The UAE's Ramadan moon sighting panel will observe the sky after sunset on Thursday in anticipation of sighting the crescent moon that announces the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan, the official news agency WAM has reported.
Moon sighting teams will head to the Al-Hafit Mountain in Al Ain and in the Al Gharbia desert to monitor the sky.
According to Islamic tradition, the sighting of the first crescent (Hilal) in the western sky marks the beginning of a month in the Hijri calendar.
Sharia courts across the UAE will sit on Friday night to verify information on moon sightings, before passing it to the main committee which will determine the outcome, the agency said.
Once the crescent moon is formally sighted an announcement will be made by Dr Hadif Jouan Al Dhahiri, the Minister of Justice.