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Monday, March 8, 2021

Saudi stirs up weekend debate as businesses ask for change

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Saudi Arabia has restarted a debate on whether its weekends should start on Friday instead of Thursday.

Most Gulf countries, including Qatar, have moved their weekend to Friday-Saturday to facilitate business, as most countries operate on a Saturday-Sunday weekend.

The kingdom’s Shura Council will discuss and vote on the issue soon, Saudi newspaper Arab News reports.

KSA has considered moving the weekend before, but faced religious opposition, the National says. The council’s are not binding, but would be an important barometer of support for an eventual change of weekend.

Arab News reports:

Many people have expressed objection to the plan but proponents said the present weekend is counterproductive to business. Earlier, the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry decided to change its weekend to Friday and Saturday, but it was forced to undo that under pressure from various sectors.

The banking and foreign trade sectors as well as diplomatic missions are the worst hit by the current weekend because most countries elsewhere in the world have their weekend on Saturday and Sunday.

Since weekends in the Kingdom are set on Thursdays and Fridays, businesses in effect are unable to keep in touch with their foreign counterparts for four days each week.

What do you think? Should Saudi move its weekend?

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