Saudi Arabia introduces measures to bolster mortgage financing

PA Archive  PA Images
Prime Minister Theresa May meets King Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud of Saudi Arabia in Manama Bahrain

PA Archive PA Images Prime Minister Theresa May meets King Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud of Saudi Arabia in Manama Bahrain

The plan to allow women to drive is still developing, however, as Saudi Arabia does not now have any legal methods by which women can obtain licenses or learn how to drive.

"On this cherished anniversary of the unification of our dear country, the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, we assert its effective and influential status", the prince said in his speech.

Aziza Yousef drives a vehicle on a highway in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Saturday, March 29, 2014, as part of a campaign to defy Saudi Arabia's ban on women driving.

Some women have been arrested and jailed for defying the ban.

Some ultraconservative clerics in Saudi Arabia, who wield power and influence in the judiciary and education sectors, had warned against allowing women to drive.

Ryanair can't rule out further flight cancellations
He dismissed talk of possible industrial action, including reported plans for a work-to-rule, saying: "There isn't a union". Separately, some Ryanair pilots have spoken to the BBC about a "toxic" atmosphere and how they felt "undervalued".

Hundreds of women thronged a sports stadium for the first time to mark Saudi Arabia's national day on Saturday, celebrated across the conservative kingdom with a raucous display of concerts, folk dance and fireworks.

The decision has overturned a longstanding policy that has become a global symbol of the repression of women in the ultraconservative kingdom, the New York Times reported. Some Saudi women have been fined and imprisoned for daring to get behind the wheel. For example, the police will have to be trained to interact with women in a way that they rarely do in Saudi Arabia, a society where men and women who are not related have little contact.

The decision could also have broad economic impacts, making it possible for women to get to work without a driver but also curbing the popularity of auto hailing apps like Uber and Careem. It has 30 days to make recommendations which will be put into action in June 2018.

However, the change will not be implemented immediately as the kingdom has no infrastructure for women to learn to drive or obtain drivers licenses.

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