Saudi Arabia Changes Its Weekends To Friday And Saturday

The shift aligns the biggest Arab economy with its neighbors. King Abdullah ordered the change to begin this Friday.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And our last word in business today is: Weekend Shift.

The weekend - as we know it in the West - takes place on Saturday and Sunday. That's not true in many Muslim countries, though. In Saudi Arabia, the weekend is Thursday and Friday - Friday being the holy day in Islam.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

But that was out of sync with most other Muslim countries - which go with a Friday/Saturday weekend.

Economists argue that the lack of overlap was hurting the Saudi economy. So King Abdullah issued a royal decree officially bringing the oil-rich nation into line with its neighbors.

MONTAGNE: The new Saudi weekend kicks off this Friday, which though, is costing Saudi workers something. That's because they're spending an extra day on the job this week.

And that's the business news on MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

GREENE: And I'm David Greene.

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