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First Saudi women get driving licences

Authorities started swapping international licences for Saudi ones

  • Tahani Al Dosemani, Assistant Professor at Prince Sattam Bin Abdulaziz University in Al Kharj, with her new drImage Credit: AP
  • A Saudi woman speaks to an officer before her driving exam, at the General Department of Traffic in the capitaImage Credit: AP

Riyadh: Saudi Arabia on Monday began issuing its first driving licences to women in decades, state media reported.

"The first group of women today received their Saudi driving licences," the official Saudi Press Agency said.

Esraa Albuti

"The general directorate of traffic started replacing international driving licences recognised in the kingdom with Saudi licences," it added.

The move comes as Saudi Arabia, the only country in the world where women are not allowed drive, prepares to lift its decades-long ban on female drivers on June 24.

SPA said authorities started swapping international licences for Saudi ones in multiple locations across the kingdom, with women applicants made to undergo a "practical test".

It did not specify the number of licences issued.

Saudi driving

The move is part of Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman's far-reaching liberalisation drive as he seeks to modernise the kingdom.