About Uzbekistan

Samarkand International Airport to be transformed into a major Tourist Hub
18 April 2021
Samarkand International Airport to be transformed into a major Tourist Hub

Project Company of AIR SAMARKANDA together with the experts of the Munich International Airport and the Istanbul International Airport are working on implementing a unique program in Uzbekistan – ORAT (Operational Readiness, Activation and Transition).

ORAT is about the flights operational readiness methodology and techniques, launching the flights operation and transferring the flights operational activities into a new infrastructure. The current program enables to systemize and synchronize the highly sophisticated system of a huge number of various technological and business processes on the start-up and launching of both the new terminal, as well as the whole airport in general.

According to the experts, ORAT Program will provide implementing advanced technologies in the operation of airports, will satisfy the demand of the airlines, passengers, as well as the population, and will transform the Samarkand International Airport into a major transportation and touristic hub as a result.

AIR SAMARKANDA was founded in 2020 for the implementation of the project on the modernization and operation of Samarkand International Airport. The main strategic aims of the company on modernizing the airport are the development of the air route network, implementation and improvement of safe flights operations system that meets international standards, bringing the operation at the airport to IATA (ISAGO) operation safety international standards level, as well as the modernization of airport infrastructure and applying advanced technologies, modern aviation technologies and mechanisms in the operation process.

As a part of the project, the airport personnel is going to have a training on the new systems of serving the passengers, luggage services and aircrafts. All the regulatory documents, business-procedures and airport procedures will be designed according to the international standards.

Lufthansa, KPMG и Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer are working on the financial feasibility and legal compliance of operating the new airport.

After modernization, Samarkand International Airport will be able to receive up to 1.4 million passengers a year. Moreover, the airport will be able to increase its capacity from 600 to 1,200 passengers per hour. The total cost of the project is $62 million. 

Starting 1 August 2020, all regional airports of Uzbekistan have introduced Open Skies regime for two years with the possibility of its further extension. This regime will be introduced at Samarkand International Airport upon the completion of reconstruction works.

The current project is planned to create additional convenience for the visitors of Uzbekistan, traveling not only to Samarkand, but also planning to visit other ancient cities of Uzbekistan, such as Bukhara, Khiva, Fergana and the modern capital city Tashkent.

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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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