SAMA, the Central Bank of Saudi Arabia, has declared that working hours will be reduced during Ramadan, and the dates for the holidays of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha have been announced. Ramadan is an important time of the year for Muslims all over the world, during which they engage in introspection, prayer, and fasting during the day.
Ramadan commences on a different date each year, as determined by the Islamic calendar, which comprises 12 lunar months totaling 354 or 355 days. Consequently, the month of fasting advances by as much as 10 days in the Gregorian calendar every year. This year, Ramadan is likely to begin on March 22 or 23 and end on April 21, although the actual dates may be subject to variation depending on the sighting of the new crescent moon that heralds the arrival of the month of Shawwal or the completion of 30 days of Ramadan.
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is regarded as a time for fasting, spiritual introspection, devotion, and greater acts of charity.
In Saudi Arabia, Muslims and non-Muslims alike observe various traditions and customs during this sacred month. These include following rules that respect the customs of Muslims who are fasting.
SAMA recently announced that bank branches and offices will operate from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM during Ramadan. Meanwhile, money transfer centers will operate from 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM.
The bank offices and their seasonal branches at Hajj terminals in airports and seaports, as well as in Makkah, Madinah, and border crossings, will remain open to serve Hajj and Umrah pilgrims and visitors during the holidays. In places where it is necessary to have open headquarters for work during certain holiday periods, some branches and transfer centers of banks will remain open, according to SAMA.
This year, the reduced working hours will enable bank employees to fulfill their religious obligations during the holy month of Ramadan while continuing to provide essential financial services to customers.
Muslims observe Ramadan to strengthen their faith and contemplate their connection with God. The holy month ends with the celebration of Eid al-Fitr, which is a time to celebrate and express gratitude for the blessings received during the month. According to SAMA, the Eid al-Fitr holidays will commence on April 17 and end on April 25.
Eid al-Adha, also known as the Festival of Sacrifice, honors the Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God. It will begin on the evening of June 22 and continue until July 1.