Twitter reacts positively to lifting of Saudi women driving ban

Analysis of 20,000 Arabic tweets from Saudi Arabia and the UAE reveal largely positive sentiment
Twitter reacts positively to lifting of Saudi women driving ban
By Sam Bridge
Thu 05 Jul 2018 03:59 PM

Twitters users from Saudi Arabia and the UAE have responded positively to the lifting of the driving ban on women in the Gulf kingdom.

Data released by SEMrush, a digital marketing suite, revealed largely positive sentiment towards Saudi women drivers on social media.

SEMrush analysed the sentiment of more than 20,000 tweets in Saudi Arabia and the UAE during the week Saudi women were officially permitted to start driving.

The results showed the large majority of Arabic tweets in Saudi Arabia and the UAE had positive sentiment towards the decision.

Saudi Arabian tweets were 43 percent positive and only 13 percent negative, with the balance being neutral. On the same topic, UAE tweets in Arabic displayed 47 percent positivity and only 1 percent negative sentiment, with the balance being neutral on the issue.

Analysis by SEMrush also suggested that car dealership showrooms inside Saudi Arabia houldn’t be the only sector gearing up to capture the new business opportunity offered by the end of the driving ban.

It said the initial positive sentiment across the GCC will provide additional reason for the region’s rent-a-car sector to expect additional growth in inter-GCC road tourism and short-haul business travel coming from and to Saudi Arabia.

“The developments in Saudi Arabia represent a significant opportunity for the regional rent-a-car sector, especially in the UAE which is the lead tourist destination for GCC families,” said Adam Zeidan, corporate communications manager – GCC and Turkey, SEMrush.

“It is up to the GCC rent-a-car sector to decide how to capture this new opportunity using innovative services tailored to Saudi women. Could GCC car rental fleets witness a big increase in vehicles suitable for mothers, such as MPVs, cross-over SUVs and station wagon types?

"Or will the rent-a-car business expand its service counter networks to better connect Saudi Arabia with the GCC, easing vehicle pick-up and drop-off points, as large numbers of Saudi women choose to drive from the kingdom to Bahrain or the UAE for holidays? It will be interesting seeing how the sector responds.”

For all the latest business news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Subscribe to Arabian Business' newsletter to receive the latest breaking news and business stories in Dubai,the UAE and the GCC straight to your inbox.