Saturday, March 07, 2015

Daylight Savings Time in Saudi Arabia

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is one of the 161 countries that do not observe Daylight Saving Time. Why would it? There is so much daylight here, why bother saving it? It's an understatement to say that the available supply of sunshine in Saudi Arabia borders on the extreme. Also, considering that the local supply of oil makes gasoline cheaper than water here, it only stands to reason that sunlight would be equally undervalued. Of course, you can't really put sunshine in a bottle for export...but I digress.

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So, today, the Kingdom stays at UTC+3 while Washington D.C. goes from UTC-5 to UTC-4. It gets confusing, but there are several useful time zone converters/calculators that account for dates as well. In practical terms, this actually doubles the amount of time we have available for teleconferencing. Seriously. Doubles. But when you're talking about so few hours of overlap during the workweek, every minute matters. At least we're not in one of the countries that are 30 minutes off the nearest timezone (usually depicted with stripes on timezone maps).
Time Zone Infographic: Eastern Time (EST & EDT) vs Saudia Arabia (KSA)
If you didn't know, the work week in Saudi Arabia runs from Sunday to Thursday, so that already cuts the overlap with the rest of the Monday-to-Friday world down to a maximum four days a week. If your workday runs from 8am (0800) to 5pm (1700), when you account for an eight hour time difference, the only practical time (aka "the Golden Hour") for a teleconference that doesn't have barking dogs or screaming children in the background is 4-5pm local / 8-9am in D.C. With the U.S. "springing" forward an hour, we get a "bonus" hour and can now call between 3-5pm local / 8-10am in D.C. four days a week. Like I said, doubled. Well, that's about all I have to say about daylight saving time in Saudi Arabia. And I've still got an hour to spare.

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