Saudi to discuss weekend change ‘soon’ – report

Kingdom will be only country in the GCC to not operate on unified weekend after Oman switch
(Photo for illustrative purposes only)
By Daniel Shane
Sun 21 Apr 2013 09:05 AM

Authorities in Saudi Arabia will discuss changing the kingdom’s weekend to match up with that of other Gulf countries, it has been reported.

Workers in the Arabian Peninsula’s most populous country currently take Thursdays and Fridays off, compared to Fridays and Saturdays in other five GCC countries. Oman was the most recent country in the region to switch to these days.

According to English language newspaper Arab News, the kingdom’s legislative and consultative Shoura Council will discuss the issue “soon”.

Khidr Al-Qurashi, a member of the Shoura Council, said that proposals to change weekend days had been raised before, but had not yet been properly discussed. Al-Qurashi said the switch would be of benefit to financial institutions, foreign agencies and citizens.

Chairman of Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s foreign investment committee, Fuad Halabi, added that the present Thursday-Friday holiday prevented many companies in the kingdom from dealing with international counterparts for two days each week.

Switching Thursday for Saturday would boost foreign trade, he said.

Countries in the region are generally required by Islamic to include Friday, the religion’s holy day, as part of their weekend.

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