Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal is a business tycoon from the ruling family in Saudi Arabia with business interests spanning across the globe. One of his wives, Princess Amira, talking to Al-Watan said that she was ready to drive if the authorities allowed that. She holds an international driving license and drives cars in all countries she visits, except her home country.
All women are legally barred from driving in Saudi Arabia. Families of women who require mobility have to hire drivers or depend on their male relatives to drive them around. In 1990, with the influx of foreign troops in the country at the height of the Kuwait crisis, 47 Saudi women in Riyadh, took to the streets driving their brothers' or husbands' cars to protest against the social ban on their driving. The religious authorities strongly condemned this move and these women were jailed for a day, their passports were confiscated, and those who were working lost their jobs, most of them were socially ostracized. Their move led to the social ban being turned into a legal ban.
King Abdullah has in the past said that he thought a day would eventually come when Saudi women were allowed to drive. But change will be difficult in this ultraconservative society, where women are still considered and treated as chattel.