Saudi Prince Says ‘Stop the Debate: Time for Women to Drive.’

November 30, 2016 Updated: November 30, 2016

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates—A Saudi prince has issued a public call for women to be allowed to drive in the conservative kingdom.

Suadi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal and Princess Ameerah   in London, England on April 29, 2011. (Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)
Suadi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal and Princess Ameerah in London, England on April 29, 2011. (Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)

Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal made the call on Twitter, tweeting in Arabic and English: “Stop the debate: Time for women to drive.” His tweet late Tuesday included links to an opinion article arguing for the change that cited economic, social and religious considerations.

Alwaleed does not hold a formal position in the Saudi government. The billionaire leads the Riyadh-based investment firm Kingdom Holding Company, which holds stakes in several Western companies, including Twitter.

Saudi Arabia follows an ultraconservative interpretation of Islam. It is the only country in the world that does not allow women to drive, and women’s rights activists have been detained for defying the ban.