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When Should I Travel to Iraq?

Best Time for U.S. Firms to Visit Iraq
The months from October through June are generally considered the best period for foreign business representatives to visit Iraq.  Public and private sector officials usually vacation during some part of the period July to September.  Business trips during the fasting month of Ramadan are not advisable as most Iraqi businessmen focus on family and worship.

Officially, Iraq uses the Gregorian calendar, with corresponding dates in the Hijra (Islamic) calendar. There are two major religious holidays that vary from year to year, as they are based on the lunar calendar. Eid Al-Fitr marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan (during which business hours are restricted to five hours per day) and Eid Al-Adha marks the conclusion of the pilgrimage (Hajj) to Mecca. The exact dates of these holidays are determined by the government shortly in advance of their observance.  Government ministries are generally closed for a longer period than private and partially private entities.

To view when the U.S. Embassy closes for American and Iraqi holidays, click here.

Local Time and Business Hours
Iraq local time is GMT plus 3 hours. Iraq is 8 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time, except during Daylight Saving Time, when it is 7 hours ahead.

Government Hours
8:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Sunday through Thursday.

Private-Sector Hours
Private sector hours are generally 8:00 AM to 12:30 PM and 4:00 PM to 7:30 PM, Saturday through Thursday. Friday, the Muslim holy day, is a day of rest for all sectors; however, shops and shopping malls are open on Friday evenings.

U.S. Embassy Hours
8:00 AM to 4:30 PM, Sunday through Thursday


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