Saudi Arabia moves to Friday start for weekend

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi Arabia is switching its weekend to begin on Friday to align its banking and business days with most other nations in the region.

The official Saudi Press Agency said late Sunday that a royal decree takes effect this week after an advisory body in April recommended changing from the current system, in which the two-day weekend begins Thursday.

A similar proposal in 2007 failed, but the Saudi business community has been lobbying for the switch for years to match the schedule in main regional commercial hubs, such as Dubai.

Oman switched to Friday-Saturday weekends last month. Most other countries in the Gulf start their weekends Friday, the Muslim day of communal prayer.

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