Saudi Arabia dumps Islamic calendar for Christian calendar

1450, Saudi Arabia change to Christian calendar

The official seat of Islam, Saudi Arabia, on Sunday, announced it has shifted from Islamic calendar to western calendar, which is also called Gregorian or Christian calendar.

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With this shift, the kingdom would save salary days for many public servants because the Islamic lunar calendar is actually 15 days shorter than the 365-day solar year.

The measure is one of cost-cutting that includes cancelling some bonuses offered to state employees and hiking fees for entry visas for foreign visitors and residents imposed by the Saudi Arabia government to cushion the effect of declining oil revenue.

As part of economic reforms, the Saudi King Salman also ordered a 20-percent cut in salaries for civil servants and a 15-percent reduction in financial perks for the kingdom’s advisory Shura Council.

The kingdom began the use of Islamic calendar since it was founded in 1932, Al Arabiya local news reported.

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