As per a royal decree, Saudi Arabia will switch its weekend to Friday-Saturday to better serve its economy and “international commitments”.
This move will make Saudi Arabia the last of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)– 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. Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest oil exporter and a member of the G20 group of the globe’s biggest economies.
Why this change?
Initially, when the weekends in GCC were Thursday-Friday whereas rest of the world has it on Saturday- Sunday, it provided the stock market only three working days which coincided with the working week in the world’s major financial centres. This made negative repercussion and caused opportunity loss for countries involved in trade. 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.