Saudi Arabia Shifts Weekend to Friday-Saturday

Saudi Arabia has officially changed its weekend to Friday and Saturday, the state news agency reported today. The change will take effect as of this weekend.

King Abdullah has issued a royal decree on Sunday ordering the change of the country’s weekend from Thursday-Friday to Friday-Saturday “for the sake of putting an end to the negative effects and the lost economic opportunities” due to the difference in workdays between Saudi Arabia and the rest of the world.

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.

Saudi Arabia’s Shoura Council last April recommended a study to shift the country’s weekend after reviewing a report by the Ministry of Civil Service. The change was first proposed back in 2007, but the Shoura Council failed to pass the proposal then for religious reasons.

Photo courtesy of Ville Hyvönen via Flickr