Ramadan 2019: UAE, Saudi confirm start date

Both public and private sector staff will work shorter days during the holy month

The UAE’s moon sighting committee has announced that Monday, May 6 will be the first day of Ramadan, with Saudi Arabia also making a similar announcement.

The UAE committee headed by Justice minister Sultan Bin Saeed Al Badi Al Dhaheri met after Magrib prayers on Sunday to sight the crescent moon.

Dubai Media Office confirmed on Twitter that Monday was the first day of Ramadan.

Saudi Arabia had earlier announced that since its moon sighting committee had not spotted the crescent on Saturday night, Sunday would the last day of Sha’ban and that Monday would be the first day of Ramadan.

Both public and private sector staff will work shorter days during Ramadan as many employees fast.

The UAE’s Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation said last week that private sector establishments, institutions and companies would have to reduce normal work by two hours for the holy month.

Meanwhile the Federal Authority for Government Human Resources announced public sector working hours will be from 9am to 2pm.

Schools hours will also be shorter both in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Timings for public transport, parking and other services will vary.

Read: Ramadan to begin on May 6; changed timings announced for Dubai schools, parking

Abu Dhabi announces reduced timings for private schools during Ramadan

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.