Dubai Ramadan
The daily fast is determined by sunrise and sunset, timings which vary across Earth. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: As the Islamic world prepares for the holy month of Ramadan, astronomical calculations predict that the month of fasting will begin on March 11.

Ramadan, the ninth month in the Islamic calendar, is a time when Muslims across the world fast from sunrise to sunset.

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This year's Ramadan holds particular significance as it will showcase varying fasting durations across different latitudes, highlighting the global nature of the Islamic faith.

The duration of daily fasting during Ramadan is closely tied to the length of daylight hours, which, in turn, is influenced by the geographical latitude of a given location. (Check out the prayer timings in UAE and Gulf countries)

Countries closer to the North Pole will experience longer fasting hours during this time of year, while those situated farther south from the equator will have shorter days.

For this Ramadan, the city of Porto Montt in Chile is set to have the shortest fasting day, with Muslims fasting for approximately 12 hours and 44 minutes. Conversely, Greenland's capital, Nuuk, will see the longest fasting hours, lasting around 17 hours and 26 minutes.

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Image Credit: Vijith Pulikkal, Assistant Product Manager
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Image Credit: Vijith Pulikkal, Assistant Product Manager

Additionally, the first day of Ramadan will have the shortest fasting hours for the holy month, gradually increasing in duration until the last day of Ramadan.

Expected Eid holidays

Based on astronomical calculations, Eid Al Fitr, marking the end of Ramadan, is expected to fall on April 10. This occasion is accompanied by public holidays in many Muslim-majority countries for both public and private sector employees.

The precise dates of Ramadan and Eid Al Fitr are traditionally confirmed by moon-sighting committees in countries like Saudi Arabia.

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As the Muslim calendar year is shorter than the Gregorian calendar year, Ramadan begins 10 to 12 days earlier each year, allowing it to fall in every season throughout a 33-year cycle.

According to Dr. Gad Al Qadi, Head of the Egyptian National research institute of astronomy and Geophysics (NRIAG), expected that Ramadan 2024 will consist of 30 days, based on calculations meticulously prepared by the Institute. He also noted that Eid Al Fitr for the year 2024 will fall on Wednesday, April 10.