Saudi Arabia and Bahrain’s moon sighting authorities have announced that Ramadan will begin on Thursday May, 17.
At a meeting on Tuesday evening, Bahrain’s Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs determined Wednesday would be the 30th day of the eighth Islamic month, Sha’ban.
As a result, “the day after tomorrow Thursday May 17, 2018 is the first day of the holy month of Ramadan in 1439 AH” and fasting will begin, according to the announcement by Bahrain News Agency.
Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Court made a similar announcement saying Wednesday would be the 30th day of Sha’ban and Thursday would mark the start of Ramadan, according to Saudi Press Agency.
— واس (@spagov) May 15, 2018
The Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs wished the people of Bahrain and the Arab and Muslim world congratulations and best wishes.
Both public and private sector companies will have shorter work hours for the duration of Ramadan as many employees are fasting.
However, Bahraini government staff will work an hour longer than their counterparts in the UAE and Oman.
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.
For more on what to expect during the holy month read our guide.