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Saudi, most Gulf Arabs start Ramadan on Wednesday

Businesses and offices reduce working hours during Ramadan.

August 11, 2010 8:45 by

Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam, will start the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan on Wednesday along with most other Gulf states, regional media reported on Tuesday.

Senior religious councils in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates said the new moon had been sighted on Tuesday, signalling the start of Ramadan on the following day.

In Yemen, the month will also begin on Wednesday, while Oman will mark Thursday as the first day of Ramadan, state media said.

Muslims scan the sky at night in search of the new moon to determine the start of Ramadan, the holiest month for the world’s more than one billion Muslims, during which observant believers fast from dawn to dusk.

Businesses and offices reduce opening hours during the day and often re-open in the evenings.

(Reporting by Firouz Sedarat; additional reporting by Mohammed Mokhashaf in Aden; editing by Andrew Roche)

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