Ramadan 2023 starts in UAE on Thursday

Beginning of the holy month determined by nation's Moon-sighting committee

Isha prayers at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi on the tenth day of Ramadan. Victor Besa / The National
Powered by automated translation

Ramadan will begin in the UAE on Thursday, authorities have announced.

The Moon-sighting committee met at the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department after maghrib (sunset) prayers on Tuesday and announced it could not yet see a new crescent moon, meaning Ramadan would begin on Thursday, state news agency Wam reported.

Saudi Arabia had earlier declared Ramadan would commence on Thursday after its sighting committee was unable to see the new moon on Tuesday.

The holiest month of the year in Islam, Ramadan is observed by more than 1.9 billion Muslims. It is said to be the month the Quran was revealed to Prophet Mohammed.

During the month, which lasts either 29 or 30 days, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset.

Fasting during the holy month is one of the five pillars of Islam and is mandatory for all Muslims who are in good health.

The start of Ramadan is determined by each country's Moon-sighting committee.

In the UAE, Moon-sighting attempts are held nationwide but not all manage to see the crescent.

The committee makes the final decision at Abu Dhabi Judicial Department after collecting all the reports from across the country.

Eid Al Fitr and the first of Shawwal — the 10th month in the Islamic calendar — is expected to be on either April 21 or 22, but will be confirmed closer to the time.

Ramadan preparations around the world — in pictures

Updated: March 22, 2023, 5:19 AM