Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah has issued a royal decree to change the country’s weekend to Friday-Saturday, effective June 29, state news agency SPA reports.
The move, which puts KSA in line with the rest of the GCC countries, was made “for the sake of putting an end to the negative effects and the lost economic opportunities” due to the difference in workdays between the nation and the rest of the world, Riyadh Bureau reports.
It will apply to all government bodies and monetary agencies, including the central bank and stock exchange, SPA said. But schools and educational institutions will maintain the Thursday-Friday weekend until the beginning of the new academic year.
According to Riyadh Bureau:
The change will align banking and business days with most other countries in the region, as well as being closer to the workweek of international financial markets and businesses. Oman was the latest GCC country to shift its weekend to a Friday start last May.
KSA, Qatar’s giant neighbor the west, has been mulling a shift for more than five years, but didn’t move forward previously due to resistance from religious leaders.
Credit: Photo by Saqib Khan