x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

A day to remember

The Saudi government is expected to change the nation's working week to align with the other GCC states, which means it will get more time to do business.

What difference does a day make? Ask the business community in Saudi Arabia, which is about to give itself 52 more of them each year on which to do business.

Following a similar move in Oman last month, the Saudi government is expected to change the nation's working week to align with the other Gulf Cooperation Council states, including the UAE.

Instead of the current Thursday-Friday weekend, Saudis will have their break on Fridays and Saturdays, meaning business within the region and with the rest of the world can take place on Thursdays.

The president of the Council of Saudi Chambers, Abdullah Al Mubti, told the Arab News newspaper that the move would be approved "soon".Others have said it will be implemented in January.

Whenever it happens, it will be widely welcomed on many levels. As Mr Al Mubti noted, the change "will facilitate contacts with international markets, especially financial markets".

But it also makes sense beyond the realms of businesses and government, as the many families with branches across the Gulf will now have the opportunity to spend more of their leisure time together.