Ramadan in Saudi Arabia: Reduced working hours for banks, Eid holidays

Saudi Arabia’s Central Bank (SAMA) announced reduced working hours for the month of Ramadan and the holiday dates for Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha.

The month of Ramadan is one of the most significant times of the year for the Muslim community worldwide. It is a time for reflection, prayer, and fasting during daylight hours.

The start of Ramadan changes every year based on the Islamic calendar, which consists of 12 lunar months totaling either 354 or 355 days. This causes the fasting month to move up to 10 days earlier each year in the Gregorian calendar.

This year, it is expected to fall on March 22 or 23 until April 21. However, dates may vary based on the sighting of the new crescent moon that indicates the month of Shawwal’s arrival, or after the 30th day of Ramadan.

Reduced working hours

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is observed as a time of fasting, spiritual reflection, devotion, and increased charity.

In Saudi Arabia, the holy month is marked with various traditions and customs that are followed by Muslims, as well as non-Muslims who are living or visiting the country. These include complying with rules to respect the customs and Muslims fasting during the holy month.

In the announcement made over the weekend, SAMA declared that bank branches and offices operate from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM during the month of Ramadan.

Meanwhile, money transfer centers will operate from 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM.

The offices of banks and their seasonal branches at Hajj terminals of airports and sea ports, as well as in Makkah and Madinah, and border crossings will remain open to serve Hajj and Umrah pilgrims and visitors during the holidays.

In places where there is a requirement for open headquarters for work during certain periods of the holidays, SAMA noted that a number of branches and transfer centers of banks will remain open as well.

This year, the shortened working hours will enable bank employees to observe their religious duties during the holy month of Ramadan while continuing to provide essential financial services to customers.

As for other businesses, it is expected that their working hours will be reduced to five, with work starting at 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM, as per the Ministry of Human Resources’ announcement last year.

Eid holidays

Muslims observe Ramadan as a time to deepen their faith and reflect on their relationship with God.

The holy month culminates with the celebration of Eid al-Fitr, a time of festivities and gratitude for the blessings of the past month. Eid al-Fitr holidays will begin on April 17 and run until April 25, SAMA said.

As for Eid al-Adha, the Festival of Sacrifice, which commemorates the willingness of the Prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God, it will begin at the end of the working day on Monday June 22 and run until July 1.

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