Saudi Arabia has switched to the Gregorian calendar, the predominant format for organising time in the West, it has been reported.
The fact that Saudi Arabia is an Islamic Kingdom makes the move an odd one, and by doing this, Saudi Arabian civil servants will lose 11 days of pay.
The switch which came into force on Sunday, the last day of the Islamic year 1437 AH, is part of austerity measures meant to curb the budget deficit.
The Kingdom has been trying to gain more revenue following a decline in its finances caused by the slump in the oil price.
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Before the switch, it was only the private sector in the Arab country that used the Gregorian calendar of its oil customers to calculate salaries. The public sector has used the Islamic lunar Hijri calendar since 1932.
Under the Hijri calender, a year comprises of 12 months lasting 354 or 355 days, or 11 days shorter than the Gregorian calendar. The salaries are calculated on annual basis, so a longer year translates into less payment for the employees.
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