Eid Al Fitr 2020 in UAE to begin on Sunday

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Eid Al Fitr will begin on Sunday in the UAE, the state news agency Wam announced on Friday.

The date was confirmed by the moon-sighting committee, who convened remotely after maghrib prayers to deliberate the end of Ramadan and beginning of Shawwal.

They agreed it was not possible to see the new crescent moon, which would indicate the start of the next Islamic month. This means Ramadan will last 30 days this year and the first day of Eid, Shawwal 1, will fall on Sunday.

The committee was formed under the chairmanship of Minister of Justice Sultan Al Badi and includes a number of senior officials.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation previously announced that public and private sector workers would have Ramadan 29 (Friday May 22) to Shawwal 3 off as a holiday. Friday's announcement means workers will have until Wednesday, May 27, off, resuming work on Thursday, May 28.

The committee typically uses a two-pronged approach when determining the start of a new Islamic month. First, they searching for the new moon using telescopes and then confirm it by sighting the moon with the naked eye. This year, the committee is meeting through video conference to avoid breaching precautionary measures taken by the country to avoid the spread of Covid-19.

Images are sent to them from astronomers on the ground and local courts across the country.

They deliberate together and make a final decision.

On the first day of Eid, Muslims typically wake up just before dawn to perform Eid prayers at mosques. Muslims tend to wear new clothes and visit family and friends. This year's celebrations will be muted, with mosques closed and gatherings limited to no more than five people in homes, as part of measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Authorities have implored families not to visit each other, to protect one another from potential infection.

Celebrations tend to last for three days. In recent years, it became common practice to travel during Eid but, this year, no one will be able to travel internationally because flights have been grounded. Instead, many have booked into hotels across and the Northern Emirates for staycations.

Ramadan 2020 around the world:

A canon is fired at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque to mark the beginning of iftar. Victor Besa / The National

Jamil Kaydee, Niina Kaydee and daughter Amelia during afternoon prayer, known as Asr, at their home in Sydney, Australia. Getty Images

An aerial view shows the deserted Grand Mosque in Makkah on the first day of Ramadan. AFP

A deserted Istiqlal Grand Mosque in Jakarta on the first day of Ramadan. AFP

Ramadan is an opportunity to learn something new and reflect. EPA

Children read the Quran at a Mosque in Herat, Afghanistan. EPA

People visit the Imam Ali mosque in the central Iraqi city of Najaf, during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan amid the novel coronavirus pandemic crisis. AFP

A Kashmiri Muslim checks his cell phone after praying outside a closed Muslim shrine in Srinagar. AP Photo

Iranian women wearing face masks pray during a religious ceremony called Laylat Al Qadr in a mosque at the Tehran's university, in Tehran. EPA

Displaced Syrian family break their fast together for the sunset iftar meal during Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan. AFP

A Sunni cleric wearing protective protective gloves, prays at the Mohammed Al-Amin Mosque in Beirut. AFP

People wearing protective face masks read verses from the Quran in Sanaa, Yemen. EPA

Muslims pray before breaking their fast in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. REUTERS

A Muslim singer wears his sufi clothing before singing Islamic songs at his home in Cairo, Egypt. EPA

Volunteers clothed in personal protection equipment prepare iftar meals in Ankara, Turkey. AFP

Updated: May 22, 2020 08:53 PM

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