services in Dammam, third city in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the tenth in the Middle East region.
In addition to its services in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Uber offers services currently in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Manama, Amman, Beirut, and Cairo.
Users do not need to download a different application for each country. The application works when traveling for tourism or distance learning after identifying the new geographical location of the user. It can be downloaded on smartphones operating with Android, IOS, Blackberry, and Windows Phone. Cars can be also ordered from personal computers through the following link m.uber.com.
This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on Nov. 2, 2015.
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