Saudi’s Jeddah plans women valets for restaurants

The kingdom lifted its female driving ban on June 24



Restaurant-goers in Jeddah could soon have their car parked by a woman valet under a new scheme proposed by city’s chamber of commerce.

Arabic newspaper Makkah cited the chairman of the chamber’s hospitality committee, Adil Mekki, as confirming the project on Tuesday.

It is intended to end the problem of finding parking near restaurants and will involve the construction of new complexes, according to the publication.

“The project will also help employ a number of the qualified women who carry official licenses to park cars,” he was quoted as saying.

The plans reportedly came about after an investor complained that the municipality closed his restaurant due to a shortage of parking space.

The lifting of the kingdom’s female driving ban on June 24 is expected to provide its women workforce with new job opportunities.

Read: Saudi women expect new job opportunities after lifting of driving ban

However, those wishing to work as drivers will face tough restrictions on the passengers they can transport.

Read: Saudi to grant licences to family taxi cabs driven by women, but female passengers are a must

Data from a June YouGov survey released on Tuesday showed 24 per cent of women in the kingdom have already applied for a driving licence and 61 per cent intend to apply.

Nearly four in five (78 per cent) of those who intend to drive plan to buy a car, according to the findings.