Dubai: The holy month of Ramadan, which marks a 30-day period of fasting for Muslims, begins Wednesday in the Gulf nations and many other parts of the world.
People across the Gulf, in UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar, will observe the first day of the month today.
In UAE, the announcement was made following the sighting of the moon of Ramadan and contacts with neighbouring countries.
Wednesday will also be the first day of Ramadan in Jordan, Egypt, Libya, Indonesia, and Malaysia.
Qatar`s Moon Sighting Committee of the Ministry of Awqaf (Endowments) and Islamic Affairs announced yesterday evening that today will be the first day of the holy month of Ramadan for the Islamic year 1431 Hijiri.
Muslims observe the ninth month of the lunar calender as the month of fasting, whereby they abstain from food and water from sunrise to sunset.
Fasting during the month is one of the five pillars of Islam, along with belief in one God, prayers, charity and pilgrimage to Mecca.
Syria and Yemen also announced that Ramadan will begin today. However, in Oman the month will begin on Thursday as the new moon was not sighted in the country.