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The International Astronomy Centre, located in Abu Dhabi, predicts that Eid Al Fitr (1444 AH) will occur on Saturday, April 22, which is one day later than their previous forecast. This prediction is based on astronomical information, and the exact date of the Eid will only be confirmed by the relevant authorities after sighting the new moon.
In a statement, it said, “Seeing the crescent on Thursday is not possible with a telescope in most countries of the Arab and Islamic world, except for parts of West Africa starting from Libya. But spotting remains very difficult and requires a precise telescope, professional monitoring and exceptional weather conditions. The occurrence of all these factors is rare. Therefore the crescent is not expected to be seen even using a telescope from anywhere in the Arab world unless the mentioned circumstances.”
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As sighting the crescent is necessary for the month to commence, Eid Al Fitr is expected to happen on Saturday, April 22. However, the International Astronomy Centre has requested individuals to report any sightings of the crescent starting from Thursday.
The centre stated that for nations that necessitate an accurate sighting with the naked eye or with a telescope, they will have to fast for the entire 30 days, and therefore their Eid Al Fitr will be on Saturday.
The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) in the UAE has declared that the Eid Al Fitr holiday will last from Ramadan 29 to Shawwal 3. In the event that the Moon is not sighted on Thursday, April 20, and Eid begins on April 22, UAE residents will have a five-day weekend.
The UAE’s moon sighting committee will convene to investigate the sighting and declare the exact Eid date.