Saturday 23 September 2017

Saudi weekend to start earlier

King Abdullah
King Abdullah

Saudi Arabia is switching its weekend to begin on Friday to align its banking and business days with most other nations in the region.

The official Saudi Press Agency said that a royal decree takes effect this week after an advisory body in April recommended changing from the current system, in which the two-day weekend begins on Thursday.

A similar proposal in 2007 failed, but the Saudi business community has been lobbying for the switch for years to match the schedule in main regional commercial hubs, such as Dubai.

Oman switched to Friday-Saturday weekends last month. Most other countries in the Gulf start their weekends on Friday, the Muslim day of communal prayer.

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