Saudi women drivers finally took to the streets this week as the ban on women driving was finally lifted. Lifting the ban will bring a refreshing economic recovery and help lower unemployment among Saudi women, since new jobs will be created strictly catered to women drivers. The government provides jobs for roughly 70 percent of Saudis. However, with the recent decline of oil profits, the government has not been able to provide enough jobs for the growing number of Saudi youths entering the workforce.
A significant change in the car rental market is that companies are opening new branches in universities, government departments and institutions. The goal of these new branches are to reduce the number of drivers on the road at once in the Kingdom. The CEO of Budget Saudi Arabia is optimistic about the effect of women drivers on the car industry in the Kingdom. "Today almost half the population consists of women. Let's say 5 percent starts driving, Some of them will buy and some will rent cars. In the end, the outcome will be positive, and this will be better reflected in 2019." "We are also starting to inject our car sales showrooms and various parts of our operations with women across the Kingdom. This will help a lot, especially when women enter showrooms to buy cars or rent them."
He said he truly believes that women obtaining a driving license will help the country economically. He explained that the income of the household would stay within the household. Income spent on transportation for drivers and taxis will now be returned to the house hold. And that money will stay within the Kingdom's economy through women buying and renting cars. The ride-hailing industry in the Kingdom is also embracing the lift on the ban. Careem and Uber can now hire female drivers and it will help their industry grow since 70 and 80 percent respectively are women riders. Saudi Arabia was the last country in the world to bar women from driving. And while that ban has been lifted, women must still get permission from a male relative before tehy can drive, get a job or passport, and travel outside the country.