Saudi Arabian women flocked to Jeddah’s Le Mall on Thursday to preview the Kingdom’s first car exhibition targeted solely towards females. The all-women’s car showroom comes five months after the Kingdom’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman issued a historic decree in September lifting the decades-long ban on female drivers in the Gulf country.
The new showroom features a wide range of vehicles, and also offers women solutions to finance their new purchases, making it easier for Saudi women to transition onto the road once the decree officially comes into effect in June. Several other car showrooms specifically catering to female drivers are set to open across the Kingdom in the coming weeks.
The news coincides with ride service app Uber’s announcement to start hiring its first female drivers by June. Uber’s UAE-based competitor, Careem, is also recruiting women drivers in Saudi Arabia. Both ride-hailing apps serve as the main mode of transportation for women in the Kingdom. According to reports, female riders make up 80% of Uber’s Saudi customer base, and 70% for Careem.