Saudi stores now to stay open 24/7


Saudi Gazette report

The Council of Ministers, presided over by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman at Al-Salam Palace here on Tuesday, has decided to allow commercial activities to continue round the clock in return for fees that the Minister of Municipal and Rural Affairs will specify.

While specifying the fees, the minister will take into consideration relevant factors. The minister will also specify the commercial activities that will be exempt from the fees, as dictated by the public interest and the nature of that activity, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said.

Though the decision to allow business activities to stay open round the clock is on offer, the onus on businesses to remain open 24 hours is on the businessmen or the owner. Sources told Saudi Gazette that keeping business open round the clock was not mandatory and it is up to businessmen to make this choice.

Sources pointed out that the decision includes the establishment of controls governing the mechanism of work during the night and day in order to ensure the success of its implementation and achieve the desired goals.

The sources stressed that the decision takes into account the security needs and social community, and is one of the ways to support the private sector.

Economists believe that the decision meets the need to enhance life during night, commensurate with the weather requirements, especially with high temperatures during the summer.

The pointed out that the decision contributes to the multiplication of the movement of markets and stimulate interaction between citizens and residents and allow more freedom to exercise lifestyles for all.

While the country is working to reduce the unemployment rate from 11.6% to 7% by expanding the empowerment of young people to work, supporting entrepreneurs, establishing large projects, increasing private sector participation and building partnerships, the decision will create new job opportunities for citizens.