Men and Taxis in Saudi Arabia

saudi-taxi-02When one has a lengthy commute to and from work it gives a lot of time to sit back and observe, especially if one is a woman, like myself, in Saudi Arabia and cannot drive. I have noticed a distinct pattern in Saudi Arabia that I’ve not seen in as many other countries in which I’ve lived or traveled and this pattern has to do with Saudi men and taxis. Now in most places of the world it is typical and expected if not required that passengers would sit in the back seat. In fact in some places one may enter a cab and find that there is a safety glass between the front and back seat and don’t even think about trying to sit in the front seat. But in Saudi Arabia, more often than not, a Saudi man will choose to sit in the front seat of a taxi beside the driver. The few times my husband and I have used a taxi in Riyadh I noticed that he also has chosen to sit in the front seat. It seems that the men who will sit in the back seat of taxis in Saudi Arabia are generally western expat males. I’ve not quite figured out exactly why the Saudi man prefers to sit in the front seat of the taxi and can only guess that it is a cultural trait.


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