Sheikh Khalifa, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed
Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed and Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Image Credit: Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: The UAE is today (Friday, April 24) marking its first day of Ramadan, and residents woke up to congratulatory messages from His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

In an SMS to residents, the leader conveyed the greetings of UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

“Brothers and sisters, citizens and residents, it gives me great pleasure to convey to you the greetings of my brother Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, President of the UAE, may God protect him: In these circumstances, the safety of our people and society requires your commitment to precautionary measures and patience to limit the spread of the epidemic. I have great confidence we will move beyond this stage. May God protect you and your family from all harm,” the message read.

Mohammad bin Zayed also took to his official Twitter account to congratulate residents on the occasion.

“Ramadan Mubarak to all. May you and your loved ones be safe and find peace and inspiration in this blessed month of compassion and solidarity. May we have the strength and unity to see us through these times to brighter days ahead,” he said.

This is the first time UAE residents will mark Ramadan without being able to partake in community iftars and communal prayers at mosques.

During Ramadan, iftars are a much-awaited part of the day, and many worshippers head to the mosques to enjoy the meal with others. Ccommunal prayers also hold special importance as worshippers strive to increase their acts of worship. There are longer prayers every night known as Tarawih, and the last 10 nights of the Holy Month see lengthy pre-dawn prayers. But as a measure to limit gatherings and limit the coronavirus outbreak, mosques, like other places of religious gathering, have been shuttered since March.