The Saudi Government has recently begun to look towards the possibilities of managing and fixing out the shop closure timings in the whole country. This decision, however, awaits council approval to be carried forward. The basic proposal of this decision is that shops would close at 9pm sharp to benefit Saudis who are working within the country. Another factor for this is to provide 1.5 Million Saudis job in retail stores.
It's not confirmed about what the whole council has decided to work on this particular law but it seems to many that this may prove essential in keeping their citizens happy and satisfied and not deprive them of their proper rights. The reports that were issued have explained that the stores will be open from 6am until 9pm. There will be two batches, however, the other one with the closing time of 10pm. Other than that they have also given a basic outline on the fact how the shops will open and close during Ramadan. They have emphasized much that the shops during Ramadan can work on till 2 am.
However, there are certain things that had to be taken into account that this law does not apply to the shops that are located in the center regions of Makah and Medina. Also restaurants and fun centers, recreational centers will be allowed to work on till midnight and 1 am on the weekends. In Ramadan however, restaurants will work on till Fajr Prayers. The committee will soon sit and address this issue to work on it accordingly. In this committee meeting, they will also shortlist the shops that will work until 24 hours round the clock.
The Authorities have implemented on this plan to ensure that they have happy workers and the expats and Saudis work side by side. Reports and Studies have shown nearly 70% to 80% of the workers working in the retail business are Expats. Moreover, food outlets are dominating the work sector. Retail sector of the Kingdom is valued at nearly SR 200 billion with nearly 242,000 licensed retail shops and commercial centers according to study. Hopefully, this law after its approval by the Cabinet will benefit a lot of the citizens and help prosper the kingdom.
The Ministry of Labor and Social Development, the Ministry of Commerce and Investment and businessmen have all agreed to cut the closing time from 25 minutes to five minutes in order to conform to the regulation to close all stores and shops by 9:00 p.m., said Assistant Director General of the Ministry of Commerce and Investment’s Makkah branch Saleh Al-Shimrani.
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