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A royal decree was signed in September 2017 allowing Saudi women to apply for driving licenses with immediate effect. A new report looks at how the decision is likely to impact the kingdom’s automotive market


According to the report by PwC Middle East titled “Women driving the transformation of the KSA automotive market” released on March 8 to coincide with International Women’s Day, Saudi Arabia’s female population is projected to reach 15 million by 2020. Of these the total number of female drivers is projected to reach 3 million. The number of male drivers is set to increase from 9 million in 2017 to 9.5 million in 2020.

The addition of 3 million new women drivers to Saudi Arabia’s automotive market by 2020, the report says, will open a host of incremental opportunities for investors and industry participants. These include new job opportunities for Saudi nationals; investments in new roads, increase in insurance revenue and establishing new women-only driving schools. “When considering the scale of the market, our analysis tells us that there’s an opportunity to increase the number of driving institutions in the kingdom by over 50 per cent, an increase that will be translated into job opportunities for our females” said Hala Kudwah, lead consultant with PwC Saudi Arabia Financial Services “There would be dependencies such as necessary infrastructure and services to support female drivers; for example, women driving instructors, driving schools, licenses issuance etc.” she added.

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