After a slew of progressive announcements from Saudi Arabia, including a ruling allowing women to drive; granting women the right to enter sports stadiums; and the right for travel agencies to grant tourist visas for the first time, a new rule could truly change the face of travel in the Kingdom.
According to Arab News, women over the age of 25 will soon be allowed to claim tourist visas to the country, and there's no chaperone required.
As women are granted more and more rights, and become more full and visible players in society, the country's two largest ride-hailing apps are making moves to ensure that women are in the drivers seat...literally.
Both Uber and Careem have been in talks to bring female drivers into their work forces in Saudi, and beginning in June, it looks like that vision will become a reality.
Female riders currently make up 80 percent of Uber's Saudi customers, and 70 for Careem, and now, both companies are stepping up to hire women as drivers.
"When the Royal Decree allowing women to drive in Saudi Arabia was announced, Careem immediately welcomed the decision and announced our willingness to open our platform to "Captinahs" (Female Captains)," Nadia Rouchdy, Head of Sustainability and Social Impact, told POPSUGAR Middle East.
Careem will hire more than 10,000 female captains by June 2018, and training sessions are already underway for women who acquired driving licenses abroad.
"Female captains will help us provide a better service to many women who want to travel but refuse to be driven by men," Elyas said.
Uber has also pledged to bring women into the force. "We will partner up with necessary stakeholders to facilitate the paperwork, training access, and access to vehicles, including access to driving schools run by third party partners," said Zeid Hreish, Uber's general manager in Saudi Arabia.
The company has already launched "listening sessions" in the country, aimed at"shaping the company's priorities and upcoming plans for women in the Kingdom."
We can't wait to see what else comes out of Saudi this year! Here's to progress!