Uber gets $3.5 Billion from Saudi investors

If that is the case I can’t see how “around 80% of Uber passengers in Saudi Arabia are women” could possibly be true. Even if the average fare was one man escorting two female relatives then you’d still only be at 66% female customers.

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But without the Wahhabism, there is less of a need for women, specifically, to take über when more could possibly transport themselves.

Also, does über have a non-discrimination policy with it’s employees? I think they do (but am not certain). How do they reconcile the two?

Just happened to hear a bit on NPR earlier about driver training companies in Gaza hiring women to act as chaperons for female driving students. Saudi Arabia is more restrictive, but maybe Uber does something similar.

OK, did 15 seconds of research and I stand corrected.
Saudi women most certainly are permitted by the regime to use Uber unescorted:


Although, thinking about it, this really is a peculiar ruling. The regime is all about hobbling and disempowering females. It would be the easiest thing in the world to outright ban females from using this service. Just think of it: an unescorted female in a car with a stranger (almost invariably an “uncultured” foreigner, since, for Saudis, service jobs like Uber are “beneath” them)? Getting in that car practically seems like an invitation for a lascivious proposition by the driver to prey upon the naive, vulnerable female. Isn’t this is a country where getting a conviction on a rape charge requires 4 male witnesses? The Saudi regime doesn’t allow bicycle riding, but they allow this?

Did Uber “give generously” to key policy makers in Saudi Arabia?


Come on Xeni balance this propaganda by a mention of the fact that Saudi women are FORCED to use taxis because of a ban of females driving.

Wow. That wasn’t there when I liked your post (and apparently I can’t change that now) . I’ve got issues with the House of Saud, but that sentence, with it’s reference to naive females, is a bit problematic.

I think this is a common misconception. Women in Saudi Arabia are not allowed to travel unescorted. Visiting another city, trying to get away from your abusive husband, … That kind of thing. You can go to the store and buy groceries or whatever.


Self driving cars is an interesting one in a state where women aren’t allowed to drive though, innit? I foresee some major theological and legal arguments coming. Self-driving cars make a hell of a lot more sense somewhere without any snow too. Uber are still bastards though.

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The Saudi monarchy wants to move the economy away from oil, and that among other things means using the sovereign wealth fund to buy into any business which looks like it might grow a lot over the next ten years or so. I actually doubt that the Saudi position on women driving had anything to do with it; it was just business. Saudi is never going to be more than a small fraction of Uber turnover, so what happens there is unlikely to affect the share price.
Mind you, self driving cars…it’s going to make car bombs much more common in the ME when you don’t need a suicide driver any more.

Just need to build them well:

Seems like self-driving cars actually solve their problem. Since women can’t drive, and aren’t supposed to ride alone with a man.

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I’m not sure I’d want to use a service partially owned by a torture state.

At lease when I used an American service it’s privately owned, not by the state itself.

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It’s like there’s a doomsday clock, but for an uber-like service as a worker-owned co-op, and it just moved another minute toward midnight.

Wow. That’s like a new level of ugliness, thanks to the combination of racism and xenophobia. At least it makes me a bit glad in that it wouldn’t fly (yet) on U.S. media outlets.


That one has been around for ages (as one can tell from the car) but it isn’t a real ad.

Of course there is this conspiracy theory that it is a super secret viral ad because that wouldn’t be dumb at all.

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It wouldn’t fly in Europe either. It was never run on TV or any VW web site. The ad wasn’t produced by VW or their ad agency.

Snopes: Polo Blow: False

Apparently it was made by a duo trying to get advertising work with VW and to promote their own work.


Thanks for the info, glad it’s not real. But sad it’s even out there.


Jeremy Clarkson and James May?

Yeah, I suspect there will soon be competing Fatwas on this issue, with the imams with closer connections to the state being supportive.

But yeah, not really an Uber fan, either. Not a fan of self-driving cars, either, personally.

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If that is the case I can’t see how “around 80% of Uber passengers in Saudi Arabia are women” could possibly be true. Even if the average fare was one man escorting two female relatives then you’d still only be at 66% female customers.

Uber… we hire eunuchs!