A change in the weekend

From June 29 onwards, a weekend in Saudi Arabia will be on Friday and Saturday instead of Thursday and Friday. Saudi Arabia is making this change because a large part of the world works Monday thru Friday, and some countries close to Saudi Arabia work Sunday thru Thursday. This change will allow Saudi Arabia to have more working days that overlap with these other nations.

Friday is a holy day for Muslims, and special prayers are held on this day. Many countries where Islam is the official religion of the country have Friday as part of their weekend. All Saudis are Muslims, and the country’s state religion is Islam. Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, and Qatar also have a Friday-Saturday weekend. Oman, one of Saudi Arabia’s neighbors, changed its weekend from Thursday-Friday to Friday-Saturday just last month. There are only two countries in the world where the weekend is Thursday-Friday, and those are Afghanistan and Yemen.

Saudi Arabia is a monarchy, where the leader of the country is the King. The King is not elected by the people. Instead, the role is passed on within the same family. Various tribes ruled the area that is today called Saudi Arabia. In 1932, Abdulaziz Al-Saud conquered and united the tribes and formed the country of Saudi Arabia. He became the first King of the country, and was the King until his death in 1953. He is believed to have had over 30 sons and over 20 wives. All the Kings after him have been his sons. King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz (see image) is the current king of Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia is governed according to Islamic law. The country has a religious police that makes sure that the laws of the religion are followed. Two of the holiest cities in Islam (called Mecca and Medina) are in Saudi Arabia.

When Saudi Arabia was first created, there weren’t many natural resources in the country since a large part of the land was a desert. However, soon after the country was founded, oil was discovered, which made Saudi Arabia a very rich country. Today, the country is one of the biggest oil producers in the world.The capital of the country is Riyadh and the official language is Arabic.

Did you know?

Women in Saudi Arabia are not allowed to drive.