18 July 2016
RIYADH: More than 1,000 young Saudi men applied to work as part time drivers for Uber company, which contributed to a 30 percent decrease in unemployment rate.

The company will try to attract more Saudis during the next five years, hoping to make the number of Saudi Uber drivers reach 100,000, said director of operations of Saudi Uber Faris Al-Fadel.

He said Uber hopes to win passengers' trust by providing privacy and security, which has increased the number of women who use this service by 80 percent.

He confirmed that the company is working on supporting the Kingdom's plans by including 1.3 million women in the labor market by 2030, which would increase the rate of working women by 30 percent.

He said the company operates in several provinces in the Kingdom.

Last month, Uber had only 20,000 active drivers, working for it since it started its operations in Saudi Arabia, but "we hope to increase this number because the Uber application is among the most used on smartphones", said Al-Fadel.

"The majority of passengers are men, and when our operations expanded, the number of male passengers increased because using Uber is easier than using one's own car," he added.

All Uber drivers must follow certain procedures before being accepted. After applying for a job by submitting all authentic documents, they are trained and have to pass a test before working for the company.

Drivers are later evaluated by passengers after each trip, to ensure that the quality of the service is maintained.

Drivers' age and quality of vehicles factor among Uber's conditions for drivers.

"We measure the quality of the service offered by drivers through passengers' evaluation. If their evaluation is level four, we talk to them to find out the problem and solve it," said Al-Fadel.

Saudi drivers are the ones who get the best evaluation.

The company started offering its services in the kingdom two years ago.

"Saudis use Uber and told us that our service facilitates their getting to school and work. We invest in the world to change the way people move around, and we support Vision 2030 and wish to contribute to decreasing unemployment by 30 percent by encouraging more Saudis to join Uber," he added.

Uber is a licensed international company that has a commercial register, since it is a new company that works in the field of technology.

© Arab News 2016