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Ford and Effat University Help Women Make History in Saudi Arabia with Driving Skills for Life for Her


  • Ford Driving Skills for Life for Her – the first event of its kind since the historical royal decree lifting the ban on women obtaining a driver’s license in Saudi Arabia last year – makes its global debut at Jeddah’s Effat University, March 5-8
  • Customized introductory program, led by certified trainers, will focus on helping women build confidence behind the wheel by instilling safe driving practices on a closed course
  • Since launching in the Middle East in 2013, more than 3,600 students have participated in Ford’s award-winning Driving Skills for Life program, with sessions in three different cities across Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates last year alone

DUBAI, UAE, Feb. 18, 2018 – Ford Motor Company is assisting Saudi Arabian women ahead of them gaining the power of mobility by hosting a special four-day Driving Skills for Life program with Effat University. The groundbreaking course – Driving Skills for Life for Her – follows the landmark decision by the Kingdom, as decreed by His Highness, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, to lift the ban on women driving in Saudi Arabia.

“Ford Motor Company was built on the belief that freedom of movement drives human progress, so we are honored to have the opportunity to support women in the Kingdom during such an extraordinary time, and to welcome them to the driver’s seat,” said Jim Vella, president, Ford Motor Company Fund. “Our Driving Skills for Life for Her program provides access to training and experiences that will help women feel safe and confident as they get behind the wheel.”

Based on Ford’s award-winning global safe driving initiatives, Driving Skills for Life has customized an introductory program that focuses on building women’s confidence behind the wheel, expanding their automotive knowledge, preparing them to take driving lessons, and instilling safe driving practices before they tackle public roads.

The first-ever Driving Skills for Life for Her introductory program anywhere in the world will have certified instructors providing training at Effat University’s Jeddah campus. Calling on her fellow students to partake, Shams Hakim, Business HR student at Effat, announced the program on YouTube today, which can be viewed here.

Scheduled March 5-8, the program will train more than 250 Effat University students, incorporating four modules of in-vehicle experiences – one on learning about the vehicle, another on distraction, one on impairment and another on dealing with braking. The sessions will be preceded by a briefing with the lead instructor.

Effat University is well known for its innovative education, driving women forward to take their rightful places in society and the workforce. We are proud to be able to partner with Ford to ensure that our students are also prepared to become responsible, safe drivers,” said Dr. Haifa Jamalallail, president of Effat University. “We believe in driving change, but driving safely, and this is exactly what the Safe Driving Skills for Life program is all about.” 

Driving Skills for Life is an international initiative for road safety created by Ford Fund in cooperation with the Governors Highway Safety Association and a panel of safety experts. Ford’s signature program captures the interest of newly licensed drivers with free, hands-on ride-and-drive courses that pair them with professional instructors. It focuses on the issues and obstacles that cause crashes, including impaired and distracted driving.

Now in its 15th year, Ford Driving Skills for Life has provided free training to more than 1 million newly licensed drivers in 40 countries worldwide. In total, Ford has invested more than $40 million in Driving Skills for Life initiatives worldwide as part of its longstanding commitment to promoting safety on the road.

Since launching in the Middle East in 2013, more than 3,600 students have participated in Ford’s Driving Skills for Life program, with sessions in three cities across Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates last year alone.

This new installment of Driving Skills for Life for Her will be an ongoing program for women drivers in the Kingdom, with phase two launching later this year.

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About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company is a global company based in Dearborn, Michigan. The company designs, manufactures, markets and services a full line of Ford cars, trucks, SUVs, electrified vehicles and Lincoln luxury vehicles, provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company and is pursuing leadership positions in electrification, autonomous vehicles and mobility solutions. Ford employs approximately 200,000 people worldwide. For more information regarding Ford, its products and Ford Motor Credit Company, please visit

Ford’s history in the Middle East goes back more than 60 years. The company’s local importer-dealers operate more than 155 facilities in the region and directly employ more than 7,000 people, the majority of whom are Arab Nationals. For more information on Ford Middle East, please visit

Ford Middle East is also a responsible corporate citizen with currently various CSR initiatives running in the region including the Ford Motor Company Conservation & Environmental Grants, Ford Warriors in Pink® breast cancer awareness campaign, Ford Driving Skills for Life for young drivers and the Henry Ford Entrepreneurship Academy education initiative for young entrepreneurs.

About Ford Motor Company Fund

Ford Motor Company Fund is the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company. Established in 1949, Ford Fund invests in transformational programs that advance innovation, empower people, promote social mobility and improve community prosperity. Ford Fund works with local and global partners to create opportunities in education, encourage safe driving, enlist employee volunteers and enrich community life. For more information, visit, or join us on Facebook @FordFund and Twitter @FordFund.

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