About Uzbekistan

New modernized Samarkand International Airport opens at the heart of the Silk Road
21 March 2022
New modernized Samarkand International Airport opens at the heart of the Silk Road

The grand opening of the newly modernized Samarkand International Airport with its brand new terminal took place on 18 March 2022 in Uzbekistan.

Samarkand International Airport has opened itself to local and international passengers with a brand new terminal and a capacity to serve triple more people. An initial flight from Tashkent to Samarkand by Uzbekistan Airways became a part of the opening ceremony of the airport.

The new design of the airport is shaped like an open book, which is based on a manuscript published by the famous astronomer and Governor Mirzo Ulugbek, who ruled over Samarkand in the 15th century. The width of the airport building reaches 175 meters, whereas the height makes 25 meters.  

More than 250 people attended the grand opening ceremony of the Samarkand International Airport, among which were the First Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan Achilbay Ramatov, the Minister of Transport Ilkhom Makhkamov, Khokim of the Samarkand Region Erkinjon Turdimov, and the Chairman of the Board of Uzbekistan Airports Rano Juraeva.

In the shape of a new modernization project, Samarkand International Airport will have a capacity to serve up to 1,000 passengers per hour and up to 120 flights weekly. The new project also includes a runway extension of 3.1 km, a total of 24 new aircraft parking spaces available, and modernized infrastructure.

International standard modernizations include easy access for passengers with limited mobility, 29 check-in desks, eight boarding gates, four air stairs, ten passport control booths, six E-gates for departing passengers, and 15 passport control booths for arriving passengers.

The total cost of the project makes 80 million USD. The project was designed by the Turkish company KIKLOP and the construction process was implemented by the Uzbek Company Enter Engineering.

The project is a public-private venture between Air Marakanda and state partner Uzbekistan Airports JCS. The operation of the Samarkand International Airport is handled by Air Marakanda Company, involving foreign ex-pats and experts in the management.

The Deputy General Director of Operations Air Marakanda, Hilmi Yilmaz, said:

“On behalf of the entire staff of Air Marakanda, I thank our government and all partners, without whom the implementation of such a large-scale project would have been impossible. I am certain that Samarkand International Airport, as one of the region’s most important infrastructure facilities, will stimulate economic growth and business development in the adjacent areas, creating jobs for the local population and benefiting society as a whole. An airport is the first thing you see when you arrive in a country and the last thing you see when you leave. Samarkand International Airport will become a ‘visiting card’ of Uzbekistan.”

Independent research by market research company, Lufthansa Consulting, forecasts an increase in annual passenger traffic from 480,000 to two million. The airport used to serve only five destinations in 2019, and the operating company Air Marakanda plans to increase the number of destinations to 30 by 2030.

This year flights will operate 3 times a week to Moscow, Istanbul, Tashkent, and 2 times a week to Almaty and Saint Petersburg. The following year Sharjah and Krasnoyarsk are in the planned destinations for the following year. Additional flights will be organized upon demand and necessity.



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Did you know?

Uzbekistan is one of only two countries in the world to be ‘double landlocked’ (landlocked and totally surrounded by other landlocked countries). Liechtenstein is double landlocked by 2 countries whilst Uzbekistan is surrounded by 5!

Did you know that Uzbekistan lies in the very heart of Eurasia, the coordinates for Uzbekistan are 41.0000° N, 69.0000°

Uzbekistan is home to the Muruntan gold mine, one of the largest open pit gold mines in the world! The country has 4th largest reserves of gold in the world after South Africa, USA and Russia

Uzbekistan is the world capital of melons. They have in excess of 150 different varieties, which form a staple part of the local diet, served fresh in the summer and eaten dried through the winter.

It is Uzbek tradition that the most respected guest be seated farthest from the house’s entrance.

Tashkent’s metro features chandeliers, marble pillars and ceilings, granite, and engraved metal. It has been called one of the most beautiful train stations in the world.

The Uzbek master chef is able to cook in just one caldron enough plov to serve a thousand men.

When you are a host to someone, it is your duty to fill their cups with for the whole time they are with you.  What you must not do, however, is to fill their cup more than half-full.  If you do that as a mistake, say it is a mistake immediately.  Doing it means you want them to leave.  Wow!  Amazing, right?

To Uzbeks, respect means a whole lot.  For this reason they love it if, even as foreigners, you endeavour to add the respectful suffix opa after a woman's name; and aka after a man's.  Example: Linda-opa and David-aka.  You could also use hon and jon respectively.

Having been an historic crossroads for centuries as part of various ancient empires, Uzbekistan’s food is very eclectic. It has its roots in Iranian, Arab, Indian, Russian and Chinese cuisine.

Though identified with the Persia, the Zoroastrism probably originated in Bactria or Sogdiana. Many distinguished scholars share an opinion that Zoroastrianism had originated in the ancient Khorezm. Indeed, today in the world there were found 63 Zoroastrian monuments, including those in Iran, India, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Thirty-eight of them are in Uzbekistan, whereas 17 of these monuments are located in Khorezm.

One of Islam's most sacred relics - the world's oldest Koran that was compiled in Medina by Othman, the third caliph or Muslim leader, is kept in Tashkent. It was completed in the year 651, only 19 years after Muhammad's death. 

Tashkent is the only megapolis in the world where public transport is totally comprised of Mercedes buses. And due to low urban air polution it is one of the few cities where one can still see the stars in the sky.

You would be surprised to know that modern TV was born in Tashkent. No joke! The picture of moving objects was transmitted by radio first time in the world in Tashkent on 26 of July 1928 by inventors B.P. Grabovsky and I.F. Belansky.

Uzbekistan is the only country in the world all of whose neighbours have their names ending in STAN. This is also the only country in Central Asia that borders all of the countries of this region

Uzbeks are the third populous Turkik ethnicity in the world after Turks and Azeris (leaving both in Azerbaijan and Iran)

Did you know that there was silk money in Khiva? Super interesting right? Of course, but the best part of having silk money was that it could be sewn into your clothing.

Famous Islamic physician Ibn Sina (Avicenna in the Latin world) who was born near Bukhara was the one of the first people to advocate using women’s hair as suture material – about 1400 years ago.

Uzbekistan has a long and bloody history. The most notorious leader of Uzbekistan was Timur (or Tamerlane) who claimed descent from Genghis Khan. His military campaigns have been credited for wiping out some 5% of the world’s population at the time.

If you have thought that some of the Islamic architecture in Uzbekistan resembles that from Northern India, then that is because Timur’s great great great Grandson, Babur Beg, was the founder of the Moghul Empire that ruled much of India for almost four centuries! Babur’s great great Grandson was Shah Jahan, who built the Taj Mahal.

Uzbekistan was once a rum producig country. There is still a real arboretum in Denau (city near Termez on the border with Afghanistan), grown from a selection station that studied the prospects of plant growing in the unusual for the Soviet Union subtropical climate of Surkhandarya region: only here in the whole of the USSR sugar cane was grown and even rum was produced!

Uzbekistan has been ranked one of the safest countries in the world, according to a new global poll. The annual Gallup Global Law and Order asked if people felt safe walking at night and whether they had been victims of crime. The survey placed Uzbekistan 5th out of 135 countries, while the UK was 21st and the US 35th. Top five safest countries:

  • Singapore
  • Norway
  • Iceland
  • Finland
  • Uzbekistan
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