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Home » Expat Life, Immigration, Immigration bulletin, Middle East

Saudi Arabia: Immigration Bulletin – Use of Western Calendar Banned

Dates to be recorded according to Islamic calendar

By Immigration Specialist
June 3, 2012

The government of Saudi Arabia announced that moving forward, government departments and private companies are to adhere to the Islamic calendar, also known as the Hijri calendar. The Western Gregorian calendar, which was also widely used in the country, is no longer acceptable for recording dates.

Based on media speculation this means that expiration dates of Saudi issued permits will be noted using solely the Hijri calendar, consisting of 12 lunar months in a year of 354 or 355 days. Previously work and visit visas used the Gregorian calendar for issue dates, and Saudi passports and tax certificates used both calendars. Moving forward, however, only the Hijri calendar dates will be printed on these documents.

The current Islamic year is 1433 AH, from approximately November 26, 2011 to November 14, 2012. Online converters can help find the Western counterpart for an Islamic date.

In addition to the above, language restrictions are also to be enforced in Saudi Arabia. Company staff are to be banned from using the English language to answer a telephone upon first contact with a caller. According to the media, these rules are introduced to preserve Muslim values.

Move One is closely monitoring the changes and will provide updates as necessary.

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