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Dubai-based ride hailing app Careem has reportedly already received thousands of applications from Saudi women interested in becoming drivers once the Gulf kingdom lifts its driving ban in June.

The only place women are now allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia is around go-kart racing tracks.

"I am very excited".

Grine says the corruption crackdown will ease foreign investors' concerns about doing business in Saudi Arabia.

Prior to the decision, only men were allowed to drive and women who were caught doing so were fined and arrested.

The reform is in line with the kingdom's Vision 2030 programme that seeks to elevate women to almost one-third of the workforce, up from about 22 percent now.

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"I am proud and extremely happy for this development and for the kingdom's moves to catch up with civilised measures adopted by many countries", she said.

"Those duties include transporting female students and teachers who do not wish to drive their own vehicles, and filling other vocational opportunities that require the presence of a woman trained to drive in a qualified and secure way", Al-Mutairi said. The agreement will see the company form a joint venture with Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund. On Friday evening, women will be able to attend a match of the country's popular professional soccer league.

Under Saudi Arabia's guardianship system, women must be accompanied by a male family member to travel, and work.

To prepare for the change, the kingdom has designated "family sections" in the stands for women.

The lifting of the ban is part of the modernisation project of Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, believed by many to be the future leader of the country.

On the occasion, Bahrain's police band performed Saudi national anthem which was followed by a parade.

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