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Kazakhstan to Move to a Single Time Zone

From March 1, 2024, Kazakhstan will change from using two time zones to observing only one time zone in the entire territory: UTC+5.

Panorama of the Astana city timelapse and the president's residence Akorda with park Astana, Kazakhstan. Cloudy sky at summer day

All of Kazakhstan will have one zone time zone starting March 1, 2024. In the capital, Astana, the time will change from a UTC offset of +6 to UTC+5.

©iStockphoto.com/Kyrylo Neiezhmakov

In Eastern Kazakhstan (locations observing UTC+6) clocks will be turned back 1 hour from 00:00 (midnight) on March 1 to 23:00 (11:00 pm) on February 29, 2024.

For 96 years, Kazakhstan has been split into two time zones: UTC+5 in the west and UTC+6 in the east. However, starting March 1, the entire country will use one time zone.

Eliminates Time Barriers Between Regions

Kazakhstan Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov signed the decree on January 19, 2024, after Kazakh scientists and experts proposed establishing a single time zone in the country.

Arguing that most regions would use the time closest to the Sun's cycle, the experts believe that this will eliminate time barriers between residents of different areas, improve the coordination of transport and other communications, and benefit business and emergency services.

Could Have Three or Four Time Zones

As the world's largest landlocked country, Kazakhstan covers a range of 46.48° longitude from its western border to 86.88° longitude at its eastern edge, which is a distance of almost 3000 kilometers (about 1800 miles). While its geographical dimensions could warrant using three or four time zones, the country has now landed on one time zone, same as its eastern neighbor China.

The country last used Daylight Saving Time in 2005, when it was cancelled.