For many years, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been one of the most preferred work destinations of OFWs and expats alike.
However, with changes as to the tax schemes in the country as well as the government’s position on the shift of labour employment to locals known as “Saudization”, foreign nationals are starting to look for other places such as Bahrain or the UAE to find work opportunities. But those who are given the chance to work in the Kingdom should understand Saudi Arabia’s labour laws as well as observances of public holidays as this would determine their use of leaves, which is also sanctioned by the law.
List of 2019 Public Holidays in Saudi Arabia
And while there aren’t as many holidays in KSA as compared to other Muslim countries in the region, it’s still just as important to know like elsewhere in the world.
Of note, Saudi Arabia also follows moon patterns or lunar sightings in determining the dates of public holidays. And while there can be speculations as to when holidays would normally fall in a year, government authorities will have to release official dates for uniformity and compliance across the Kingdom.
For 2019, public holidays/observances are expected to fall within these dates:
- Beginning of Ramadan – May 6th (Monday)*
- Eid Al Fitr – June 5th (holiday until the 8th, Saturday)*
- Eid Al Adha – August 12th (Monday)*
- Islamic New Year – September 1st (Sunday)*
- National Day – September 23rd (Monday)
- Birthday of the Prophet Mohammad – November 10th (Sunday)*
Note: Dates with asterisks (*) are still subject to change, based on the actual sightings of the moon.
For some of the above-listed holidays, the number of days without work depends on whether you work in the public or private sector. For safe measure, always watch out for official announcements, and plan your vacation leaves ahead of time with some leeway for adjustments depending on when the holiday would actually fall every year.
With the limited number of public holidays and observances in the Kingdom, it’s all the more important to plan your travels and trips (back home). Otherwise, you can always take comfort in the fact that working on a holiday also has its perks. And these are things that every employee must know wherever they may be in the world, so as not to be taken advantage of or discriminated against.