Ramadan Image Credit: Gulf News

Dubai: The first day of Ramadan is most likely to fall on April 13, with UAE residents having to observe 14 hours of fasting.

Ibrahim Al Jarwan, a Sharjah-based astronomer and member of the Arab Federation for Space and Astronomy, confirmed that residents will fast for 14 hours and 14 minutes on the first day of Ramadan, with a slight difference between various regions of the country.

The timings for imsak – when Muslims have to stop eating and begin their fast – will be at 4.27 am, with Maghrib prayers at 6.41 pm.

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Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam, when Muslims are required to abstain from eating and drinking from dawn to dusk. Like other Islamic months, Ramadan begins at the first sighting of the new crescent moon and lasts 29 or 30 days depending on the sighting of the next crescent.

“The Ramadan crescent is expected to occur on Monday, April 12, 2021 at 6.31 am in the UAE, and will rise about 20 minutes after sunset. This means that Tuesday April 13 will be the beginning of the blessed month of Ramadan 1442,” said Al Jarwan.

Looking ahead, Al Jarwan’s forecast predicts that the crescent moon for the month of Shawwal will be on May 11 at 11 pm and will only be seen on Wednesday evening. “This indicates that Thursday May 13 will be the first of Shawwal and the first day of Eid Al Fitr,” he said.

COVID-19 precautionary measures

As part of the government’s efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19, the Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department (IACAD) in Dubai announced that it has cancelled all permits for Ramadan tents this year. According to the decision, no tents will be allowed outside mosques, houses or any other public places to ensure the safety and health of the public during Ramadan.

Temperature to rise

During the start of Ramadan, temperatures are expected to reach a maximum of 38C with lows of 21C, “but it will then begin to slowly rise up to 41C by min-May as we reach towards the end of Ramadan,” explained Al Jarwan.

Strong north to northwesterly winds are expected to sweep across the country at speeds of more than 50 km/h during the afternoons, with a humidity level ranging from 25 to 75 per cent.

“But in the next few years, residents will have a much cooler climate as Ramadan will take place during the winter season between December and March from the Hijri year 1445 to the Hijri year 1452,” he said.