Saudi Arabia bans use of English, Gregorian calendar
Riyad bars use of English language in state bureaus, hotels; order use of Islamic calendar, Arabic only
Saudi Arabia has banned the use of the Gregorian calendar in all official state and business dealings, the Gulf News reported Saturday.
Riyad's decree also bars government and private agencies and businesses from using the English language to answer calls or communicate.
According to the report, all ministries and agencies must no use Hijri dates – the Islamic calendar – and the Arabic language, exclusively.
The Saudi Interior Ministry said that the decision "means to preserve the Islamic calendar and the Arabic language."
The Arabic daily Al Watan added that the ministry believes that "some government entities and establishments were using Gregorian dates unnecessarily," in a violation of previous government orders.
The Saudi directive did give ministries and agencies the ability to "sometimes" use the Gregorian calendar, on the condition that it is associated with the corresponding Hijri date.