Women Drivers Are Being Hired By Mideast Rival Of Uber In Saudi Arabia

It is most likely that a male would be sitting behind the wheels when one orders a taxi in most parts of the world.

That perception is being attempted to be change by the Uber’s rival in the Middle East – Careem. And that too in a society that is amongst the more conservative in the world. this is being attempted through the recruitment of Saudi women to take the wheels of its cats following the lifting of the ban on women driving in Saudi Arabia.

Ever since the since company announced that wants to recruit so-called Captinahs — female drivers — in Saudi Arabia, it has got more than 2,000 applications. Some of the applicants have already started work -p serving both male and female passengers.

“I believe I’ll be good in driving people around. I love driving and interacting with people,” said Enaam Al-Aswad, 43, who is one of the recruits of the new program of Careem.

Other women who have applied for the jobs have said that the job would suit them because of the flexible working hours. Others cite the need for a second or third source of income for sending in the applications.

According to Hisham Lary, Careem’s team manager in Jeddah. The company has plans to recruit 20,000 Captinahs throughout the Middle East by 2020.

Some of the countries of the region such as United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Morocco already has women drivers of the company.

Lary said women account for more than two thirds of the clients of the company in Saudi Arabia.

They had been forced to make use of services like Careem to go around because of the driving ban.

There are no worries currently about a possible decrease in passenger numbers because of the lifting of the driving ban, Lary said.

“We expect the demand to increase because the economy is increasingly moving,” he said.

Most of the companies in Saudi Arabia have rehashed their advertising campaigns to target Saudi women following the announcement of the plans by the government last year of removal of the driving ban.

Ford’s advertisement stating that the company would give a female driving advocate her dream Mustang had caught the attention of many.

Free services and special deals to women were also offered to women by car washing shops and restaurants.

More than 120000 applications for fresh new licenses were received by the Saudi traffic department in preparation for the lift ion the driving ban. There were some women who exchanged their driving licenses issued by other countries for Saudi license.  by completing 30 hours of training.

Arguments that female drivers joining the Careem service would violate conservative social norms in Saudi Arabia were dismissed by Lary.

“Women have been riding with a male [driver] for years. It’s just literally a matter of switching seats,” he said.

(Adapted from Money.CNN.com)

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