Travel agencies in Jeddah have received requests from women seeking tour packages to neighboring countries with the sole purpose of taking driving lessons.
Women want to try their hands at the wheel before joining driving schools in Saudi Arabia, Al-Watan Arabic newspaper reported on Wednesday.
Travel agencies have customized tour packages costing around $1000 per person. The package includes tickets, accommodation, and driving lessons by professional trainers for five days for two hours a day.
Abdulhadi Al-Arjani, a member of the National Committee for Driving Schools in the Kingdom, told Al-Watan newspaper that women must take lessons at Saudi driving schools because traffic regulations differ from one country to another.
Travel agency owner Abdullah Al-Ramadan said many women prefer going to Egypt as part of the packages that offer driving lessons.
The Directorate General of Traffic (Muroor) announced a few days ago that driving lessons are a must to get a driver’s license.
Earlier, anyone wishing to obtain a driving license had to take driving test. But now no new license will be issued unless the applicant attends driving lessons ranging between 30 and 120 hours, Makkah Arabic newspaper reported on Monday.
Brig. Mohammed Al-Bassami, Muroor spokesman, said there will be 90 hours of rigorous training for those who are not good drivers while those who can drive properly will get 30 hours of lessons.
Training sessions will increase to 120 hours for those wishing to obtain general driving license but are not good drivers.
This article was first publish at the Saudi Gazette.