Eidul Fitr in Saudi Arabia will fall on Sunday (May 24) as the Shawwal moon was not sighted in the country on Friday, according to the authorities.

The crescent — as predicted — is likely to be spotted on May 23 (Saturday), reported Kahleej Times.

The UAE had also convened a virtual meeting of the moon sighting committee on Friday, and is yet to make an official announcement.

This year’s Eid prayer will be performed at home to ensure safety, as mosques across Saudi Arabia will remain closed due to the precautionary measures to contain the spread of Covid-19.

The authorities urged public to avoid social gatherings and follow social distancing guidelines.

Saudi Islamic Affairs Minister Abdullatif al-Sheikh gave instructions not to have Eid prayers in mosques, Saudi state TV quoted him as saying.

“Muslims will hold the Eid prayer at home because of the pandemic,” the Saudi Press Agency cited Sheikh Abdul Bari al-Thubaiti, the imam, or the prayer leader, of the Prophet’s Mosque in Madina, as saying in the Friday sermon.

In the UAE, the Dubai government’s media office said on Twitter that mosques will remain closed, and listed a series of Eid customs that should not be observed, including family visits and giving gifts or money to children.

(With input from Reuters)