Abu Dhabi adjusts paid parking, bus times for Ramadan

The holy month is expected to begin on Wednesday or Thursday this week



Abu Dhabi’s Department of Transport has announced new paid parking and bus times for Ramadan.

Under the changes, drivers will be able to park for free around mosques for Taraweeh prayers provided the driver does not obstruct traffic.

Paid parking times will also be split from 9:00am to 2:00pm and 9:00pm to 2:30am.

This will mean a free parking period from 2:00pm to 9:00pm.

On Thursdays, paid parking will apply from 9:00pm to 12:00am and then be free from 12:01am until 8:59am on Friday.

For public buses, morning services will operate every 15 minutes. Services in the evening and after midnight will range between every 30 and 60 minutes.

The UAE has yet to announce when Ramadan will begin. On Sunday, the minister of justice ordered the establishment of a moon sighting committee to declare the start of the holy month.

The committee is set to meet after prayers on the evening of Tuesday, May 15, at the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department, state news agency WAM said.

Should the crescent be spotted on Tuesday, it will mean Wednesday is the first day of Ramadan.

This is because the Gulf countries decide the beginning of Ramadan based on the Islamic calendar, which is linked to the moon’s 29 and a half-day monthly cycle.

Islamic months can be 29 or 30 days based on the appearance of the moon crescent at night.

Oman was the first country in the Gulf to announce when it will mark the beginning of Ramadan.

The sultanate’s Ministry of Endowments and Religious Affairs said on Sunday that the holy month would fall on Thursday, May 17 due to concerns the moon would not be visible nationwide on Tuesday evening the next week.

Read: Oman announces Ramadan start date

Astronomers in Kuwait and Sharjah have also indicated May 17 will be the likely start date for the month of Ramadan.

In March, Sharjah Centre for Astronomy and Space Sciences said Ramadan would likely fall on May 17 with Eid Al Fitr, marking the end of the month, expected on June 15.

Read: Ramadan likely to begin on May 17

Last week, Dubai’s Knowledge and Human Development Authority announced shorter school hours for the holy month with students finishing classes by 1:30pm.

Read: Dubai announces shorter school hours for Ramadan

A similar announcement was made by the UAE Federal Authority for Government Human Resources (FAHR) regarding public sector working hours. Staff will work from 9:00am to 2:00pm during the Ramadan period.

Read: UAE authority announces Ramadan work hours

On Saturday, Saudi Arabia’s General Council of Senior Scholars called on Muslims to perform charitable acts during the holy month and read the Koran.