Businesses want more working hours in Ramadan

Updated 12 August 2013

Businesses want more working hours in Ramadan

Reducing the number of working hours confuses markets’ needs in Ramadan, according to business experts.
Despite the fact that consumption and purchasing power increase in Ramadan, many workers seek fewer working hours.
People staying awake until dawn results in lower productivity throughout the day.
Such a lifestyle is negatively affecting the Saudi market. So businesses and economists are calling for longer working hours and bonuses for workers in order to meet demand.
Many reports have indicated that productivity declines by as much as 35 to 50 percent as a result of shorter working hours and the change in lifestyle during the month.
Nada Hawamedeh, a Jordanian HR employee at a private Saudi company, confirmed that in Ramadan employees become less efficient and that they even tend to become short tempered, adding that in theory, employees should work harder in Ramadan and try to be more productive since demand for goods and services increases.
“The positive side of Ramadan for business people is a higher demand for goods and services and higher consumption. This should, in fact, encourage businesses and employees to work harder and increase productivity,” she said.
Hawamedeh added: “In most companies, whether in Saudi Arabia or other Arab countries, decisions and vital meetings are postponed until Ramadan is over.”
According to Hawamedeh, this causes lower productivity and performance and results in losses for businesses. Despite the fact that Saudi Arabia offers a special work environment in Ramadan by reducing working hours automatically, many employees do not benefit from this.
“Hypermarkets, restaurants, retail and hotel chains experience higher demand during Ramadan,” said Nawaf Al-Harthi, a Saudi restaurant owner in Jeddah. “For our sector, Ramadan is the toughest season. We are therefore obliged to give our employees incentive in Ramadan. We give our employees a 30 percent increase in salary to encourage them to work.”
According to Al-Harthi, in most Arab countries, restaurants remain open throughout the day to serve non-Muslims.
Zaki Fathi, a salesman at a hypermarket in Jeddah, confirmed that people tend to consume more and even purchase more than they actually need in Ramadan.
“The positive side of Ramadan for business people is a higher demand for goods and services and higher consumption. This should be a motivation toward increasing working hours rather than halting productivity,” he said.
Walid Salem, an economist, told Arab News that Ramadan is a month when workers’ productivity decreases while consumption and demand rises.
“The higher rate of consumption equates to higher economic growth, which is why workers have to work more and get paid more,” he said.
According to Salem, Ramadan attracts huge increases in profits compared to the rest of the year, especially in Saudi Arabia. “There is no doubt that traders and businesses witness a decline in purchasing power after Ramadan as a result of higher prices against fixed incomes,” he said.

Preserving heritage means securing the future, says Princess Haifa

Updated 05 July 2020

Preserving heritage means securing the future, says Princess Haifa

  • Saudi Arabia is at the 209th session to discuss international issues related to the fields of education, science and culture

PARIS: Princess Haifa bint Abdul Aziz Al-Muqrin, the Kingdom’s permanent representative to UNESCO, said that changes can only be faced with global efforts to achieve the common goals of promoting peace, building cultural bridges between nations, and empowering societies to guarantee a better future.

Saudi Arabia recently participated in the 209th session of the UNESCO Executive Council at the agency’s Paris headquarters. The Kingdom was represented at the session by Princess Haifa and a team of 26 Saudi experts from different sectors that have activities related to the scope of UNESCO’s work, such as education, culture, energy, environment, and training.

Princess Haifa said: “Despite our different cultures and languages, we share our belief that education is a right for everyone, that preserving heritage means securing the future, and that innovation and science are the bridge that will pull us out of this pandemic the world today is living.”

She said that the Kingdom supported African countries and was ready to share its experiences in various UNESCO fields, in addition to supporting action plans related to developing islands as one of its priorities in exchanging experiences, especially since the Kingdom is one of the most advanced countries in the world in the field of water desalination.

Reference was made to the Kingdom’s support for international growth and stability through the G20 presidency, specifically with regard to ensuring the continuity of education in crises, the continuation of efforts to achieve climate adaptation worldwide, and solidarity with the members of the G20 in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a member state of the UNESCO Executive Council, Saudi Arabia is at the 209th session to discuss international issues related to the fields of education, science and culture. These will be evaluated and decided upon, and the executive decisions assigned to them will be voted on, in cooperation with the council’s member states.

The Kingdom’s participation in the meetings of the UNESCO Executive Council also comes as part of its permanent presence in the international cultural and educational organization since its foundation in 1946.