The move aims to give them a fresh start in life…

Ahead of Ramadan, which is expected to start on Friday April 24, His Highness UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has pardoned 1,511 prisoners. The prisoners were serving various sentences and the leader also pledged to settle any outstanding debts owed by the inmates.

The release of the inmates aims to provide the prisoners with an opportunity to start a new life and alleviating their families’ hardship, as well as giving them the opportunity to reintegrate themselves into society.

Rulers of the UAE often pardon prisoners around religious holidays as a sign of forgiveness, with more than 4,000 prisoners released during Ramadan last year.

The inmates selected have all shown signs of good behaviour, and are considered safe to be placed back into society. Many include those who have been jailed for financial crimes or debts.

As always, the start of Ramadan will depend on the moon sighting. The moon sighting committee are scheduled to have a video conference meeting on Thursday night to decide on the start date.

If the new moon is sighted on Thursday night, Ramadan will begin on Friday April 24. If not, the start date will be on Saturday April 25. Reduced working hours for the public sector have already been announced, with each employee working five hours per day.

Eid Al Fitr, the end of Ramadan and the start of the Shawwal month, is expected to begin on Sunday, May 24.

Image: Getty