Positive reaction to Saudi Arabia's weekend change
Saudi Arabia enjoyed its first Friday-Saturday weekend in the past week, a change that has been welcomed by the region’s logistics providers.
The business community in Saudi Arabia had been pushing for a change for a long time. A proposal to move the weekend from Thursday-Friday was submitted in 2007, but it had been rejected. Last month, however, the government in the Kingdom announced that it would officially make the change to a Friday-Saturday weekend.
“This was a long awaited decision, because Saudi Arabia was the only Gulf country that had its weekend on Thursday and Friday,” said Khalid Alghamdi, COO of Saudi-based Almajdouie Logistics.
“Saudi Arabia was also losing almost four days every month; this new move will make things better for business and trade as there is an extra day to connect globally.”
Alghamdi added that while it would take people time to adjust and bring the new change into practice, it would turn out to be a positive move for Saudisation as well. “Previously the private sector had only Friday as a weekend day, which was not motivating for Saudis to join. So this is an encouraging move for Saudis, as we can now see a lot of Saudis wanting to join the private sector,” he said.
In the UAE, the news was also welcomed. Isa Broderick, chief executive officer of Abu Dhabi-based Capital Star, said: “Saudi Arabia is a critical member of the GCC, geographically and economically, and acts as perhaps the strongest trading partner to all its neighbours. Aligning the weekend not only strengthens the unified image of the GCC, it will certainly improve efficiency both in time and communication. All together, it is a great move.”