Gulf Countries Witness First 'Ring of Fire' Eclipse in 100 Years

The annular eclipse, in which 90 percent of the sun was covered by the moon, was visible for less than three minutes

Saudi women wearing special protective glasses monitor the annular solar eclipse on Jabal Arba in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, December 26, 2019.

Wearing special glasses, thousands of people across the Gulf region gathered in the early hours of Thursday to witness a rare annular solar eclipse, the first in around a century in several countries.

Around 5,000 people watched the "ring of fire" eclipse in Saudi Arabia's central al-Ahsa province at sunrise, visible for around two minutes and 59 seconds, Saudi media reported.

Saudi Arabia as well as neighbouring Bahrain said this was the first annular solar eclipse in around 100 years.

Many also gathered at the United Arab Emirates Space Agency in the capital Abu Dhabi to see the phenomenon, which the agency said took place in the country for the first time since 1847.

The moon moves in front of the sun in a rare "ring of fire" solar eclipse as seen from Tanjung Piai, Malaysia on December 26, 2019.

The annular eclipse was also visible in Qatar. The Qatari news agency QNA said the sun was 90 per cent covered.

In Oman, a partial eclipse lasted for two hours and 27 minutes, while a three-minute-long annular eclipse was only visible in some provinces.

A composite image showing the moon as it moves in front of the sun in a rare "ring of fire" solar eclipse as seen from Tanjung Piai in Malaysia, December 26, 2019.