Saudi Arabia permits women to work as tourist guides

Monday, 5 March 2018

Saudi Arabia has announced to permit women to work as tourist guides from this year amid ongoing efforts for women empowerment in the ultra-conservative kingdom.

Director of Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTNH) Badr Al-Obaid said on Sunday that Saudi women can get licenses to work as tourist guides from this year, reports Saudi Gazette.

Badr Al-Obaid made the annoucement while speaking at Women Empowerment and Integration Forum in Jeddah on Sunday.

He said the SCTNH is keen to implement Saudisation at different levels in the tourism sector.

"Training programs have been provided to more than 8,000 Saudi youth to engage them in the job market," he said.

More than 400 Saudis have been sent on scholarships abroad during the last two years to prepare qualified individuals to join the tourism sector.

The SCTNH also supports the youth who want to invest in the tourism sector in line with the demands of the Saudi Vision 2030.

Hessa Al-Mazroa, first Saudi female director at a hotel in the Kingdom, spoke at the forum about the challenges of working in an establishment that requires international standards.

Women empowerment comes with responsibilities, she added.

Eman Rajhan, director of women’s affairs department at the Ministry of Labor and Social Development in Makkah region, said Saudi youth are capable of serving the country.

She spoke about the different programs offered by the ministry to empower women through part-time jobs and distance work programs along with the transportation and nursery services.

Last year, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud issued a royal decree allowing women to obtain driving licences, which was lauded worldwide.

According many global media, Saudi Arabia is committed to the Sustainable Development Goal of gender equality and is making significant strides in this domain.

The kingdom is seen to continue to fulfil its dream of prosperity for all as it unlocks the talent, potential, and dedication of its young men and women.