Wondering when Ramadan will end this year? Here's our complete guide to Eid Al Fitr in Dubai for expats
3 June 2018| Last updated on 6 May 2020
The Holy Month of Ramadan will end this month, with officials predicting that Ramadan will end on or around May 23 or May 24, 2020.
NOTE: Some of the information listed below may not be applicable due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Our Eid Al Fitr 2020 guide is intended to show what usually happens during Eid Al Fitr in Dubai and the UAE.
Of course, this may vary depending on the moon sighting closer to the time.
At the end of Ramadan 2020, Muslims across the world will observe Eid Al Fitr 2020. During this time, Muslims will celebrate the end of the 30 days of fasting that occurs during the Holy Month of Ramadan and it is an important religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide.
If this will be your first Eid Al Fitr, or you're in need of a refresh - here's our ultimate guide to Eid Al Fitr 2020 for you!
When is Eid Al Fitr 2020? When does Ramadan end this year?
According to news sources, a local astronomer has predicted that the first day of Eid Al Fitr will likely fall on either May 23 or May 24 this year. For fasting Muslims, this means that the Holy Month of Ramadan, which began on April 23, is expected to last 29 days this year.
Eid Al Fitr dates change every year, as the Islamic calendar is based on the lunar cycle. Meaning, dates of religious holidays in Dubai, the UAE, and elsewhere may change on the Gregorian calendar each year.
We won't know the exact starting date of Eid Al Fitr until closer to the time, and the official first day of Eid will be announced shortly before the Holy Month ends.
Keep these Eid Al Fitr dates in your calendars...
- When is Ramadan? On or around Thursday 23rd April, to Saturday 23rd May, 2020
- When is Eid al-Fitr? On or around Monday Saturday 23rd May, to Sunday 24th May, 2020
- When is Eid al-Adha?On or around Thursday 30th July, to Sunday 2nd August, 2020
What is Eid Al Fitr? Why do Muslims observe Eid Al Fitr?
As we've mentioned, Eid Al Fitr is an important religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide, as it marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic Holy Month of fasting. This Muslim religious festival celebrates the conclusion of the 29 or 30 days of dawn-to-sunset fasting during Ramadan.
The day of Eid falls on the first day of the month of Shawwal, and has its own particular 'salat' - Islamic prayer - which consists of two units, and is generally offered in an open field or large hall for the community to participate in.
The Eid Al Fitr Islamic prayer may only be performed in congregation - also known as 'jama'at.'
Traditionally, Eid Al Fitr is the day of the first sighting of the crescent moon shortly after sunset. If the moon is not observed immediately after the 29th day of the previous lunar month, then it will fall on the following day.
How is Eid Al Fitr celebrated in Dubai and UAE?
Wondering what happens during Eid Al Fitr and how the festival is celebrated? The name 'Eid Al Fitr' literally translates from Arabic as 'the festival of breaking the fast', and it is a time of celebration to not only mark the end of Ramadan, but also for Muslims to acknowledge their accomplishments throughout the Holy Month.
Unlike other Islamic holidays, Eid Al Fitr is not tied to specific historical events, and thus is a general celebration of fellowship with one's local community.
A main tradition followed for Eid Al Fitr is that of 'sadaqah al-fitr', which means that Muslim families donate food to the needy to ensure they are able to enjoy a nourishing Eid festival, and participate in the festival.
You might also be interested in:
- A Guide to Ramadan in Dubai During Coronavirus
- Working Hours During Ramadan in Dubai and UAE
- A guide to Eid in Dubai: traditions, things to do and offers
On the first day of Eid, Muslims gather early in the morning in large outdoor locations or mosques to perform the Eid prayer. This consists of a sermon, followed by a short congregational prayer. After the Eid prayer, families will then disperse to visit other family members and friends, exchange gifts, visit graveyards and make phone calls to distant relatives to give well-wishes for the holiday.
During this festival, families may string up lights, or place candles or lanterns around their homes. It's not uncommon to see brightly coloured banners hung outside houses in Dubai's communities.
What kinds of gifts and foods are given during Eid Al Fitr?
Families may exchange gifts with one another, and they generally wear traditionally clothing during Eid. In fact, they may give one another new clothes in order to help everyone look their best for this important festival.
Other traditional Eid Al Fitr gifts include date-filled pastries, butter cookies with almonds or pine nuts, and spice cake. More common Eid Al Fitr gifts include:
- Dates; a healthy food, commonly eaten at this time of year
- Oudh and Bakhoor; an expensive fragrance oil that is a good alternative to candles
- Pasmina shawls; these silky-soft fabrics make for a lovely Eid gift
- Arabic coffee pot; called 'dallah' these can be used for serving or decoration
- Spices; Dubai offers rare spices that make for an interesting gift
- A book; great for kids, a book about Eid will lighten their imagination
How many days does Eid Al Fitr last?
Traditionally, Eid Al Fitr is celebrated for three days as an official holiday in all Muslim-majority countries. However, the number of vacation days may vary by country, and also depends on the date on which Eid Al Fitr is observed.
For Dubai, UAE public holidays for Eid Al Fitr vary between 1 or 2 days depending on when Eid falls. Both private and public sectors in the UAE may have a day off from their working week, depending on when Eid Al Fitr lands. For Eid 2020, the confirmed date is yet to be announced and won't be revealed until the end of Ramadan, but there is a possibility that workers in the UAE may have at least one day off this year.
Remember, dates may vary as the Islamic calendar is based on the lunar cycle; and thus the date of Eid Al Fitr 2020 will be confirmed once the moon-sighting committee has declared the end of the Holy Month of Ramadan, and the first day of Eid.
How can non-Muslims get involved with Eid Al Fitr?
As mentioned earlier, charity - known as 'zakat' - is one of the give pillars of Islam, and thus is a particularly significant part of Ramadan, Eid Al Fitr and Eid Al Adha.
As a non-Muslim living in Dubai and the UAE, you can participate in the Eid Al Fitr festivities by giving gifts to your Muslim friends and colleagues. Every year, Dubai arranges a diverse line-up of events for families, residents and visitors to enjoy for Eid Al Fitr, and it's not uncommon for firework shows to be arranged in Dubai for Eid, as well as shopping deals and competitions, discounts on some of Dubai's top tourist attractions, as well as fabulous shows displayed at some of Dubai's most recognisable landmarks - like Burj Khalifa, for example.
What greetings are said during Eid Al Fitr?
The same way Ramadan has its own greetings, so too does Eid have its own unique greetings to say. Here are some greetings and phrases that you can say to your Muslim friends:
- "Kul 'am wa enta bi-khair." meaning "May every year find you in good health"
- "Eid Mubarak" meaning "Blessed Eid”
- "Eid Saeed" meaning "Happy Eid"
- "Taqabbala Allahu minna wa minkum" meaning "May Allah accept from us, and from you."