UAE's first female food delivery driver takes to the roads of Dubai

Gift Solomon, from Nigeria, works for a local pizza delivery company to support her family

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A UAE pizza company claims to have made a slice of history by hiring the country's first female food delivery driver.

Gift Solomon moved to the Emirates from Nigeria five years ago to make money for her family.

She works as an assistant manager for Freedom Pizza in Dubai, and has chosen to also work on the delivery side of the business.

She said she was passionate about her work, and enjoyed being out on the road.

I am driving for my family. I am a daughter, and I want to support them

“The best time for me to actually think is when I’m driving; it’s a time to think about everything, about home, about where I was before. When I’m on the road, I’m free," she said.

"Delivering food is not just about delivering to people. For me, it's an opportunity to be part of someone's day."

Ian Ohan, the founder and chief executive of Freedom Pizza, said his company wanted to remind the public of the individual personalities behind their delivery service.

"Behind every delicious meal is a beautiful person with a story you should know," he said.

"We believe in every member of our team, so we invest in them, their futures and their gifts.

"Human capability, spirit and brilliance should never be hidden. Women's rights are human rights."

Freedom Pizza has campaigned for greater safety measures for delivery drivers, including high-quality jackets and boots, and well-maintained motorbikes.

Under UAE labour laws, employers must equip employees with adequate means of protection from injuries that might occur during work.

The takeaway company recruits all its drivers directly, paying them a proper monthly wage along with statutory benefits.

It also never penalises a driver for late delivery, and instead encourages them to drive safely and follow protocols.

Gift said she took up the job to support her parents.

"I am driving for my family. I am a daughter, and I want to support them [parents]," she said.

She does not believe the role is the prerogative of men.

"I really want to see more women join me. Instead of saying 'Hey brother' when I'm out on the Freedom bike, I want to say, 'Hey sister, I am doing it. You can too.'"

The pizza company, in a statement to The National, confirmed it was the only organisation employing a female motorbike delivery driver.

The company said it had " conducted their due diligence before confirming this milestone".