This week, a one-of-a-kind driving academy dedicated to graduating female motorists was inaugurated in Al-Ahsa, Saudi Arabia. Spread across an area of about 3,500 square meters, and with a training field area of about 50,000 square meters, the center has been equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, from interactive simulators, to smart classrooms, to an online test room, all designed towards achieving its impressive objective: to train 200,000 women in the next 10 years.
According to Arab News, the center was inaugurated by Prince Saud bin Naif, who highlighted “the importance of developing education around driving, integrating modern technologies, and promoting a culture of traffic safety.” He also praised Saudi Aramco for providing the academy with the needed services, and the CEO of Saudi Aramco, Amin Nasser, in turn thanked Prince Saud for his generous support.
The newly established center has 115 vehicles, 11 simulators that recreate real-life scenarios in the Al-Ahsa region, five smart classrooms, meeting halls, a clinic, and even daycare services, ensuring that any woman in the region will be able to focus on getting her driving license successfully. Besides its remarkable facilities, the academy is employing over 250 women as trainers, lecturers, and in other areas in this initial stage, and aims to hire an additional 50 female staff members by next year.
This driving academy comes at a time when women across Saudi Arabia continue to take to the streets in incredible numbers. Indeed, with the surge of women looking to obtain driving licenses, the demand for female driving instructors continues to rise, so much so that this week, driving schools across Saudi Arabia saw waves of women signing up for courses, and one school in Taif put out a call for more female driving instructors to meet the rising numbers of applicants.