Saudi says Ramadan to start on Monday, UAE moon-sighting committee to meet on Sunday

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The official Ramadan moon sighting committee will meet on Sunday after the Maghreb prayer in the UAE

Saudi Arabia’s moon-sighting team said that since there was no sight of the Ramadan crescent on Saturday, the holy month is expected to begin on Monday, May 6, local daily Arab News reported.

The holy month, when Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset, is decided based on the sighting of the crescent moon.

In the UAE, the Ramadan moon sighting committee will meet on Sunday after the Maghreb prayer under the chairmanship of the Justice minister Sultan Bin Saeed Al Badi Al Dhaheri, official news agency WAM reported.

The Sharia courts across the country will follow up and inform the committee of any sightings, while the lunar calendar committee at the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department will also collect evidence and inform the moon sighting committee with their findings, the report said.

The UAE has already announced reduced working hours for the public and private sectors during Ramadan.

Public sector employees in the UAE will work for five hours per day during Ramadan, from 9am until 2 pm, except in cases where the nature of the work requires extra hours of operation, officials said.

Meanwhile private sector employees will have their working hours reduced by two hours for the holy month.

Dubai’s Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) has also reduced school hours in the emirate for Ramadan.

The school day during Ramadan will start between 8am and 8.30am and finish between 1pm to 1.30pm — with shorter breaks as required.

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