Businesses in Saudi Arabia are losing billions of riyals due to the Kingdom's weekends being out of sync with the international community. They are calling for the current Thursday-Friday weekend to be changed to Friday-Saturday.
It is almost a year since Arabian Business reported the Saudi government stated it would consider switching the designated weekend days to allow businesses to become more competitive on the world stage. However, no change has been implemented despite the frustration of many businesses.
Public sector employees in Saudi Arabia enjoy a two-day weekend, Thursday and Friday. Proposals to reduce the working week from six days to five days for private sector employees met with opposition in Jeddah as the Chamber of Commerce believed that allowing employees to take more than the Muslim holy day of Friday off work would increase costs. Nevertheless the Shoura Council approved the change last week.
Arabian Business reported the council extended the weekend for private sector employees to two days. The approved weekend days did not change though, leaving buisinesses losing the chance to conduct transactions on Thursdays.
According to the Saudi Gazette a prominent scholar has stated that sharia law does not prevent the weekend days from being changed to suit the business community.