For the first time in many years Iraq will not observe daylight saving time, which usually falls on April 1 each year. The decision to cancel daylight saving time in 2008 was made at a meeting for Iraq's Council of Ministers recently.
A Change of Times
For some citizens, the abolition of daylight saving time marks another change that comes with the political changes over the past few years. However, there are also claims that there is no relationship between the daylight saving cancellation and governmental changes, as the decision was a matter of science.
According to Aswat al-Iraq (Voices of Iraq), a spokesperson from the Prime Minister's office said the Kurdistan Regional Government stood in conformity with the Iraqi government's decision to abolish daylight saving time. A spokesperson for the Kurdistan Regional Government confirmed that its decision to cancel daylight saving time coincided with the Iraqi government's choice on that matter.
The Iraqi government's decision to abolish daylight saving time aimed to increase energy efficiency through means such as minimizing airconditioning usage. The cancellation of daylight saving time shortens periods of daylight in the summer, especially during warm days when energy usage for cooling systems could increase. Many citizens, including some students and workers, have welcomed the decision, declaring it as ''useful''.
However, with the change came opposing opinions. Some citizens believed the abolishment of daylight saving time would be difficult because it was integrated into their lives for so many years. Still, there are those who believed that life would be less complicated without daylight saving time as there would be less confusion and interruption associated with time, including changes to schedules and food preparations.
Iraq's Recent Daylight Saving History
In the past, daylight saving was used in Iraq as a means to reduce the consumption of electrical energy in labs, factories and in domestic environments. The addition of the extra hour in the afternoon meant that the use of lighting was reduced.
For many years, many parts of Iraq which included the capital city of Baghdad moved the clock forward by one hour on April 1 to reflect daylight saving time. Iraq returned to standard time to mark the start of the winter months on October 1 each year. Working hours in government institutions were scheduled from 8am to 3pm, except for the Ministry of Higher Education and the Ministery of Health, when working hours finished at 2pm.
Dates of daylight saving time 1982–2007
These are the dates Daylight Saving Time started and ended in Baghdad since Iraq first observed DST in 1982.
|Year||Start date||End date||Daylight duration|
|1982||May 1||Oct 1||21 weeks and 6 days|
|1983||Mar 31||Oct 1||26 weeks and 2 days|
|1984||Apr 1||Oct 1||26 weeks and 1 day|
|1985||Apr 1||Sep 29||25 weeks and 6 days|
|1986||Mar 30||Sep 28||26 weeks|
|1987||Mar 29||Sep 27||26 weeks|
|1988||Mar 27||Sep 25||26 weeks|
|1989||Mar 26||Sep 24||26 weeks|
|1990||Mar 25||Sep 30||27 weeks|
|1991||Apr 1||Oct 1||26 weeks and 1 day|
|1992||Apr 1||Oct 1||26 weeks and 1 day|
|1993||Apr 1||Oct 1||26 weeks and 1 day|
|1994||Apr 1||Oct 1||26 weeks and 1 day|
|1995||Apr 1||Oct 1||26 weeks and 1 day|
|1996||Apr 1||Oct 1||26 weeks and 1 day|
|1997||Apr 1||Oct 1||26 weeks and 1 day|
|1998||Apr 1||Oct 1||26 weeks and 1 day|
|1999||Apr 1||Oct 1||26 weeks and 1 day|
|2000||Apr 1||Oct 1||26 weeks and 1 day|
|2001||Apr 1||Oct 1||26 weeks and 1 day|
|2002||Apr 1||Oct 1||26 weeks and 1 day|
|2003||Apr 1||Oct 1||26 weeks and 1 day|
|2004||Apr 1||Oct 1||26 weeks and 1 day|
|2005||Apr 1||Oct 1||26 weeks and 1 day|
|2006||Apr 1||Oct 1||26 weeks and 1 day|
|2007||Apr 1||Oct 1||26 weeks and 1 day|