Ramadan 2020: First day of holy month in UAE - in pictures

Abu Dhabi Crown Prince thanks people's patience amid the pandemic as Muslims face a unique Ramadan with mosques closed and gatherings discouraged

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Muslims in the UAE began fasting from dawn to dusk on Friday as Ramadan began across the Islamic world.

The first prayers - especially the first Friday prayers - are usually an auspicious occasion during the holy month, but with mosques closed and large gatherings discouraged, Muslims face a unique month ahead.

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces sent text messages to UAE residents to thank people's patience during the coronavirus outbreak.

"I remain grateful for your patience, resilience and kindness in these unprecedented times. Together we can ensure the safety of our cherished families, friends and communities by continuing to practice the necessary precautionary measures. As one, I know we will overcome this pandemic together," he wrote.

On Thursday night, President Sheikh Khalifa sent cables of congratulations to the heads of Arab and Islamic countries on the advent of Ramadan.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, wished the people of the UAE a blessed Ramadan, describing the holy month as one of "goodness and mercy".

Muslims around the world begin Ramadan amid coronavirus pandemic

Muslims around the world begin Ramadan amid coronavirus pandemic