We would like to inform you of the upcoming holidays and religious seasons in the Middle East.
Ramadan (Muslim's Holy month): Tuesday, the 9th of July, 2013 - Wednesday, the 7th of August, 2013 (Saudi Arabia) (tentative-subject to moon sighting)
Tuesday, the 9th of July, 2013 - Wednesday, the 7th of August, 2013 (Egypt) (tentative-subject to moon sighting)
Ramadan is a very important month for the Muslims, it is a month where all the Muslims fast (not eating, drinking anything) until the sun sets. Ramadan will last for 30 days based on the Arabic calendar, and will be followed by the Eid which will last about 10 days, when all entities will be closed for celebration.
During Ramadan all companies, governmental offices work shorter hours (10 am – 2 pm), please expect delays in getting updated information, due to the very short working days housing appointments and work schedules will need more time to be completed.
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will be affected most of all Arab countries; until end of Eid Al Fitr is the Holy Visit time when about 3 million pilgrims are arriving to Jeddah, making this city very congested and very difficult for people to come and go out of Jeddah.
Ramadan is coming early this year during the summer season with an expected temperature of 60 degrees above zero, which will also make the program days very short.
Eid al Fitr Holiday (Ramadan ends): Thursday, 8 August, 2013 - Wednesday, 14 August, 2013 (Saudi Arabia) Thursday, 8 August, 2013 - Sunday, 11 August, 2013 (Egypt)
Muslim festivals are timed according to local sightings of various phases of the moon and the dates given above are approximations. Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha may last anything from two to 10 days, depending on the region; longest holidays take place in KSA. All government and private offices close for this time through all the ME.
Hajj Season (Pilgrimage): Sunday, 13th October – Friday, 18th October 2013
This is the Muslim pilgrimage where 5 million people at least go into to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, expats entering Jeddah will be extremely difficult and locals working will be just as difficult, we will all work as usual. During Hajj (when pilgrims visit Mecca) all governmental establishments and some businesses in KSA will be closed for 10 to 14 days.
Eid El Adha: Tuesday, 15th October 2013 – Friday, 18th October 2013
All governmental and private offices close for 10 days through all the ME, official holidays in all Arab and Gulf countries.
Having said all above we encourage our Clients not to plan relocations program starts during Ramadan for Saudi Arabia; very short working hours, heat and a very limited ability to find the compounds' management available to meet Expats which make it very challenging to deliver services in KSA. .
Another change in the immigration process has taken place recently. Work permit annual fees to be paid to the government have been substantially increased from 1500 EGP to 3035 EGP for the year 1 to 3; for the 4th year in Egypt onwards the payment will be 4045 EGP annually.