JEDDAH: Starting this week, the official working days in the Kingdom will be from Sunday to Thursday and the weekly holiday on Friday and Saturday, according to a royal order carried by the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah issued the royal order based on public interest, said the SPA, citing the need to synchronize work days with international and regional timings to optimize productivity.
For ministries and all government bodies and institutions, all financial institutions as well the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency, the Capital Market Authority and the Saudi Stock Exchange, the change will take effect on Saturday, 20/08/1434 in the Islamic calendar, corresponding to June 29, 2013, in the Gregorian calendar.
For universities, schools and all institutions of public education and higher education, the order will take effect from the beginning of the next academic year (1434/1435 AH).
Economists have long suggested the Friday and Saturday weekend to give the Kingdom’s business people more time for economic transactions.
Under the current setup, the Kingdom’s official working days are from Saturday to Wednesday, while that of other Gulf states are from Sunday to Thursday and the international working days are from Monday to Friday.
That effectively leaves local businesses only Mondays to Wednesdays to transact with their counterparts in the international arena.