Dubai: Saudi Arabia has banned all government and private agencies from using the Gregorian calendar in official dealings.
The use of the English language to answer calls or communicate, mainly in companies and hotels, has also been banned, a local daily said.
All ministries and agencies have to use the Hijri dates (Islamic calendar) and the Arabic language, the interior ministry said. The ministry attributed its decision to preserving the Islamic calendar and the Arabic language, Arabic daily Al Watan reported.
In the statement to the ministries and establishments, the ministry said that it noted that some government entities were using Gregorian dates "unnecessarily", in a violation of high orders and instructions. Several hotel and company receptions used English in their communications, the ministry said.
However, ministries and agencies could use the Gregorian calendar, whenever needed, on the condition that it is associated with the corresponding Hijri date.