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Saudi shops, businesses can stay open 24/7 starting Jan 1, 2020

Saudi shops, businesses can stay open 24/7 starting Jan 1, 2020

Businesses that wish to operate 24/7 will need a special licence

Shops and businesses in Saudi Arabia will now be allowed to stay open for 24 hours a day starting from January 1, 2020, the government has announced.

Businesses that wish to operate 24/7 will need a special licence, the ministry of Municipal Affairs and the Ministry of Interior said on Monday.

“Allowing commercial activities to function 24/7 will contribute to providing commodities and services to residents around the clock and will enhance the quality of life in cities,” said Majed Al Qasabi, the acting minister of Municipal and Rural Affairs.

As part of the decision, businesses will need to install cameras in-store to apply for the licence, which will cost up to SAR100,000.

However, certain businesses will be exempt from the fee, including pharmacies, petrol stations, wedding halls, hotels and resorts.

New rules will also be introduced to ensure employees are not over-worked.

The decision was first approved by the Saudi Cabinet in July.

Read: Saudi businesses can remain open 24 hours a day under new Cabinet decision

It is hoped to cater to social needs of the community, particularly at night, especially during the high temperatures in the summer, reports said.

Al Qasabi said at the time that the move will open “new horizons for the business sector” across all industries.

He said the move will stimulate the kingdom’s macro economy through a growth in demand for goods and services, boost consumer spending, and attract capital investment.

It will specifically help boost sectors such as leisure, tourism, transport and communications, and it is expected to create new job opportunities, he added.

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