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Is the World's Best Time Zone in Dubai?

Updated: Mar 22, 2023

Have you ever thought or wondered about what the world's best time zone could be?

It is a fascinating question whose answer largely depends on which countries you are working with and where your family and friends are located.

Furthermore, a closer look reveals that timezones, in combination with the geographical location of a city have a significant impact on the amount of (sunny) daytime, seasonal changes in sunrise and sunset times, and the general rhythm of a place.

The UAE’s time zone, Gulf Standard Time (GST) is 4 hours ahead of UTC (Coordinated Universal Time), also known as GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) or the UK’s standard time zone.

As shown in the below map, few countries or regions are located in this timezone. The only other countries are neighboring Oman and the Caucasus nations of Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan. Even Saudi Arabia is 1 hour behind.

The UAE is located in the UTC+4 timezone. Source:

Due to the UAE’s proximity to the equator, the amount of daytime varies only slightly between the heights of winter and summer. We don’t have super short days in winter or very long days in summer like Canada or Norway and Sweden.

In Dubai, the sun rises around 7 am in winter, and around 5:30 am in summer. It sets as early as 5:40 pm in winter and as late as 7:10 pm in summer.

There is no daylight savings time or summer time.

The relatively early sunset during summer is highly conducive to residents. With daytime temperatures above 40 degrees celsius in the summer months, everyone is waiting for the sun to set before venturing outside.

The UAE and Dubai like to stay up late, and leisure activities from golfing to visiting the mall stretch out well into the evening and night, again due to the generally hot daytime temperatures.

Most of Europe and Africa are just 3-4 hours behind (2-3 hours during summer), India is 1.5h hours ahead, and China is just 4h.

As a result, you can easily communicate with two-thirds of the world without rising up early or working well into the night.

While North and South America are a bit further away in terms of timezone, with a 9-12h time difference depending on whether you are looking at New York or Los Angeles, communicating with those places is still easily feasible thanks to Dubai’s working hours that tend to be shifted later into the day.

Dubai’s central location means that intercontinental phone conferences between North America, Europe, and the Far East fall into the comfortable afternoon time in the UAE. You won’t have to get up early or stay long into the evening at work. You won’t have to miss or delay lunch either like the Europeans.

If you are frequently working with people on different continents, a productive day would start with the morning hours reserved for talking to business partners in Asia, the middle of the day with colleagues in the Middle East and Europe, and the late afternoon with the Americas.

What’s not to love about the UAE’s time zone?

In summary, the main advantages of Dubai's timezone are:

  • Minimal differences in the length of day between winter and summer

  • No short days in winter, and no super long days in summer

  • Relatively early sunsets during summer allow you to stay out of the heat when you enjoy your time off after work

  • Convenient location in between China, Europe, and the Americas for easier communication, especially when multi-continental phone conferences are involved


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