Get access to the exclusive HR Resources you need to succeed in 2018.
Sign up for free email newsletters and get more SHRM content delivered to your inbox.
Is your employee handbook keeping up with the changing world of work? With SHRM's Employee Handbook Builder get peace of mind that your handbook is up-to-date.
Build competencies, establish credibility and advance your career—while earning PDCs—at SHRM Seminars in 14 cities across the U.S. this fall.
Gain the skills you need to rise to the next level in your career. Jon us at SHRM's Leadership Development Forum, October 2-3 in Boston.
Members may download one copy of our sample forms and templates for your personal use within your organization. Please note that all such forms and policies should be reviewed by your legal counsel for compliance with applicable law, and should be modified to suit your organization’s culture, industry, and practices. Neither members nor non-members may reproduce such samples in any other way (e.g., to republish in a book or use for a commercial purpose) without SHRM’s permission. To request permission for specific items, click on the “reuse permissions” button on the page where you find the item.
Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah issued a royal decree June 23, 2013, shifting the nation’s weekend for public workers from Thursday and Friday to Friday and Saturday, beginning June 28.
The kingdom switched its national weekend to align its workweek with most of its Arab neighbors. Saudi Arabia was the only member of the Gulf Cooperation Council with a Thursday and Friday weekend, after Oman transitioned to the Friday and Saturday schedule in May.
In his decree, the king said the change will “reduce the negative repercussions on economic and financial activity in the kingdom and make up for lost economic opportunities.”
The new weekend schedule puts Saudi Arabia in line with other countries in the region and allows it to better coordinate business and banking days with non-Muslim nations. Previously, the Saudi Arabian financial market had only three working days in common with the prime global markets of the non-Muslim world. With an extra business day, Saudi Arabia, which boasts the region’s biggest economy and largest stock market, has opened up to more foreign investment.
Most other Arab countries start their weekends on Friday, the Muslim day of communal prayer.
Afghanistan and Yemen are the remaining nations with a Thursday and Friday weekend.
Two-Day Weekend for the Private Sector Next?
Private-sector employees are now calling for a two-day weekend, as the country’s public workforce enjoys. The private sector consists mostly of expat workers, while 92 percent of public-sector employees in 2011 were Saudi nationals.
The Ministry of Labor is considering the move to a two-day break. However, it has said that the weekend for the private sector wouldn’t necessarily follow the public sector’s Friday and Saturday schedule.
“The employers will decide the days when the employees will be given the two days off, as they know better than everybody else their needs and requirements,” said Hattab Al-Enizi, spokesman for the ministry, according to
Roy Maurer is an online editor/manager for SHRM.
Follow him at
SHRM Online Global HR page
You have successfully saved this page as a bookmark.
Please confirm that you want to proceed with deleting bookmark.
You have successfully removed bookmark.
Please log in as a SHRM member before saving bookmarks.
Please sign in as a SHRM member before saving bookmarks.
Please purchase a SHRM membership before saving bookmarks.
An error has occurred
Recommended for you
Join SHRM's exclusive peer-to-peer social network
SHRM’s HR Vendor Directory contains over 10,000 companies