Uber’s female empowerment initiatives support Saudi goals to grow women’s workforce by 2030

The undated photo shows a female driver sitting in her car. (Photo courtesy: supplied)
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Updated 27 July 2023
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Uber’s female empowerment initiatives support Saudi goals to grow women’s workforce by 2030

  • More than 56 percent of participants mentioned using Uber to financially support their families
  • A large majority highlighted the sense of community it helped build, with 77 percent of respondents saying they felt safe driving with Uber

RIYADH: Uber — which provides UberTaxi service in Saudi Arabia — has revealed insights from female drivers in the Kingdom, with financial independence and safety as key issues.

Data shows an optimistic outcome of female empowerment in the Kingdom with more than 76 percent of participants citing financial independence as the reason they drive using Uber.

These numbers follow a survey shared by Uber among female drivers in Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

More than 56 percent of participants mentioned using Uber to financially support their families, with 46.89 percent of drivers successfully increasing financial stability.

A large majority highlighted the sense of community it helped build, with 77 percent of respondents saying they felt safe driving with Uber.

Localized features such as the “women preferred view” — a product Uber built explicitly for Saudi Arabia before expanding to other markets — allow female drivers a choice to be connected to women riders.

More than half of the participants want to continue their journey with Uber and progress professionally.

In line with its commitment to the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 goals, Uber continues to connect with, empower and support the advancement of women in Saudi Arabia by providing financial opportunities, flexibility and advanced safety measures for female drivers.

Wusool, the subsidized women empowerment program Uber launched in 2017, has supported more than 120,000 women taking 20 million trips to and from their workplace by 2021.

This has played a critical role in driving forward Saudi Arabia’s female labor participation, which has risen to 37 percent in mid-2022.

Mohammad Al-Juraish, general manager at Uber Saudi Arabia, said: “We are proud to play a key role in supporting female financial independence and empowerment in the Kingdom. We see that female drivers’ ages range from 21-46, showcasing the diversity of driver profiles who drive using the Uber app, whether for self-empowerment, exceeding cultural barriers or financial support.”

“We hope to continue creating innovative solutions and build locally using our global experience, to bridge mobility concerns for our riders,” he said.


Arafat sermon translation project reaches 50-language milestone

Updated 4 sec ago
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Arafat sermon translation project reaches 50-language milestone

  • The initiative marks the world’s largest project of its kind
  • Launched in 2018, the project initially offered translations in five languages

MAKKAH: The Presidency of the Religious Affairs of the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque announced on Wednesday that the Arafat sermon translation project will now encompass 50 languages.
The Saudi Press Agency reported that the initiative, spearheaded by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, marks the world’s largest project of its kind.
Launched in 2018, the project initially offered translations in five languages.
This remarkable growth to 50 languages in less than a decade reflects the Kingdom’s dedication to spreading the message of moderation and Islamic values globally.
On Sunday, the Presidency said the Arafat sermon for this year’s Hajj season will reach one billion listeners worldwide, fostering greater understanding and promoting peace through the message of the Arafat sermon.


Palestinian guests of Custodian of Two Holy Mosques Program arrive in Makkah

Updated 25 min 9 sec ago
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Palestinian guests of Custodian of Two Holy Mosques Program arrive in Makkah

  • This year, program is hosting 3,322 pilgrims from 88 countries worldwide
  • Saudi Arabia will receive 2,000 more pilgrims from Palestine on Thursday 

RIYADH: 500 Palestinian pilgrims who are being hosted through the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Guests Program for Hajj, Umrah and Visit arrived in Makkah on Wednesday.

The Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Dawah and Guidance will receive 2,000 more pilgrims from Palestine on Thursday as part of the program, Saudi Press Agency reported. 

Palestinian pilgrims who are being hosted through the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Guests Program for Hajj, Umrah and Visit arrive in Makkah. (SPA)

The pilgrims expressed their thanks and appreciation to the Kingdom’s government for its interest in the Palestinian cause and for enabling them to perform Hajj through the program, SPA added.

This year, the program is hosting 3,322 pilgrims from 88 countries around the world.


Palestinian guests of Custodian of Two Holy Mosques Program arrive in Makkah

Palestinian pilgrims arrive in Makkah. (SPA)
Updated 12 June 2024
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Palestinian guests of Custodian of Two Holy Mosques Program arrive in Makkah

  • Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Dawah and Guidance will receive 2,000 more pilgrims from Palestine on Thursday as part of the program

RIYADH: 500 Palestinian pilgrims who are being hosted through the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Guests Program for Hajj, Umrah and Visit arrived in Makkah on Wednesday.

The Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Dawah and Guidance will receive 2,000 more pilgrims from Palestine on Thursday as part of the program, Saudi Press Agency reported. 

The pilgrims expressed their thanks and appreciation to the Kingdom’s government for its interest in the Palestinian cause and for enabling them to perform Hajj through the program, SPA added.

