UAE confirms Sunday as first day of Ramadan

Ramadan Moon Sighting Committee makes announcement that Saturday is last dfay of the Hijri month of Sha'ban

The UAE's Ramadan Moon Sighting Committee has announced that the holy month of Ramadan will begin on Sunday.

Dr Hadef bin Jowan Al Dhahiri, Minister of Justice and chairman of the Moon Sighting Committee, said in a statement cited by news agency WAM that Saturday will be the last day of the Hijri month of Sha'ban.

The Muslim holy month of Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is based on moon sightings.

It is when Muslims fast between sunrise and sunset; fasting is one of the Five Pillars of Islam.

Non-Muslims also must refrain from eating and drinking in public.

Last week, it was announced that private sector employees in the UAE will have their working days reduced by two hours during Ramadan while working hours for employees at various ministries and other federal institutions will be from 9am to 2pm.

Separately, WAM reported that UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has ordered the release of 969 prisoners incarcerated for various crimes, and the settlement of their financial liabilities, on the occasion of Ramadan.

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