July 31, 2011 / 2:41 AM / 6 years ago

Saudi, most Gulf states to start Ramadan on Monday

DUBAI (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam, will start the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan on Monday along with most other Gulf states, regional media said on Saturday.

Reports from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates said the new moon had not been sighted after sunset on Saturday, indicating that Sunday would be regarded as the last day of the Muslim lunar month preceding Ramadan.

In nearby Yemen, Ramadan will also start on Monday.

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 Mukhashaf in Aden; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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