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Eid celebrations

Chantelle D'mello / Doha News

Eid celebrations

The first day of Eid al-Fitr will be Friday, July 17, officials from Qatar’s Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs (Awqaf) have announced.

Awqaf’s moon sighting committee met at their Dafna headquarters to receive witness testimony tonight and make their decision:

Shortly before 7pm this evening, a popular scholar in Saudi Arabia also said the moon was sighted there:

The moon signifies the end of Ramadan and the start of the new month, which means that the Eid holidays officially begin tomorrow.

Eid prayer will be held at some 300+ mosques around the country at 5:08am on Friday. Awqaf has released a list of the prayer spaces in Arabic.

For a comprehensive look at all the activities and events planned around town starting tomorrow, check out our Eid guide here.

How will you be spending your holiday? Thoughts?

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Jameel Riaz/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

The Crescent Sighting Committee at the Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs (Awqaf) has asked Muslims in Qatar to look for the new moon on Thursday evening, the 29th night of Ramadan.

If the crescent is spotted, Eid al-Fitr will begin on Friday, July 17 (the first day of the Islamic month of Shawal).

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Chantelle D'mello

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

If no moon is observed, Friday will be the last fasting day, and Eid will begin on Saturday, July 18.

QNA reports Awqaf as saying that anyone who spots the crescent should head to the ministry headquarters in Dafna to report his/her testimony on Thursday.

The committee will meet immediately after sunset prayer that day and usually announces the official start date of Eid by around 8pm.

Regardless of which day it starts, most government employees will be off from tomorrow (Wednesday), July 15 and resume work on Sunday, July 26.

And according to the Gulf Times, Qatar’s banks and financial institutions will be closed from Sunday, July 19 to Wednesday, July 22, resuming operations on Thursday, July 23.

Thoughts?

Eid al-Fitr 2014

Ameer Abdul Razak/Flickr

Eid al-Fitr 2014

Qatar’s ministries, government institutions and public entities will get 11 days off for Eid al-Fitr this year, with vacation due to start on Wednesday, July 15, QNA reports.

The official holiday will end on Thursday, July 23 and the first day of business for these bodies will be Sunday, July 26, according to an announcement today from the Emiri Diwan.

The leave is in line with the holidays granted to the public sector last year, while in 2013 such organizations had a 12-day break.

The exact date of Eid will be determined by the sighting of the new moon, but it is anticipated that the holiday will begin this Friday, July 17 or Saturday, July 18.

Private sector

Employees in the private sector and banking staff are normally given leave of around three days for the Eid al-Fitr holiday, which means “festival of breaking of the fast” and signifies the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

The governor of the Qatar Central Bank will set the start and end dates for banks, QCB staff, QCB-supervised financial institutions and Qatar Financial Markets Authority, QNA added.

Other non-government employees will have to wait until Eid has been officially announced to be certain of any vacation period.

UAE holidays

Meanwhile, in the UAE, the Ministry of Labor announced today that public sector holidays would begin a day later than Qatar, on July 16, with work resuming on July 21, Gulf News reports.

Emirati state employees are expected to receive their salaries ahead of the holiday, on July 14.

Private sector employees in the Emirates will get a two-day holiday, which will take effect once Eid has officially been declared.

What are your plans for Eid al-Fitr this year? Thoughts?