This year, the program is hosting 3,322 pilgrims from 88 countries around the world.


Makkah Health Cluster neurosurgeons save life of Ethiopian pilgrim

Updated 12 June 2024
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Makkah Health Cluster neurosurgeons save life of Ethiopian pilgrim

  • The pilgrim was losing consciousness and exhibiting severe weakness in the right side of his body
  • King Abdulaziz Hospital’s neurosurgery team operated after diagnosing a subdural hemorrhage

MAKKAH: Neurosurgeons at King Abdulaziz Hospital saved an Ethiopian pilgrim’s life after he suffered a subdural hemorrhage, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Wednesday.
The pilgrim, whose age was not revealed, was losing consciousness and exhibiting severe weakness in the right side of his body. Shortly after diagnosing a subdural hemorrhage, or severe brain bleed, the neurosurgery team from King Abdulaziz Hospital, a member of the Makkah Health Cluster, operated on the man.
He was reported to have undergone surgery under local anaesthesia before being transferred to the intensive care unit, where his condition was monitored and treatment provided.
Post-operation tests showed a noticeable improvement in the patient’s condition — bleeding was significantly reduced and he was able to move the right side of his body.
Makkah Health Cluster said that the efforts of the medical team, and intensive physical therapy, made it possible to move the patient to the internal medicine department where he will continue treatment under supervision.
Last week, a neurosurgery team from the same hospital saved the life of an elderly Indonesian pilgrim who fell into a coma. The woman was suffering from acute hydrocephalus, a serious condition commonly referred to as water on the brain.
Neurosurgeons performed a delicate and life-saving operation after which the woman regained partial consciousness and then completely emerged from the coma.


Government agencies provide top quality care for elderly, disabled Hajj pilgrims

Updated 12 June 2024
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Government agencies provide top quality care for elderly, disabled Hajj pilgrims

  • Wheelchairs, guides, volunteers all on hand to help worshippers perform rituals
  • Modern technology used to track movement of visitors, ensure safety

MAKKAH: Government agencies in the Kingdom play a vital role in providing humanitarian services to ensure the safety and comfort of pilgrims during the Hajj rituals, with special care provided to the elderly and disabled people.

Hospitals and health centers are available in Makkah, Madinah and the holy sites, offering first aid and emergency medical care. Awareness and educational campaigns about public health and preventive measures are also being conducted.

Security services undertake crowd management and traffic control to ensure the safety of pilgrims. They also provide search and rescue services and deploy teams to maintain order and safety at the holy sites.

Visitor Umm Ayman Reda said she was delighted with the available services from the moment she arrived at King Abdulaziz International Airport. She said she used the Haramain High Speed Railway to get to her hotel and it “did not make her feel old” as she did not have to walk long distances.

She said the Hajj agency told her about an integrated program for the elderly and people with special needs, which ensures they can perform their rituals with ease and comfort. This was “a significant humanitarian effort provided by the Kingdom to serve Hajj pilgrims from all over the world,” she said.

Saad Jameel Al-Qurashi, who owns of a local Hajj agency, said the Kingdom’s leaders were dedicated to ensuring the comfort of pilgrims at every stage of the Hajj journey.

He said the pilgrimage sites in Arafat and Muzdalifah were fully equipped with services to assist the elderly and people with special needs so they could perform their rituals in comfort.

“All Hajj workers are dedicated to serving the pilgrims … it is an honor that Saudis proudly uphold at all levels,” he said.

He also complimented the transport and communication services and said visitors were provided with drinking water, free meals and guides to help them perform their Hajj rituals correctly.

Brochures and information leaflets in multiple languages are being distributed and information centers have also been established.

Modern technology is used to track the movement of pilgrims and ensure their safety. Mobile applications help visitors navigate and access necessary information, while quick relief services are available for emergency situations.

The General Authority for the Care of the Two Holy Mosques told Arab News it had implemented comprehensive measures to care for people with disabilities at the Grand Mosque, including within the prayer rooms. These are cleaned and sterilized before and after each prayer and Zamzam water is available.

Smart golf carts are also available at the Grand Mosque — located in the eastern courtyards — for people with mobility issues and electric scooters can be reserved through the Tanaqol application for performing rituals. These can be accessed at several points, including the Marwah entrance at Gate 25, the Bab Darul Arqam entrance at Gate 16 and the Shubaika Stairways entrance at Gate 66. Wheelchairs are available at both the entrance to the eastern square at Bab as-Salam (Gate 19) and the entrance to the western square at Bab e Ajyad.

Volunteers are on hand to push the wheelchairs at both the entrance to Bab e Ajyad on the ground floor — serving pilgrims and those on the ground floor — and Bab e Safa on the second floor, serving pilgrims in the Masaa area.

The main and interior doors at the Grand Mosque are equipped with Braille guide signs to assist visually impaired people. During circumambulation, the elderly and people with disabilities are provided with umbrellas to protect them from the heat of the sun.