Business Hours and Holidays
Saudis work from Sunday through to Thursday, and their weekend is Friday and Saturday.
Government offices in Saudi Arabia open at 8:00am and close at 2:30 or 3pm. Business hours can be from 9 to 5 pm, or from 9 to 1pm with a three-hour break until 4pm, re-opening 4 to 8pm.
Commercial outlets open at 9:30am and close at 1pm, then re-open at 4 or 5pm, and remain open until about 10pm.
Muslim prayer time also has to be taken into account. At each prayer time, shops, businesses, banks and government offices close for 20 to 30 minutes. Because of the lunar calendar, prayer times change slightly from day to day, but all major newspapers publish the daily prayer times.
Embassies and consulates in Riyadh are generally open from 8am to 2pm and are closed on Fridays and Saturdays.
All banks in Saudi Arabia provide the usual commercial banking services. Banks are open from 9.30am to 4.30pm, Sunday to Thursday.
There are two main Muslim festivals: Eid Al Fitr, which marks the breaking of the fast at the end of Ramadan; and Eid Al Adha, which commemorates the Abraham’s sacrifice to God, and marks the end of the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. In 2013, the holidays would be around the following dates:
Eid Al Fitr: 8–14 August 2013
Eid Al Adha: 10–20 October 2013
The Saudi National Day, on the 23 of September each year, is a public holiday held to celebrate the founding of the modern state of Saudi Arabia and King Abdul Aziz Bin Abdul Rahman Al-Saud unification of Nejd and Hejaz in 1932.