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Thu 10 Jan 2019 02:11 PM

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Over 40,000 licences issued to Saudi women drivers so far

Senior traffic official says Saudi Arabia plans to establish 14 driving schools for women across the country

Over 40,000 licences issued to Saudi women drivers so far
Saudi Arabia’s automotive sector is set for a rapid transformation in the coming years, with 20 percent of the female population, or three million drivers, expected to be added to the kingdom’s roads by 2020.

More than 40,000 driver licences has reportedly been issued to women in Saudi Arabia since the ban on women driving was lifted last June.

Local media reported comments by Major General Muhammad Al-Bassami, director general of Traffic Department, as saying that there are plans to set up 14 driving schools for women across the Gulf kingdom.

“The experience of women driving in the Kingdom is considered pioneering and exemplary,” he said, adding that he is working with women driving school partners to implement international standards.

“We have plans to create 14 driving schools for women in different regions to help ease the waiting list for women to get the licence,” he said. “We have opened 22 centres to replace international valid licences,” he added.

According to a report released late last year, Saudi Arabia’s automotive sector is set for a rapid transformation in the coming years, with 20 percent of the female population, or three million drivers, expected to be added to the kingdom’s roads by 2020.

A whitepaper, published by global research company Aranca, said the lifting of the ban on women driving in Saudi Arabia, along with recovering oil prices and economic policies aimed at boosting consumer spending, will result in an eight percent per annum increase of passenger vehicles sales until 2022.

The report added that in addition to new car sales, the positive impact of a new customer segment over the next 1-3 years will be felt in the kingdom’s automotive aftermarket, which was valued at $7.4 billion in 2017.

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