Debate rages over weekend shift for KSA away from Thurs-Fri.

Published May 26th, 2011 - 01:34 GMT
Weekend schedules vary across the globe with Sat-Sun, Fri-Sat commonly, and Thurs-Fri in case of Yemen, Oman, KSA.
Weekend schedules vary across the globe with Sat-Sun, Fri-Sat commonly, and Thurs-Fri in case of Yemen, Oman, KSA.

People’s reactions varied toward the recent Shoura Council discussion regarding shifting the weekend in the Kingdom from Thursday and Friday to Friday and Saturday. While some believed it would help the locals synchronize with the schedules of other Muslim countries, others disagreed.

Abu Abdulrahman who works in banking said this decision should be implemented only on finance-related sectors.

Another banking employee, Abid Mohammad, said that such a decision would help banks and other public monetary institutions to synchronize with the schedules of other countries’ foreign banks and external markets. However, he added that it is essential to reserve Friday, the Muslim day of rest. Raga Agil, an employee, said: “My family and I are totally against it. The current weekend has been associated with our culture. We gather every Wednesday at our grandfather’s home. Thursday is a traditional food day while Friday is a picnic day.”

Lisa Rector who works in the diplomatic sector, said it would be a good move.

“Expatriates living in the Kingdom find difficulty communicating with their families back home. It is even more challenging when we can’t reach people dear to us during weekends.”

High school students, however, called on stretching the weekend over three days: Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Bilal elaborated: “If we have three weekend days we would be able to do our homework and studies well. We would be able to interact with our families efficiently.”

Hissa Al-Zahrani hoped this suggestion will be implemented soon: “This would give us as teachers more time to spend with our families. Fridays are always short because of Juma prayer.”

Amin Al-Turk, a father, said such a decision should not be implemented unless a survey is taken into consideration in which the people are asked their views.

The Shoura Council will discuss and vote on the proposed change of official weekend to Friday and Saturday.

The issue was presented to the Shoura by Ahmed Al-Zaylae following demands from various business sectors in the Kingdom.

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