Saudi Arabia makes Arabic language mandatory in all business dealings


Saudi Arabia has imposed the use of Arabic as the primary language in all commercial and business dealings, including in utility bills, advertising, and all sorts of contracts and insurance certificates.

English language can be used as a secondary language, according an order by the Kingdom’s ministry of commerce and industry

The parties who fail to comply with the regulation will have to pay a fine of SR 100,000 ($26,600), an amount that could be doubled, besides risking that their businesses be shut down for a year if the violation is repeated.

“The ministry calls upon all commercial establishments, markets and shops to abide by the rule immediately by using Arabic in all their price tags as the basic language, as well as in all their commercial documents including bills and contracts that are presented to consumers,” according to a ministry statement.

The decision was made to improve data systems capable of tracking goods and services as well spreading awareness among consumers of hidden costs and values of their purchases in accordance with the official language of their country.

“The new rule was imposed on the basis of commercial regulations, which insist that consumers should have full knowledge of the products and services that are offered to them in their basic language,” the ministry statement said.