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Mon 21 May 2012 09:56 AM

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Saudi Arabia bans use of Western calendar

Gregorian dates and English language no longer permitted in gov't, private firms

Saudi Arabia bans use of Western calendar

Saudi Arabia has banned government
departments and private companies from using the Western calendar for
official dealings, local media has reported.

New rules introduced by the interior
ministry have also barred front of house staff from answering the phone in
English, particularly in companies and hotels, according to Arabic daily Al

All ministries and private agencies should
use Hijri dates (the Islamic Calendar) and the Arabic language, the ministry said
in a statement, in a bid to preserve Muslim values.

It added that some government departments
had been using Gregorian dates, while numerous hotel and company receptionists used English in
their exchanges.

John Thomas 7 years ago

ZERO business acumen - absolute ZERO! Only the oil keeps them going, they would never survive without it in the real business world! And then they wonder...

Sam 7 years ago


So now everybody gets their year's salary 11 days quicker!!

Extra year's pay every 33 years or so... Brilliant!

As for the hotel reception in English. Irrelevant. Who doesn't book online these days anyway?

Mirror 7 years ago

What is the use of this? What do they want to prove out of this? Ain't other musilm countries that use Gregorian calendar Muslims?

Shafiqur Rahman 7 years ago

actually what they are thinking that is right from their side.

But the problem is, from begining it is running by english, now move to Arabic is critical. may be inside saudi arabia and other parts of Arab Countries is ok,
but which business is related with out side Saudi Arabia (non Arab countries) they have to use english.

One out side non Arabian person he don't know Arabic nore Arabic Clender how they use Arabic.

Observer 7 years ago

Good move, at least one country insists on preferring Islamic over Englih calendars...they can and do already use the Islamic calendar internally and people do refer to it, although internationally they use the English calendar...other muslim countries should do similar, at least using Islamic calendar domestically preserves the culture and heritage...

Ed B 7 years ago

Only in Saudi. I had a good laugh about it. Wish them all the best in their micro enviroment.


Hi very good to know,

Even while I was working there in Saudi Arabia during my first Overseas Job in 1977 to 1981 - with some Indian Company( Bharat heavy Electricals for their Saudi Electrification Project) and then later1981 to 1989 with some European Company ( M.F.Kent Group - UK, Holland & Ireland ). It was compulsory to put Arabic dates..
Also I have seen many local Arabs used to set their Clock also for Moon time.. We always use English and Arabic dates together.. that is the style in Saudi even in those days.

This is quite normal in Saudi Arabia. Not to get confused or surprised..


Worldnomad 7 years ago

I keep reading that KSA is promoting tourism, and has trained 26,000 for the tourism industry. With this language restriction it would seem that they only want Arabic speaking tourists. I have regular dealings with companies in Asia, Africa and Europe, each with their own unique language, and each answering the phone with a universally understood greeting and having an English speaker available. The difference is these are profit driven companies who value customers.

SAM 7 years ago

Iran uses its own calendar and it works. It may not go so well for KSA however, since its economy relies heavily on foreign workers and most large businesses are interlinked with the West; a move like this will prove risruptive and costly. Personally, I think it is not a wise move and will further alienate a large segment of the people living there and prove detrimental to the economyand the country's image in the long term.

halakoo khan 7 years ago

good news, atleast we will be able to get our salaries 8-10 days earlier........ :)