Saudi switches to Friday-Saturday weekend


RIYADH — Oil powerhouse Saudi Arabia is switching its weekend to Friday-Saturday to better serve its economy and “international commitments,” the official SPA news agency reported on Sunday quoting a royal decree.

Saudi Arabia becomes the last of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council — which includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and United Arab Emirates — to abandon the Thursday-Friday weekend to be closer to the world’s Saturday-Sunday weekend.

The decision takes effect in ministries and government departments from next week, while it will be implemented by schools and universities from the start of the next academic year.

According to the decree the change was made to better serve “the Saudi economy and its international commitments” and coordinate with the working days in Saudi Arabia and the rest of the world.

It will “reduce the negative repercussions on economic and financial activity in the kingdom and make up for lost economic opportunities,” said the decree.

Riyadh’s stock exchange, the biggest in the Arab world, is open for five days a week, but until now only three of these coincided with the working week in the world’s major financial centers.

Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest oil exporter and a member of the G20 group of the globe’s biggest economies.

The move had been previously rejected by clergymen in the kingdom, which follows the ultra conservative Wahhabi school of Islam, on the grounds that Saturday is the religious weekend for Jews.

Oman became the fifth GCC member state to make the switch several years after the other four members.

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  • Mang Teban

    This reflects the reality that globalization is the key to narrow the gap between the producers and consumers.
    Time is gold in trade and in industry. Delays can be costly both in real & nominal terms. It is good that Saudi Arabia finally decided to get closer to international work schedules.

    • Cano Manuel

      They did it to discourage worship during Saturdays. lol

      • Mang Teban

        Okay, but your comment is a bit short-sighted. There aren’t enough Jews in Saudi Arabia. And. Christians, like Filipino Catholics, do not really mind what day of the week they will celebrate communal worship. Let us just say that the Saudi Arabia government had finally realized that they can isolate from the rest of the world forever like what China did when it was then called the “sleeping dragon” or it was “behind the bamboo curtain.” Now, China is a raging panda with a kleptomania. So, people change their minds to what makes them see to be a better alternative.

  • wanluna

    the islam clerics doesnt want saturday because its holy to the jews

  • denzel22

    Finally, a step forward to more liberal saudi. A step forward to more economic activity and a big leap to a a richer kingdom, a greener pasture fo Filipino professionals. But kindly limit the numbers of DH, they are more vulnerable to abuse. Send them to a more open country where they have more freedom. Increase deployment of professionals since educated Filipinos begets high regards from saudi locals. If you say brain drain, you may be wrong because the philippines have a deep pool of skill and talents.

  • Dax Cogitlog

    Oh! what the heck , we already in the 21st century and these people (clergymen of SA) still think primitive…wake up “#slam” your faces in the wall..

  • Cano Manuel

    And I thought they’re on a weekend spree on a daily basis.

    • ofwsagitnangsilangan


      • Cano Manuel

        Nope. I’m just stating my observation. Is it really that difficult to discern?

    • mark_john21

      Like Filipinos? The street tambays and the lasenggos?

      • Cano Manuel

        The case in Saudi Arabia is different. The majority show up for work and go home after signing the attendance and they earn the full monthly package.

        The “street tambays” and “lasenggos” don’t earn any for doing nothing but disrespect and bruises. ;-)

  • Littlefox131

    Adapt or Die

  • tonygadoy

    Mafi muk.

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