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Lifting its famous driving ban is just one facet of Saudi Arabia’s global PR campaign

Until recently, Saudi Arabia did little to promote its public image in the west. Now, its crown prince is pictured tieless, chatting with Mark Zuckerberg

By Jane Kinninmont   November 2017

Mohammed bin Salman (or "MBS") is using the driving change to bolster his credentials as a moderniser. Photo: PA

Saudi Arabia’s recent announcement that women would finally be issued with driving licences was the single biggest thing the country could do to improve its global image. It was not just a PR stunt in that it reflects social change and economic necessity; women are increasingly educated and working, and there is almost no public transport. But changing the rules on women driving has helped to shift the international media…

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