Saudi Arabia shifts to Gregorian calendar

Saudi Arabia on Sunday switched to Gregorian calendar or western calendar after the use of Islamic calendar since it was founded in 1932, Al Arabiya local news reported.
The move mainly covers government departments, of which the employees will get less annual salaries than they used to receive, as the Islamic year is about 15 days shorter than the Gregorian year.

The decision came after the cabinet announced last week the reduction of salaries of ministers and Shura members (advisors).

It was part of an austerity package, including cancellation and amendment of civil servants' allowances and rewards, such as cancelling the annual bonus.

Saudi Arabia has taken a series of steps to deal with the dropping oil prices in global markets.