Women in the country will be allowed to drive from June next year, opening up a raft of opportunities for auto giants, many of whom have previously taken little time to target vehicles at the new market.
"Saudi Arabia allows women to drive", tweeted the official account of the country's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Automation technologies, artificial intelligence (AI) and Big Data have been recognised as key drivers for the future of the retail industry in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. These professional women are forced to spend copious amounts of money on personal drivers and taxis or ask male relatives for rides to do even the simplest of errands, even if they are the breadwinners of the house. In Saudi society, men and women rarely interact unless they are family, making it so that the government has to consider the tactics it will use to communicate when stopping female speeders.
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To be sure, giving women the ability to drive will probably give many more women access to the workforce and economic independence, which, incidentally, is one of the broad goals of Saudi leaderships plans to rejuvenate the Kingdoms economy. The announcement Tuesday has been interpreted as a sign of changing attitudes in Saudi Arabia, since the rise to prominence of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz. "This was a societal issue".
Indeed, the past few months have seen Saudi Arabia make incremental steps towards womens rights by allowing them to participate in functions considered mundane, if not a nuisance, in many other countries.
Although Saudi Arabia has a reputation for liking luxury goods, mainstream brands dominate the vehicle market with a 93 percent share of sales, according to LMC. How this unfolds is of interest throughout the world, as Western nations deal with Muslim countries where centuries of tradition may be undergoing gradual change. The World Economic Forum ranked Saudi Arabia 141 of 144 countries in its 2016 global gender gap report.