The Eid holiday for federal government ministries and departments will begin on Wednesday, with work resuming a week from today, the Government announced yesterday. The circular detailing dates for the holiday, during which time the ministries and departments will be closed, was issued by Humaid Obeid al Qatami, the Minister of Education and chairman of the Federal Human Resources Authority.
Although the official date for the first day of Eid is yet to be announced, it is widely expected to fall on Friday. Final Eid holiday dates for the private and public sectors are yet to be confirmed, as these will depend on the sighting of the moon, the official signal to end the fast. The chief executive of Dubai Astronomy Group, Hassan Ahmad al Hariri, said he and his team are flying to Qatar to spot the moon from the rooftop of Al Jazeera Television Channel.
"We have already sent our telescope and other equipment there so that we will be able to send a live broadcast of the position and picture of the moon on Thursday from the rooftop of Al Jazeera," Mr al Hariri said. Although government offices will be closed from Wednesday, the moon will not actually be visible on that day. "On the 8th of September, the moon will set before the sun. Its position will be south-west of the sun so anyone who tries to see the crescent moon will be unable to as the sky will be too bright," he said.
However, the following day the moon is expected to be high and very visible, depending on the weather, explained Mr Hariri.
"Eid is very likely to fall on Friday, September 10," he said.
Muslims usually celebrate the three-day Eid holiday by first attending morning prayers and then visiting family members and offering gifts to relatives, especially children.