Qatar’s automatic driving test limited to women

May 6, 2011

Only women are allowed to take driving tests in automatic cars, according to Qatar’s Traffic Department new rules, a local daily said.

The move reverses an earlier decision that had enabled men to do away with the manual gear test.

However, drivers who obtain an automatic car licence are not allowed to drive cars with manual gears, Qatar daily The Peninsula reported, citing driving school sources.

When the automatic gear licence was introduced in Qatar, it was initially limited to women, but the Traffic Department later relaxed the rules and allowed men to sit for tests in automatic cars.

With the rising popularity of automatic cars in the country, the number of men and women taking driving classes to obtain an “automatic licence” has also gone up. Most people find driving an automatic car easier and more comfortable compared with manual cars, especially during heavy traffic jams.

Special permission for men

However, now men seeking a licence to drive automatic cars are required to take special permission from the Traffic Department, Robert G Makondo, director of the Karwa Transportation Training and Development Center, told The Peninsula.

“Almost all women taking driving lessons in our school are opting for an automatic licence,” Mokondo said.

The Karwa driving school has employed a number of women trainers to cater to the increasing demand from women seeking driving licences.

All driving schools in Qatar have been asked to introduce theory classes, along with practical training from next year, the official said.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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