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Dubai: Eid Al Fitr is expected to fall on May 13 this year, offering residents in the UAE with a much-needed five-day weekend.

The Islamic calendar, unlike the Gregorian one, changes on a yearly basis as it requires an authorized person or committee to make an actual sighting of the crescent moon to determine the start of each month. Atmospheric conditions can also obstruct the sighting of the crescent moon, leading the upcoming month to be delayed by an extra day, which will most likely be the case this year.

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Ibrahim Al Jarwan, member of the Arab Union for Astronomy and Space Sciences, told Gulf News on Sunday that although the crescent moon will form on May 11, 2021, "it is not expected to be visible until the following evening, so Thursday May 13 will mark the first day of Eid Al Fitr.”

The UAE’s moon sighting committee is also expected to meet on May 11 and an official announcement will be made after sunset.

Al Jarwan also pointed out that according to astronomical calculations, Ramadan will be 30 days long.

Eid Al Fitr marks the end of Ramadan and is a three-day celebration which is marked by public holidays in the UAE. Employees across private and public sectors are set to get three days off to mark the celebration based on a unified holiday calendar.

The UAE Cabinet had earlier approved the official holiday for the private and public sector for 2021, within the framework of organizing the workflow in the two sectors.

The UAE’s official calendar states that residents will enjoy a public holiday from Ramadan 29 to Shawwal 3. So if Ramadan goes according to the expert’s predictions, UAE residents will have a long weekend from May 11-15, and return to work on May 16. 

Eid Al Adha

He also explained that the Dhu Al Hijjah crescent moon is likely to form on Saturday, July 10, and that the first day of Dhu Al Hijjah will fall on July 11, while adding that Eid Al Adha 2021 will be observed on Tuesday, July 20.

Arafat Day is on the 9th of Dhu Al Hijja, while Eid Al Adha (Festival of Sacrifice) is celebrated by all Muslims on the 10th day of the month.