Note that this webpage on the Umm al-Qura calendar is intended for informative purposes only.Only a few English-language websites describe the Umm al-Qura calendar in any detail and the author cannot be held responsible for any errors resulting from faulty information on this webpage.
Saudi dating system
What clearly fascinates the observer is the extent to which life within an expatriate compound in Saudi Arabia is at odds with that without.
In Dubai, there is virtually no distinction between the two.
The decisions are part of a plan spearheaded by Prince Mohammed, the king’s son and second-in-line to the throne of the biggest Arab economy, and they appear to signal a determination to reduce the highest budget deficit among the world’s 20 biggest economies amid low oil prices and a lingering war in neighbouring Yemen.
During a meeting of Opec nations in Algiers in September, the Kingdom and the 11 other members agreed to cut oil production for the first time after their bid to out-compete cheaper US shale gas failed.
My husband and I set out for Saudi Arabia in 2001, hoping to clear a £60,000 mortgage and to build a sufficient nest egg to extend our home in the UK; while there isn't a lot of money left over, it's not a bad return for two and half years away.
A tax-free secondment to BAE Systems put my husband's income in a different league from his former salary as a military officer.
There, as a Western woman, you may don your Capri pants and kitten heels, leave the family house (which is not necessarily on a designated expat compound) in the family 4x4, drop your children at an expensive international school, where their cultural horizons will be widened, before going to your club for a spot of tennis, a swim in a unisex pool and a hair-do.
You might even work - thus staying on your own career ladder while your husband brings home the bacon and the booze.
The first thing to be said is that the kingdom is very different to Dubai, the expat playground of the United Arab Emirates.
The Saudi calendar does not acknowledge Christmas, so you take your annual leave to fit in with Ramadan and hajj - Christmas is not part of the company leave entitlement.
This week, I had a tense phone conversation with an expat in Khobar, Saudi Arabia – where, until recently, I used to live – who was reeling after the recent terrorist outrage.