Bahrain’s prime minister has issued a circular on government work hours for the holy month of Ramadan.
Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa said official hours for ministries, bodies and public institutions in the kingdom will be from 8:00am to 2:00pm.
This will mean public sector staff work one hour longer than those in Oman and the UAE, who will have official hours of 9:00am to 2:00pm.
Bahrain, along with the UAE and Saudi Arabia has yet to announce when Ramadan will officially begin.
Moon sighting committees across the Gulf region will look to the skies after prayers on Tuesday evening to determine whether the holy month will begin the next day.
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 last 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.
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.
Last week, Dubai’s Knowledge and Human Development Authority announced shorter school hours for the holy month with students finishing classes by 1:30pm.