4 or 5-day Eid Al Fitr break in UAE: When will the moon-sighting committee meet?

The official public holiday for the Islamic festival will mark the first long weekend of 2023


A Staff Reporter

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Published: Thu 6 Apr 2023, 1:30 PM

Last updated: Thu 6 Apr 2023, 6:55 PM

The holy month of Ramadan has reached its halfway mark. In just a little over two weeks, UAE residents will get the year’s first long weekend as the country marks Eid Al Fitr.

The Islamic festival is celebrated after the holy month on the first of Shawwal — the month that follows Ramadan in the Hijri calendar.

Depending on when the moon is sighted, residents can get up to five days of holidays for Eid Al Fitr. However, as per astronomical calculations, the break is likely to be for four days.

According to the International Astronomical Centre, the first day of Eid Al Fitr is expected to fall on Friday, April 21, in most Islamic countries. The break begins a day prior as per these calculations.

The centre said the crescent of the Shawwal moon is likely to be seen on Thursday night, April 20. However, the UAE’s moon-sighting committee will convene on the night to confirm the dates of Eid.

Will the break be four or five days long?

Islamic months last for 29 or 30 days, depending on when the moon is sighted.

The official Eid Al Fitr holiday in the UAE is from Ramadan 29 to Shawwal 3. The start date of the break does not depend on when the moon is sighted as Ramadan 29 falls on April 20. If the moon is spotted on that night, the break is from Thursday, April 20, till Sunday, April 23.

As per astronomical calculations, these are the most likely dates as the holy month is expected to last for 29 days.

However, if the moon is not spotted on that night, residents will get an additional day off since Ramadan 30 will also be a holiday. In this case, the break would be from Thursday, April 20, till Monday, April 24.


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