April 2, 2022 will most likely mark the start of the Holy Month of Ramadan. All public and private sector entities and organisations across the country, will observe reduced working hours during the month.
Working hours for Public Sector
All public organisations in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and the northern emirates would adhere to uniform timings from 09:00 am to 02:30 pm – Monday to Thursday. Since Friday is now a working day, all government entities shall remain open from 09:00 am to 12:00 pm. The Friday (Jumah) prayers will begin at 01:15 pm, so all public sector employees will have enough time to get ready and attend the congregational prayers.
Under the directives, up to 40% of government employees are allowed to work from home on Fridays. Federal government employees who live far from their workplaces or have exceptional circumstances will get preference.
Working hours for the Private sector
As per the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation announcement, working hours during Ramadan in UAE for the private sector have been reduced by two hours.
According to Ibrahim Al Jarwan, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Emirates Astronomy Society, the duration of fasting will be around 13 hours 46 minutes at the start of Ramadan. By the end of Ramadan, with the days getting longer, the fasting hours are going to be 14 hours and 28 minutes.
Eid Al Fitr
According to Ibrahim Al Jarwan, as per astronomical calculations, Ramadan is expected to be for 30 days this year. So, Eid Al Fitr and the first day of Shawwal (the month that follows Ramadan in the Hijri calendar) is expected to be on Thursday, May 2, 2022.
As per the official list of UAE holidays on the UAE government website – u.ae – the holidays for Eid Al Fitr start from the Ramadan 29 to Shawwal 3.
Offering Players at Mosques
Congregational prayers are almost back to pre-pandemic normal across places of worship in the UAE. In February, the NCEMA had announced further relaxation in rules. Copies of the holy Quran are now allowed to be stacked at mosques. Worshippers need to be masked while praying and maintain a one-metre distance from one another.
This is the first time iftar tents are permitted since the coronavirus pandemic started. To set up an Iftar tent, you must obtain an Emirates Red Crescent (ERC) permit.
The iftar tent regulations include having participants at least one metre apart and having iftar tents open two hours before the time of Iftar (Maghrib call to prayer) to reduce crowding. Additionally, there will be security guards and/or volunteers to manage people at the entry and exits of iftar tents. Furthermore, there will be posters at all iftar tent entrances and exits to ensure a smooth flow of people.
Iftar tents must be designed in the form of a canopy that is open from all sides or be air-conditioned.
The faithful must avoid handshakes while greeting one another. Single-use tablecloths are mandatory. Tent hosts are also advised to use disposable plates, glasses and spoons.
In Abu Dhabi, green status is currently mandatory to enter public places. The Al Hosn Green Pass system and tent capacities will be determined by the local committees in each emirate.