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Oman to allow female taxi drivers and start women-only taxi service

Local taxi drivers in Muscat, Oman on 5 May 2018 [Christopher Pike/Bloomberg/Getty Images]
Local taxi drivers in Muscat, Oman on 5 May 2018 [Christopher Pike/Bloomberg/Getty Images]

Women in Oman will soon be allowed to drive taxis in the capital, Muscat, and a women-only service will also be launched from 20 January. It is hoped the service will benefit female passengers, students and children, reported the Times of Oman last week.

The move, seen as a significant step towards gender equality in the Sultanate, will be the start on a trial basis in the Muscat Governorate, before extending into other governorates. The service will also provide female jobseekers with an opportunity to work as taxi drivers or an additional income while they look for work.

According to an announcement on Thursday by the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Information Technology, a license for the female taxi service has already been issued. The Ministry also mentioned that the service will be made available through the cab service app, OTaxi.

In neighbouring UAE, a female-only taxi service already exists with distinct "Pink Taxis". It has been reported that Oman's service will follow with a similar colour scheme. Earlier this month, it was also reported that Saudi Arabia's General Directorate of Traffic announced that women will now be allowed be taxi drivers. They can apply for a general taxi licence at any of the 18 driving schools in cities across the Kingdom. It follows the royal decree in 2017 by King Salman permitting women to drive in the country, coming into effect in 2019.

READ: Better pay drove woman to become Morocco's only female cab driver

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