From: SHAH FAISAL KHAN <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, Jun 14, 2013 at 10:31 AM
Subject: [Hyderabad-Rocks] "Friday-Saturday weekend 'soon'-SAUDI ARABIA"
Friday-Saturday weekend 'soon'
Abdullah Al-Mubti, president of the Council of Saudi Chambers.
JEDDAH: ARAB NEWS
Friday 14 June 2013
Last Update 14 June 2013 2:20 am
The Council of Saudi Chambers (CSC) said here yesterday it is expecting a decision "soon" on changing the country's weekend to Friday and Saturday.
"We are waiting for an official decision on the matter soon because we believe it is in the final stages (of approval)," said Abdullah Al-Mubti, president of the CSC.
He said the chambers and businesses have already given their approval to change the weekend.
"The change will facilitate contacts with international markets, especially financial markets..."
The CSC chief said the proposed two-day weekend for employees in the private sector is still under discussion.
The Shoura Council recently called for a study on changing the weekend to Friday and Saturday; a move that has been welcomed by businesspeople.
Shoura member Khidr Al-Qurashi said the change would benefit financial institutions, foreign agencies and citizens.
Businessman Muhammad Al-Ammari backed the move, saying it would have a positive impact on the Saudi economy.
"Saudi businessmen and foreign investors have been suffering for long as a result of the difference in the weekends between the Kingdom and other countries," he said.
Neighboring Middle East countries have their weekend on Friday and Saturday, which means Saudi Arabia has four working days coinciding with them, and only three with other countries.
Shoura member Asia Al-Asheikh supports a change, saying it would increase productivity.
Fuad Halabi, chairman of the foreign investment committee at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI), said the Thursday and Friday holiday prevents many Saudi companies from communicating and managing their interests with their international counterparts for two days of the week.
They are only able to have three days for international dealings because overseas countries have their weekends on Saturday and Sunday. Approving Saturday instead of Thursday would be better for foreign trade, he added.
Yasin Al-Jifri, a financial analyst, said four days are lost currently in communication with foreign companies, which has an impact on traders and banks. "I hope the new weekend holiday is implemented."