Eid Al Fitr in UAE on April 9 or 10? Likely dates of festival, holiday revealed

Muslims to look for Shawwal crescent Moon tonight; break to last for six or nine days

by

Sahim Salim

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Published: Fri 5 Apr 2024, 7:55 AM

Last updated: Mon 8 Apr 2024, 3:42 PM

After a full month of fasting during Ramadan, Muslims will celebrate the Islamic festival of Eid Al Fitr next week. Along with the festival comes the longest holiday of the year, and for private sector employees, its duration depends on when the Moon is sighted.

Mohammad Shawkat Odeh, director of the Abu Dhabi-based International Astronomy Centre; and Khadijah Ahmad, operations manager, Dubai Astronomy Group, have revealed to Khaleej Times the most likely date of the festival based on astronomical calculations. Here is all you need to know about the likely dates and duration of the break to plan your vacation or staycation.


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When will the UAE’s Moon sighting committee meet?


Like all months in the Islamic Hijri calendar, Ramadan lasts 29 or 30 days. In the lunar calendar, the sighting of the crescent Moon determines when one month ends and the next starts. Muslims look for the crescent on the 29th of each month.

The UAE’s Moon sighting committee will convene on the evening of Monday, April 8, to search the night sky for the crescent. If spotted, Ramadan ends at 29 days, with Eid Al Fitr falling on Tuesday, April 9. If not, the holy month lasts 30 days and the Islamic festival is on April 10.

When is the holiday?

Irrespective of when the Moon is sighted, the holiday begins on Monday, April 8 (Ramadan 29), for everyone in the UAE. Eid Al Fitr will be either on April 9 or 10, depending on when the Moon is sighted.

For public sector employees, the whole of next week is off — which along with the weekends translates into a nine-day holiday. However, for those in the private sector, it will be a nine-day break — including the weekends — only if Eid falls on April 10. If the festival is on April 9, private sector workers would need to report to office on Friday, April 12, after a six-day break.

What do astronomical calculations predict?

According to Khadijah, the crescent is unlikely to be sighted on Monday. Mohammed Shawkat said the holy month will last the whole 30 days and Eid will be on Wednesday, April 10 — giving all residents a nine-day break. If that’s the case, the holiday is from Saturday, April 6, till Sunday, April 14.

The actual date will, however, will be announced by the government on Monday, April 8.

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