Eid al-Fitr is an important religious holiday celebrated by Muslims around the world. It marks the end of Ramadan, a month of fasting and prayer. It starts on the first day of Shawwal, the tenth month of the Islamic calendar.
In 2022, Eid al-Fitr is expected to start on May 2. During this time, Muslims celebrate with family and friends by exchanging gifts, eating special foods, and praying together.
Eid al-Fitr means ‘Festival of the Breaking of the Fast’ in Arabic.
It is the first Eid of the Islamic year. The other, Eid al-Adha, is celebrated on the tenth day of Dhu al-Hijjah, the twelfth month of the Islamic calendar.
Public Holiday and Hours
In the UAE, Eid al-Fitr is a 3-day national holiday for both public and private sector employees. Workers are entitled to leave.
Dubai Metro, Dubai Tram, and bus services all operate later. Parking at most public car parks in Dubai is also usually free. Specific details will be announced on the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority’s (RTA) website a few days beforehand.
Most of Dubai’s most popular shopping malls have extended hours. They are more crowded than usual.
When is Eid al-Fitr in the UAE?
According to astronomical predictions, the Islamic holy month of Ramadan is expected to begin on April 2, 2022. Islamic months are either 29 or 30 days long, depending on when the crescent moon is seen.
This year’s Ramadan will likely last 30 days until Sunday, May 1. As a result, Eid al-Fitr will most likely start on Monday, May 2. The exact date will be announced towards the end of Ramadan.
Since Ramadan 2022 is likely to last 30 days, residents are likely to enjoy a five-day break for the Eid al-Fitr holidays. The dates of the break will be Saturday, April 30 to Wednesday, May 4, 2022.
In the UAE the sighting is confirmed by the United Emirates Moon Sighting Committee. An announcement of the start date is made in the local press (Gulf News, Khaleej Times, etc) and on social media.
The actual date depends on the moon sighting and could vary by a day or so.
The Islamic calendar (Hijri calendar) is a lunar calendar. It lasts for 12 months, but there are only 354 days in the year. It is 11 days shorter than the Gregorian (Western) calendar. Although Eid al-Fitr is held on the same day when using the Islamic calendar, it moves 11 days earlier every year on the Western calendar.
How is it celebrated?
Eid is a time that Muslims celebrate after accomplishing their fasting duties in the month of Ramadan.
Special prayers are held. Muslims exchange gifts and visit friends and family. They greet each other using the phrase ‘Eid Mubarak’. This means ‘have a blessed Eid’.
Charitable gifts are also given (Zakat al-Fitr) and many undertake charity work.
Celebrations include firework displays, live music, special shows, and dance performances.
Many UAE residents take advantage of the long break and go abroad. Thousands of Muslims from neighbouring countries flock to Dubai and the UAE. Hotels and airports are busier than usual.