Thursday, 29 September 2011

When the KSA driving ban bites....

The driving ban in Saudi: when it really bites.

I thought you might be interested in getting a personal story on how the KSA driving ban can affect a woman in the region. So here's my story:

We've recently moved to Qatar after a long stint in the UAE and we want to bring our car over from Dubai. The transit route UAE-Qatar is all overland, reasonable roads (though shocking drivers). As you know its the law that women cover in Saudi so I'd change into abaya and sheyla just before the Saudi border and keep them on until I'm in Qatar. I have a cupboard full of abayas so no problem there. The simplest way would be for me to fly back, get the car and drive it over. The trip is just 680kms (422 miles) and if I left Dubai in the morning, even with border crossings, I could be back in Doha by dinner time....but I can't do that. Why? Because for 125kms (that's a mere 78 miles) the transit route passes through Saudi so for that tiny distance I can't drive nor can I hire a driver to do that leg of the trip for me because I can't be in the same car as a man who's not a relative. End result, my husband has to take a day off work, fly back to Dubai, pick up the car, and he'll do the driving within the Saudi borders.

1 comment:

  1. LOL Perspective is everything isn't it? I have been here so long, my abaya is second nature and I quite happily rock climb with it on. Driving.... have had a driver for so long I have to take classes to learn again. Next time.... call me and I'll send Ian :-D (Ellie)