The UAE has set up a moon-sighting committee to confirm the start date of Ramadan, official news agency WAM reported.
Sultan bin Saeed Al Badi, minister of justice, issued the decision to establish the committee, the report said.
The committee, chaired by Sultan Saeed Al Badi, will include the under-secretary of Abu Dhabi Judicial Department and other officials.
The decision called on all the sharia courts nationwide to detect the crescent moon and inform the committee.
The committee will hold a meeting after Maghreb Prayer on Tuesday, June 16, at the Judiciary Department in Abu Dhabi, the report added.
WAM also reported that the working hours for employees at ministries and other federal authorities will be from 9am to 2pm during Ramadan, according to a circular issued by Hussain bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi, chairman of the Federal Authority for Government Human Resources.
Astronomical calculations made by the Sharjah Planetarium have predicted that Ramadan is likely to begin from Thursday, June 18.
Ibrahim Al Jarwan, general supervisor at the planetarium, forecast long fasting hours this year.
“The daylight hours at the beginning of the month of Ramadan will be 13 hours and 45 minutes while the fasting period will be as long as 15 hours and 15 minutes.
“Towards the end of the holy month of Ramadan, daylight hours will be 13 hours and 35 minutes, and the fasting period will be 15 hours and five minutes,” he said.
Al Jarwan also predicted that Eid al-Fitr will fall on Friday July 17.