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  • Writer's pictureJenny Hunt

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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Gateway Group - Who We Are & Why We Exist

With offices in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, Gateway Group helps international companies get registered to do business in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). We are the authority on business licenses and visas for expats in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Founded and headed up by British husband and wife team, Nathan and Jenny Hunt, Gateway operates with it's core values at heart: Honesty. Trust. Integrity. We do what's in the best interests of our clients rather than what's best for our bottom line. After all, we are just like our clients - we've invested our own money into our business licenses, so we fully appreciate what a big investment a commercial license is. We believe this uniquely positions us to provide our services with understanding and empathy.

From our own first-hand experience and knowledge, generated from living and working in the UAE, as well as setting up companies and building relationships here, we are able to offer unique insight and guidance to help our clients successfully step into the market and do business in the UAE.

We value long-term relationships and our incredible client retention is one of our strongest assets, which is extremely rare in our industry.

Founding Partner, Jenny Hunt, has been setting up businesses in Abu Dhabi and Dubai for over 10 years and is ranked in FORBES' Top 100 Most Influential Women In The Middle East!

Gateway Group's blog is ranked in Feedspot's '25 Best Abu Dhabi Blogs And Websites You Should Follow In 2023' (currently ranked 9th - 31st January 2023).

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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

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