Ramadan 2023 in UAE: Crescent moon not sighted, holy month to begin on March 23

The moon-sighting committee met after the Maghrib prayer on Tuesday


A Staff Reporter

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Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

Published: Tue 21 Mar 2023, 8:02 PM

Last updated: Wed 22 Mar 2023, 10:37 AM

It’s official. The holy month of Ramadan will begin in the UAE on Thursday, March 23. The moon-sighting committee said the crescent moon — which signals the start of a month in the Islamic Hijri calendar — was not spotted on Tuesday (March 21) night.

Islamic months last for 29 or 30 days, depending on when the moon is sighted. Since the moon was not spotted today, Wednesday, March 22, will be Sha'ban 30. Ramadan 1, therefore, is on March 23.

As per astronomical calculations, the holy month will last for 29 days this year. The first day of Eid Al Fitr is likely to be on Friday, April 21, and residents will get a four-day weekend to mark the occasion.

The UAE’s moon sighting committee met after the Maghrib (sunset) prayer at the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department. Presided over by Abdullah Sultan bin Awad Al Nuaimi, Minister of Justice, several high-ranking officials attended the meeting.

Covid restrictions-free Ramadan

Ramadan this year will be the first holy month in four years that will be observed without any Covid-related restrictions. The holy month in 2020, 2021 and 2022 had some form of restrictions, including rules around mask use, travel, gatherings and visiting mosques.

This year, residents can host Iftar (the meal taken after sunset to end the Ramadan fast) gatherings for friends and family without any kind of restrictions. Masks are not required to be worn by worshippers inside mosques or any public places in the country.

Pleasant fasting experience

The UAE transitioned into the spring season on Tuesday. The weather typically remains pleasant during the season.

With Ramadan starting during the spring season, UAE residents are looking forward to shorter fasting hours and outdoor Iftars.

Fasting hours at the beginning of the holy month, from dawn to dusk, will be around 13-and-a-half hours, and will reach 14 hours and 13 minutes towards the end of the month.

Temperatures in Ramadan 2023 will range from 17 to 35 degrees at the beginning of the holy month, and from 17 to 36 degrees towards the end of the month.


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