Countdown to Ramadan 2023. When is Ramadan and how long will it last?
Updated: May 1
6th February 2023
The first day of Ramadan 2023 is expected to be Thursday 23rd March in the UAE. The timing of Ramadan moves forward by about 10-12 days each year, because the Islamic calendar, known as the Hijri calendar, which is a lunar calendar, is shorter that the Gregorian Calendar. Ramadan is the ninth month in the Hijri calendar.
When will we know Ramadan has started?
The official announcement of Ramadan is made once the official moon-sighting committee sight the crescent moon; hence the start date can only be predicted in advance, based upon astrological calculations, and is not confirmed. Therefore, use the expected date of 23rd March as a guide only. Around, that date, check social media and local news after sunset, for confirmation the moon has been sighted and Ramadan has started.
Doing business across the GCC during Ramadan
Ramadan dates can vary from-country-to-country, so if you are conducting business throughout the Gulf, it would be incorrect to assume that the start of Ramadan is consistent across all Gulf countries. Each country announces the start of Ramadan based upon their own sightings of moon. It is not uncommon for the start of Ramadan to be called in some countries, but not announced until a day later in others. Therefore, track announcements in the local media for confirmation around that time.
How long will Ramadan be in 2023?
Ramadan, also referred to as the Holy Month, usually lasts for 29 or 30 days. Similar, to the start of Ramadan, the end is determined by the sighting of the moon, hence the indefinite dates. According to astrological calculations, Ramadan 2023 is expected to last 29 days, thus ending on the evening of Thursday 20th April.
What happens when Ramadan ends?
Ramadan is followed by Eid Al Fitr, a celebration to mark the end of fasting during the Holy month. Eid Al Fitr, which expected to commence on Friday, 21 April 2023 in the UAE, is usually for three days.
Is Eid Al Fitr A Public Holiday in the UAE?
The UAE Cabinet grants the public holidays each year. As per the UAE government’s official portal, Eid Al Fitr 2023 will be from 29 Ramadan to 3 Shawwal (4 days). (Shawwal is the 10th month in the Islamic calendar).
How will Ramadan affect your business?
If you are doing business in the UAE. You need to be prepared for the changes that will take place during Ramadan. Check out our blog: Preparing Your Business For Ramadan in the UAE for an insight into the changes you can expect, the legal obligations you have if you are employing staff, and tips for how to maximize business opportunities during the holy month.
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Written by Jenny Hunt
Founder Gateway Group, Abu Dhabi & Dubai, United Arab Emirates
FORBES' Top 100 Most Influential Women In the Middle East