UAE announces Eid Al Fitr will begin on Friday

Moon-sighting committee saw crescent moon on Thursday, heralding the start of the religious festival

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. AFP
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Eid Al Fitr will begin on Friday in the UAE, the country's Moon-sighting committee has confirmed.

The committee — a group of astronomers, court officials and advisers from the Emirates' Islamic authority — on Thursday evening sighted the new crescent moon, which meant that Shawwal, the tenth month of the Islamic calendar, would begin the following day.

Thursday is the 29th and final day of Ramadan this year. The holy month lasts for either 29 or 30 days, depending on when the crescent moon is seen, as the Islamic calendar is based on the lunar cycle.

Muslims in the UAE were urged to help sight the crescent moon on Thursday evening to mark the end of Ramadan and usher in Eid Al Fitr.

The paid holiday for the public and private sectors has already been announced.

Employees began their four-day break on Thursday and will return to work on Monday.

What is Eid Al Fitr?

Eid Al Fitr marks the end of the month-long Ramadan fast for Muslims.

It is a celebratory occasion marked by morning prayers, family get-togethers, the giving of gifts as well as charitable donations.

Many people also take advantage of the extended break from work to travel abroad or take short trips in the region.

It is also an opportunity to buy new clothes to welcome the religious holiday.

Recent Eid activities were disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, with more muted celebrations taking place.

Travel and safety restrictions caused by the spread of the virus have been lifted around the world, adding an extra sense of joy and anticipation to the festivities.

People prepare for Eid celebrations in the UAE - in pictures

Updated: April 20, 2023, 6:01 PM