Moon should be visible after sunset on Sunday

In this July 6, 2015 file photo, a man fixes a mosque's minaret with a crescent moon symbol during the holy month of Ramadan in Jeddah. (REUTERS)
Updated 04 June 2016

Moon should be visible after sunset on Sunday

ABHA: The director of the astronomical observatory at Majmaah University, Abdullah Al-Khudairi, said the Ramadan crescent this year will appear on Sunday evening 20 minutes after sunset, which is enough time for it to be observed by the naked eye.
He said any error in the signing of the crescent of Ramadan does not affect the sighting of the crescent of Dul Hijjah, as the lunar months adjust themselves.
He attributed the rejection of the Supreme Court of the testimony of some witnesses to problems and lack of trust in the observer. All those providing testimony are closely questioned by the judge about their sighting in detail, and must provide accurate descriptions of the crescent, shadows and proximity to the sun. Only matching testimonies are accepted.
He said the astronomical observatory in Hawtat Sadir follows general observation processes, noting that a unit called the Crescent Observation Unit specializes in monitoring the crescent moon in all months of the year, and the movement of the moon during each month. He said the observatory includes a professor from Cairo University and another from Helwan Observatory.
He said observers face many challenges these days with regard to sighting the entry and exit of Ramadan, including the presence of many people at the observation site.

Motorsport, rock bands, tourists … welcome to the new Saudi Arabia

There was an explosion of joy at the podium when Antonio Felix da Costa lifted the winner’s trophy at the conclusion of the Formula E Saudia Ad Diriyah E-Prix on Saturday. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 16 December 2018

Motorsport, rock bands, tourists … welcome to the new Saudi Arabia

  • Three-day event at Ad Diriyah reaches spectacular climax in an unprecedented spirit of openness

The driver with the winner’s trophy was Antonio Felix da Costa — but the real winners were Saudi Arabia itself, and more than 1,000 tourists visiting the country for the first time.

Da Costa, the Andretti Motorsport driver, won the Formula E Saudia Ad Diriyah E-Prix in front of thousands of race fans at a custom-built track in the historic district on the outskirts of Riyadh.

But in truth, the event was about much more than high-tech electric cars hurtling round a race track — thrilling though that was. The three-day festival of motorsport, culture and entertainment was Saudi Arabia’s chance to prove that it can put on a show to rival anything in the world, and which only two years ago would have been unthinkable.

The event was also the first to be linked to the Sharek electronic visa system, allowing foreigners other than pilgrims or business visitors to come to Saudi Arabia.

Jason, from the US, is spending a week in the country with his German wife, riding quad bikes in the desert and visiting heritage sites. “I’ve always wanted to come for many, many years ... I’m so happy to be here and that they’re letting us be here,” he said.

Aaron, 40, a software engineer, traveled from New York for two days. “Saudi Arabia has always been an exotic place ... and I didn’t think I’d ever be able to come here,” he said.

About 1,000 visitors used the Sharek visa, a fraction of what Saudi Arabia aims eventually to attract. 

“Hopefully we will learn from this and see what we need to do for the future, but I can tell you from now that there is a lot of demand,” said Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, vice chairman of the General Sports Authority.

His optimism was backed by Kirill Dmitriev, chief executive of the Russian Direct Investment Fund and a visitor to Ad Diriyah. “Such events will attract tourists and are a true celebration for young Saudis who desire a bright future,” he said.

“The vision of moderate Islam, promoted by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is important both for the region and the entire world, and its realization needs to be appreciated, respected and supported.”

The event ended on Saturday night with a spectacular show by US band OneRepublic and the superstar DJ David Guetta. “Just when you think things can’t get better, they suddenly do,” said concertgoer Saleh Saud. “This is the new Saudi Arabia, and I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen next.”