Ramadan expected to start on May 17, astronomy centre says

The first day of Eid Al Fitr is expected by the centre to fall on June 15 while Eid Al Adha is estimated to begin on August 22

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, May 27, 2017:    Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is seen during sun rise on the first day of the holy month of Ramadan from Wahat Al Karama, the martyrs' memorial, in Abu Dhabi on May 27, 2017.  Muslims around the globe observe the holy fasting month of Ramadan where they refrain from drinking, eating, smoking and sex from dawn to dusk. Christopher Pike / The National

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Ramadan this year is likely to begin on May 17, the Sharjah Centre for Space and Astronomy has predicted.

The first day of Eid Al Fitr was expected to fall on June 15, while Eid Al Adha was estimated to begin on August 22, Sharjah News reported.

However, the exact dates of the holy month are yet to be confirmed by the moon sighting committee.

It is two days later than the centre's earlier predictions, after they initially announced Ramadan would be likely to start on May 15.

They said the length of the fast is likely to be 13 hours and 25 minutes at the beginning of Ramadan, increasing to 13 hours and 42 minutes by the end of the holy month.

This will be the first time in 18 years that the fasting period will be longer at the end than in the beginning, because Ramadan 2018 will happen before the summer solstice , or the longest day.