Crescent sighting Image Credit: Sabq

Abu Dhabi: The UAE Moon Sighting Committee has announced the first day of Ramadan this year will be May 17. 

The announcement on Tuesday night was made after it was established that Wednesday, May 16, 2018, completes the month of Sha'ban 1439 AH, and Thursday is the first day of the holy month.

In a statement issued following the meeting at the Judiciary Department, Sultan Saeed Al Badi Al Dhaheri, Minister of Justice and Chairman of the Committee, said: "after investigation and following the legal ways of proof and communications with neighbouring countries, where the holy month's crescent moon was not sighted tonight (Tuesday), it has been decided that tomorrow, Wednesday, completes the month of Sha'ban — and Thursday is the first day of Ramadan."

Oman on Sunday had announced that May 17 would be the first day of Ramadan in the Sultanate this year. 

Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon have also all officially declared that May 17 will be the first day of Ramadan.

Ramadan around the world: Find out when the rest of the world starts Ramadan 2018 


During Ramadan, UAE residents have different working hours and school timings to accommodate those who fast during the month. There are also specific paid parking slots during the month. 

If you're a visitor or a non-Muslim resident, there are some etiquette rules to follow so as to respect those who are fasting. Though most restaurants and food courts shut down during the day in Ramadan to start operations at or after iftar, there are many places that are licensed to serve food during the day as well.

Is this your first Ramadan? Here's everything you need to know about it. 

During Ramadan, there are many charity and sharing initiatives operating across the country. More than 74 sharing fridges have been set up across Dubai to make free food and water accessible to construction workers and other labourers at iftar. 

Ramadan ends when the first crescent of the new moon is sighted again. Eid Al Fitr is the Islamic holiday that marks the end of Ramadan.

Felicitations, greetings

Al Dhahiri and the members of the committee extended their sincerest felicitations and greetings, on the advent of the holy month, to President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice president and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, their Highnesses the Supreme Council Members and Rulers of the Emirates and the Crown Princes.