Saudi Arabia has 'entered the 21st century' with lifting of female driving ban, says Alwaleed

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal accompanies his daughter Reem on her first drive on Saudi streets
Saudi Arabia has 'entered the 21st century' with lifting of female driving ban, says Alwaleed
By Lubna Hamdan
Sun 24 Jun 2018 08:11 PM

As Saudi female drivers took the wheel for the first time on Sunday morning, billionaire Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal stated that Saudi has entered the 21st century.

In a video posted on his official Twitter account, the chairman of investment firm Kingdom Holding is seen accompanying his daughter Reem on her first drive in Saudi Arabia.

“Ready Reem?” he said, “Al Hamdulillah, thank God, Saudi has entered the 21 century.”

Alwaleed was also joined by his three granddaughters Sara, Dalal and Noor, in the backseat of the SUV.

At some point in the video, Reem tells her daughters that they too will be able to drive in a few years.

Alwaleed then goes on to thank King Salman for his progressive vision and for allowing the monumental change to take place.

“This is all thanks to my brother King Salman. It is his vision that has led to this great achievement. Women are now free at last,” he said.

Around three million women in Saudi could receive licences and actively begin driving by 2020, according to consultancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Earlier this month, the kingdom began issuing its first driving licences to women, with some swapping their foreign permits for Saudi ones after a practical test.

A handful of female driving schools have cropped up in several cities, training women to drive cars as well as Harley Davidson motorbikes - scenes unimaginable even a year ago.

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