Time Difference Between India and Dubai | History of Time Zone & its Implications

Time Difference Between India and Dubai

Do you want to call someone to Dubai from India? You need to understand the time zone difference between Dubai and India. India is 1 hour and 30 minutes ahead of Dubai. 

When the time in India is 11:47 am, Monday, May 27, 2024, then in Dubai, it is 10:17 am, Monday, May 27, 2024. Dubai or UAE time is 1.5 hours behind India time. Let’s understand the time zones of both regions, the reasons for the time difference and many more.

Time Zones and Time Difference

India operates on Indian Standard Time (IST)which is UTC+5:30. It means, India is 5 hours and 30 minutes ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) or Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). Indian Standard Time (IST) time zone is used in the entire country from the westernmost part of Gujarat to the easternmost part of Arunachal Pradesh. Whole Indians maintain the same time without any regional variations. Remember, India does not observe Daylight Saving Time (DST), which means it maintains a constant time offset throughout the year. This consistency is crucial for daily activities in the country and internationally. The IST time zone was officially adopted during British rule in 1906. Kolkata’s time is selected as the reference point. The central meridian for Indian Standard Time is 82.5° East longitude, which passes near Allahabad, Kolkata. This longitude is selected because of minimises the time difference between the eastern and western parts of the country.


Whereas, Dubai or United Arab Emirates (UAE), operates on Gulf Standard Time (GST), which is UTC+4:00. It means, Dubai is 4 hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) or Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). The entire UAE, including Dubai, follows the same time zone throughout the year. Like India, Dubai does not observe Daylight Saving Time, which means there are no seasonal changes in the clock. The lack of DST helps maintain consistent scheduling for international trade, travel, and communications. 

Time Difference: As we know, there are two different time zones for India and Dubai. The time difference between India (IST) and Dubai (GST) is 1 hour and 30 minutes. India is ahead in time with Dubai.

For example,

  • Noon in Dubai, it is 1:30 PM in India
  • 4:30 PM in Dubai, it is 6:00 PM in India
  • Midnight in Dubai, it is 1:30 PM in India.
  • 12:20 AM in Dubai, it is 1:50 AM in India.



History of Time Zone

The time difference between countries usually creates confusion and discomfort when we go on a trip. Let’s understand the history of Time Zone-

Before the invention of time zones, each town and city used clocks based on the position of the sun. This worked well when travel and communication were slow. But with time, we need a standardised time system.

In 1884, the International Longitude Convention was organised in Washington, D.C., United States. In the convention, it was decided to divide the planet into 24 meridians. Meridians are imaginary lines that go from the North Pole to the South Pole and divide the Earth into 24 different regions. The distance between two meridians is the time zone, and there is an hour difference between them.

Among them, the zero meridian is referred to as the base meridian. Greenwich Line, located in the United Kingdom is selected as zero meridian. Therefore, the measurement of time, known as GMT, was related to this point.


Later, in 1972, Universal Time was established (UTC), which is measured using atomic clocks and not by the position of the sun, something more precise. Also, UTC starts counting from midnight, unlike GMT ( Greenwich Mean Time ), which has been doing so since noon. However, it also takes the Greenwich meridian as a reference. Therefore, when we see time zones of different parts of the world, it is common with different Time Zone abbreviations like GMT, UTC, etc.

  • India is referred to as Indian Standard Time (IST). India established their official time zone as IST in 1905 during British rule. India’s wide geographic distribution, even with minor regional variations in daylight hours, ISI is a practical choice.
  • Dubai is referred to as Gulf Standard Time (GST). The GST time zone is shared with other Gulf countries, due to their previous agreements to preserve a consistent standard time and their relatively near geographical locations.


Implications of the Time Difference

The time difference of 1 hour and 30 minutes impacts several aspects of life and work in both regions-

  • Business: Businesses and companies must consider this time difference when Scheduling meetings, calls and deadlines. It affects the working hours overlap.
  • Financial Market: financial markets also operate on different schedules in both regions. The time difference influences the trading time and investment decision.
  • Flight Time while traveling: Travellers should consider the time difference when planning flights. It is important to avoid missed connections or missed flights.
  • Tourist Activities: To understand the time difference, also help to plan activities, and tours, and check into accommodations.
  • Communication: When talking to friends and family across the region, it is important to consider time and call on the best time.
  • Online meetings: Online meetings and webinars often require careful planning of time due to different time zones.
  • Media Consumption: To reach a wider audience, live broadcasts, including news and sports events are planned taking into account time zones.


Every nation has its own time and time zones. The United Arab Emirates (Dubai) and India, might be Asian countries and follow the same history, But the time zones vary. India operates IST and Dubai operates GST, which keeps Indians 1:30 hours ahead of Dubai. If the current time in Dubai is 4:00 PM, then in India, It is 5:30 PM. The difference in time zones creates confusion in personal and business life. Hence it is important to consider the time zones whenever planning a trip, talking with friends or doing anything from India to Dubai or Dubai to India.


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