Riyadh: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has allowed the shops and commercial establishments to remain open during prayer times, local media reported on Thursday.
According to a circular issued by the federation of Saudi chambers, commercial and economic activities can also continue throughout business hours, including prayer times.
It has been a decades-old practice of obliging all shops and economic establishments to close during prayer times. Saudi Arabia was the only Muslim country in which this happened.
The federation explained that this decision comes within the framework of precautionary measures to limit the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure the health and safety of shoppers and customers.
The federation said in a statement that the move aims to improve the shopping experience and raise the level of services provided to shoppers and customers, Saudi Gazette reported.
They explained that the decision was taken after the necessary coordination with the relevant authorities
In the circular to shops and commercial establishments, the federation said, “We hope that you will continue to open stores and follow commercial and economic activities throughout working hours while receiving shoppers and customers.”
They were directed to take the necessary arrangements and take appropriate measures to organize the work and provide services based on rotation among the workers to not hinder the workers, shoppers, and customers in performing the prayer.