Council of Saudi Chambers rejects two-day weekend

Updated 07 February 2014

Council of Saudi Chambers rejects two-day weekend

The Council of Saudi Chambers (CSC) has rejected the Shoura Council’s decision to give private sector workers a two-day weekend and 40-hour working week, arguing that it would increase business and labor costs, and negatively affect the economy.
The CSC expressed its views in a statement on Wednesday, just 24 hours after the Shoura Council voted to stick to its December 2013 decision on the issue.
The CSC called on the Shoura Council to review the decision and accused it of not taking the views of businesspeople into account. The CSC represents the country’s regional business chambers.
The CSC said the decision would not make the private sector more attractive for Saudi jobseekers, weaken nationalization efforts, see businesses lose money, increase the prices of goods and services on local markets, and make Saudi exports less competitive.
The CSC added that the move would affect the dynamism of the private sector, which contributes 58 percent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product. This had helped it to expand and complete projects, and create jobs for Saudis.
The CSC had earlier taken part in discussions on the proposals with Labor Minister Adel Fakeih and members of the Shoura’s human resources committee.
The CSC had also sent an official letter to the Shoura Council explaining that businesspeople objected to the proposal and wanted working hours to remain the same with only one day off.
In the letter, the CSC claimed that the Shoura’s proposal would particularly hurt contracting, operations and maintenance companies. In addition, businesspeople would have to spend more by paying their workers overtime to meet deadlines on government projects, which would increase wage costs by 30 percent.
The letter also stated that this would affect contracts signed with labor exporting companies, which sets the working week at 48 hours.
The letter also stated that Saudis would not be attracted to the private sector by reduced working hours. There were other more effective ways to incentivize Saudis, including providing training and strengthening job security.


Cirque du Soleil heads to Saudi in special one-off show

Updated 11 September 2018

Cirque du Soleil heads to Saudi in special one-off show

  • More than 80 artists will take the stage at the King Fahd International Stadium for the show
  • About 250 costumes have been specially made to respect local traditions

MONTREAL: Cirque du Soleil will stage a show in Saudi Arabia for the first time later this month, the high-flying acrobatic troupe announced Monday.
The show will take place in the Saudi capital on Sept. 23 to coincide with the country's national day, public relations director Marie-Helene Lagace told AFP.
More than 80 artists will take the stage at the King Fahd International Stadium for the show, which will also be shown on Saudi state television. Cirque says it will be one of its biggest one-off productions ever.
About 250 costumes have been specially made to respect local traditions and conform to "the artistic standards for which we are known," Lagace said.
The announcement of Cirque du Soleil's appearance in Saudi Arabia was first made in Los Angeles in April, Lagace noted. But it was unclear whether the show would go on given the diplomatic tensions.
At the behest of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia has reopened movie theaters and allowed women and men to attend some concerts together.