Shoura denies suggesting new weekend

Shoura denies suggesting new weekend
Updated 23 April 2013

Shoura denies suggesting new weekend

Shoura denies suggesting new weekend

In an interview with Arab News, Fahd Al-Hammad, vice chairman of the Shoura Council, denied media reports that the council has approved a Friday-Saturday weekend.
“There is confusion on the part of reporters who said that the council has approved this action. What the council did vote on was to conduct a review of a study by the Ministry of Civil Service (MCS) recommending the switch from a Thursday-Friday weekend to a Friday-Saturday weekend,” he said.
“To review the study does not mean that it has been approved by the council,” he clarified.
“MCS study takes into consideration various social and religious aspects. The study was conducted after a number of parties called for a change of the weekend sequence,” he added.
Meanwhile, Ahmad Al-Humaidi, an economic expert, said that if Saudi Arabia adopts this weekend, it will enhance its role in the region. “Since Saudi Arabia is the only country in the region which follows a Thursday-Friday weekend, it means that two days of communication with world markets is lost. When world markets open for business, the markets here are closed. This cost Saudi Arabia huge losses last year and the year before,” he said.
“Some neighboring Gulf countries have adopted a different weekend sequence, and since we are standardizing customs regulations in the GCC, together with the single Gulf currency, there ought to be a standardized weekend sequence,” he argued.
A number of Saudis questioned whether this move will have any impact.
A cynical tweeter said that he recommends keeping a three-day weekend to include Saturday. Another said some businesses couldn’t care less for the change because “restaurants for example will be working Fridays anyway.”
Another tweeter wondered why they don’t “get down to business and provide housing instead.”