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The Financial Express

1.3 million expat drivers could lose jobs in Saudi Arabia

| Updated: December 20, 2017 13:53:35


A Saudi woman leaves a vehicle in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia October 2, 2017. - Reuters file photo A Saudi woman leaves a vehicle in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia October 2, 2017. - Reuters file photo

About 1.3 million foreign drivers in Saudi Arabia are likely to lose their jobs as its kingdom prepares to issue driving licences to women.

According to an Arab News report, run by bdnews24, 87.2 per cent of Saudi families use private drivers. Foreign house-drivers are paid a minimum of SR12,000 per year, in addition to food and accommodation.

On Sept 27, Saudi King Salman ordered the lifting of a ban on women drivers as part of an effort to modernise the country and its image. Women will be able to start driving from June 2018 and will face the same driving regulations as men, Saudi Arabia’s General Department of Traffic  (GDT) said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the Saudis are also considering the possibility of allowing foreign female drivers.

"Recruiting foreign women to work as drivers is subject to the regulations of the Ministry of Labor and Social Development", the statement read.

According to 2016 estimates from the Bangladesh government, some 1.3 million of its nationals live and work in Saudi Arabia.

 

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