The first 10 women in Saudi Arabia has received their driving licences in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
5 June 2018| Last updated on 5 June 2018
In just under 3 weeks women in Saudi Arabia will be able to legally start driving in the Kingdom. As the day is swiftly approaching when the ban on women driving will be lifted, the General Department of Traffic is busy ensuring that there is a smooth transition.
Part of these preparations have been to allow women in the Kingdom with an international driving licence to apply to convert it to a Saudi licence. As thousands of women have been applying to convert their driving licences, 10 Saudi women made history this week as their driving licences were issued.
All the women who participated in the first round of licences being issued took a driving test and eye exam before being issued their licences at the General Department of Traffic in the capital, Riyadh. An additional 2,000 women are expected to visit the General Department of Traffic next week to also convert their driving licences.
On June 24th, 2018 the ban will be lifted and women will legally be allowed to drive again in the Kingdom for the first time in over 50 years.
All the women whom exchanged their foreign driving licences were aware of the significance of this experience. Rema Jawdat, a risk analyst, at the Ministry of Economy and Planning told Arab News: "I have 12 years of driving experience in Lebanon, Switzerland, and the United States. It's a dream come true that I am about to drive in the Kingdom. The moment I got the news about driving was unbelievable for me."
Major General Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Bassami, the General Department of Traffic's Director announced last month that all preparations are finished and everything is ready for women to start driving in Saudi Arabia.
Women’s empowerment has been marked as an important element in the success of Saudi Arabia’s future. Lifting the ban on women driving in the Kingdom was a strategic move as part of Saudi Arabia’s 2030 reform.