The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is preparing for the moon sighting, which signals the start of Ramadan. According to the state news agency Wam, the moon will be looked for on Tuesday, 21 March, with the month, expected to begin on either 22 or 23 March, depending on whether or not the moon is sighted.
Astronomical calculations suggest that the month is likely to begin on Thursday, 23 March, but the official date will be confirmed after the crescent has been sighted. UAE officials are closely monitoring the situation and have urged residents to look for the crescent tomorrow evening.
In anticipation of the holy month, many Muslims in the UAE have been preparing by stocking up on food, planning their schedules, and making arrangements for prayer and charity. Mosques across the country are expected to host special programs and events to mark the occasion.
Airfares Between UAE and Saudi Arabia Skyrocket
Airfares on the UAE-Saudi Arabia route have started to experience an upward trend ahead of Ramadan, which is expected to start on 23 March in UAE and 22 March in Saudi Arabia. The airfares will further increase before and during the Eid-ul-Fitr holidays.
Sharjah-based Air Arabia is currently offering tickets to Jeddah for AED 1,336 and to Madinah for AED 1,536. During January and February this year, Jeddah’s airfare stood around AED 800-900 and Madinah’s AED 1,100.
Dubai-based Emirates is offering costlier tickets than Air Arabia. Its airfare to Jeddah stands at AED 2,385 and to Madinah at AED 2,125. According to travel agents and Umrah operators in UAE, this increase can be attributed to high travel demand among pilgrims since Saudi Arabia has removed coronavirus-related restrictions.
The Operations Manager at Smart Travels, Niyas Adiraja, predicted a further increase in airfares in June due to the Hajj season, which is the peak travel time in Saudi Arabia.