Thursday, January 14, 2010

Bedoor Al-Mutairi, Hawa Taxi (the pink ones)

I am loving all the articles about Bedoor Al-Mutairi and the pink taxis; the one today in the Arab Times in particular. The other articles have been discussing the concept and the launch, but this article touches on Ms. Al-Mutairi's difficulties in getting the project off the ground -which ya know, this being Kuwait and she being female, was bound to happen. She approached Kuwaiti investors and they turned her down (most likely because she's female. Had she been male, they probably would have run with it because its a great idea and it has been done in the UAE for years). I can just see them with their rice bellies, reeking of too much cologne, looking down their noses at her and taking numerous calls on their mobile phones from "more important" people like their mandoobs. RRRR! Typical! I have SO been in a similar seat.... (Somebody throw me a Prozac and/or a sledge hammer!)

Kuwait Small Projects Development Company (KSPDC) agreed. The KSPDC is part of the Kuwait Investment Authority. KSPDC doesn't have a website that I could find and the KIA's is no good (no information). I would love to know more about what they do and how they help small businesses like this. Good for them! They need to hire a marketing person (I'm here....).



Anyhow, the article stated that some of the investors she approached are now coming around since she's received publicity. I think it will be huge for Ms. Al-Mutairi and wish her the best. I love to see Kuwaiti women developing an idea into a business - and there is such a need in Kuwait for this one.

If you have ever been alone in a taxi in Kuwait and had a weird guy staring at you for the whole ride, you'll understand what I mean. It is even worse at night.

And hey, nothing like being abducted by a taxi driver and sold into white slavery, then "rescued" by police only to have your picture in the paper as a "prostitute", and then put into a deporation center for a year and sent packing to your home country where you no longer have means of supporting your family (but hey - I'm not Indian nor Asian, so that wouldn't happen to me). It IS happening to other women in Kuwait.

I like it that she has a plan of action incase "Eve teasers" (as they say in the newspaper, but WTF!?) harass the female-only taxis and their drivers. She has a very well thought out legal plan (mine would involve an AK and a bottle of gasoline... but that's just my fantasy world again).



Bedoor, you get a big Desert Girl, "YOU GO, GIRL!" (and I'll even put it in pink!). I hope you have a very prosperous future (which I am sure that male business men will be emulating starting sometime in the next few weeks).

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good post DG.
You go GIRL.

abolesanzalef said...

I dont think that project will have the success!!!but I hope.....

Thursday's Child said...

Good for her! Here's hoping she shows THEM!

Desert Girl said...

Abolesanzalef - Dude, why the negative thinking?

Thursday - I hear ya.

Anonymous said...

Great idea but I think making all the taxis pink is a bit like having a red arrow overhead saying "this way" to all bored and brainless males (which Kuwait has in abundance).
I don't think I'd like to use one and have every male who passes on the road staring in.. They are going to be somewhat obvious.
And I hate pink cars too..very Barbie-like. A neutral color would have been safer.

Desert Girl said...

Anonymous 5:18 - That's right. I agree. Its just like wearing a hejab and driving a Corvette - instant attraction of the unwanted type. Not that I've ever worn hejab and driven a Corvette. (It was a 300ZX twin turbo manual transmission....DAMN I miss that car!)

Anonymous said...

I gotta meet you.

B said...

I realize this is a year and a half after you originally posted this, but do you happen to have the number to the pink taxi? I just got to Kuwait a couple months ago and have been looking all over for their contact info with no luck. :)

B said...

I know this is a year and a half after you posted this, but do you by any chance have the number for the pink cab? I'm new to Kuwait and I've been looking all over for their contact info with no luck. :)

Desert Girl said...

From what I have heard, the Government rejected their license. From what I know, anyone with a good idea will have it stolen by someone higher up in the food chain with more wastah. This is really unfortunate. A lot of women have been looking forward to this concept.

In Dubai, you can request a female taxi driver.

K-dude said...

I was just reading that they won a court case against the MOI. Apparently they had banned women from driving taxis, thus essentially shutting this idea down. Nevermind that it was completely unlawful for them to ban women from driving taxis.
Maybe this will get up and running now?