Up until now, most businesses in Saudi Arabia use both dates the Islamic Hjiri calendar printed by Um AlQura university and the Gregorian calender. Similarly English is used alongside Arabic, as there are many non-Arabic speakers in Saudi Arabia.
So when I read that English and Gregorian calender had been ‘banned I was shocked.
The Gulf News reported that the use of the English language, widely used in business, has been banned, as has the use of the Gregorian calendar, according to a statement issued by a Saudi Ministry. The statement went on to explain the reason for the ban as an attempt to preserve the Arabic language and the Islamic calendar.
First of all I dont think Arabic is under any threat of becoming a ‘lost’ language, definitely not here in Saudi Arabia. Most Saudis and Arabs speak/read/write Arabic in fact sometimes it is a problem to find someone with similar fluency in English or both languages.
You have to use Gregorian dates dealing on all international business transactions, and on passports otherwise they won’t know when to show up for a meeting, expect payment, or the validity of your passport.
Secondly, which elusive Saudi Ministry issued this edict??? The Ministry of Interior?, Surely they have more sense than this.
Thirdly, if this is another foolish attempt to improve Saudiization levels by making the lives of foreginers more uncomfortable, then it is a very stupid move, indeed. There’s a better way of drastically improving Saudization levles and increading investment in the kingdom to boot: Grant citizenship or a green card or indefinite leave to remain to those who have been born here or have lived/worked here for more than 20 years, and allow them start busienss buy proeprties with sacred property rights. Now that initiative would be a win-win…
I’m waiting for a retraction and the person who issued this moronic statement to disappear.
English is the international language of business, and you certainly, can’t ban it. It is a step backwards, and that’s really the last thing Saudi Arabia needs right now, and I think everyone realises that.
So lets all sit and wait until some sort of clarification or retraction presents itself