Three women in Dubai have become the Middle East’s first female public bus drivers.
The trio started their new jobs last week after being recruited by the emirate’s Roads and Transport Authority.
Until now, driving buses in the region was an exclusively male occupation, although women in the UAE already drive taxis.
“I applied for this job because I believe that it will open up opportunities,” one of the women said in a video released by RTA.
Another said: “I chose this career because I think I can contribute to the growth of the RTA as the first lady public bus driver in the Middle East.”
RTA says 165 of its taxi drivers, 41 limousine chauffeurs and one school bus driver are women.
More are expected to be recruited to drive its buses in the near future.
“This initiative goes with the best global practices of employing female drivers,” said Ahmed Bahrozyan, chief executive of RTA’s Public Transport Agency.
“The step creates job opportunities for women in a field dominated by men and promotes the culture of using public transport in the community, thus contributing to the delivery of better services to clients.”
The three women will be responsible for covering three routes in the city. They are:
- Circular Route 77 linking Baniyas, Deira City Centre and Terminals 1 and 3 of Dubai International Airport;
- Route F36 – a metro link service between Mall of the Emirates, Dubai Science Park and Al Barsha South;
- Route F70 – a metro link service in Bur Dubai running between BurJuman mall and Al Fahidi heritage district.