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Dubai, Jan 11: Ride hailing applications in Saudi Arabia are preparing to hire Saudi female chauffeurs, months ahead of lifting a ban that prevents women from driving or owning driving licenses in the country, a CNN report said.



The ride hailing applications Uber and Careem recruited their first female drivers in Saudi Arabia, after the Kingdom announced plans to lift the ban on women driving by June 2018.



Female customers currently represent 80 per cent of Uber's Saudi rider base and 70 per cent of business for its Dubai-based counterpart Careem, according to statistics shared with CNN by both companies. 



The apps are a lifeline to women with no independent way to get around the Kingdom.



All drivers employed by the two firms are male -- mostly Saudi nationals driving their privately-owned vehicles.



Following the ground-breaking royal decree that announced plans to lift the ban on women driving in September 2017, both companies have been preparing to hire their first female drivers.

IANS

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