About Uzbekistan

The 65th Meeting of the UNWTO Commission for Europe is officially open in Samarkand
25 June 2020
The 65th Meeting of the UNWTO Commission for Europe is officially open in Samarkand

The 65th Meeting of the UNWTO Regional Commission for Europe (CEU) has opened in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. The meeting is planned to be held during 24-25 June 2020.

The event was opened by the Deputy Prime Minister, Chairman of the State Committee for Tourism Development, Aziz Abduhakimov and the Chairman of the Regional Commission - Minister of Tourism of Greece, Harry Theoharis.

“Thanks to the radical reforms carried out in recent years by the initiative of the President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, unprecedented opportunities have opened up for all sectors of the Uzbek economy, including the tourism industry,” said Aziz Abdukhakimov.

More than 300 members of delegations from ministries and departments in the field of tourism and related areas from more than 40 are attending the meeting in online videoconference mode.

The main topic of the meeting is about the impact of the pandemic on tourism and overcoming its consequences. The online event also includes interagency discussions on the “COVID-19 Response Policy” reports by the UNWTO and the International Finance Corporation on the Green Tool. The participants will also discuss the issue of holding the next 66th meeting in a full format, where Uzbekistan is expected to be re-nominated as a host candidate again.

Additionally, it was also mentioned that Uzbekistan is paying great attention to social protection in the tourism field. For instance, the services of guides and excursionists are in the list of tax-free activities, where self-employed persons can also get engaged, as well as the fact that guides receive a pension upon reaching the retirement age.

“We all need to combine our efforts to overcome the current crisis in the tourism sector. Only then we will be able to achieve sustainable development of the tourism industry during the pandemic” said Deputy Prime Minister Aziz Abdukhakimov.

Following the speech by UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili, Director of the European Department Alessandra Priante introduced the participants to the work performed in Europe during the COVID-19 period and the initiatives planned for the future. The meeting also included interdepartmental discussions on the topic “COVID-19 Response Policies”, as well as the speeches by UNWTO and the International Finance Corporation on the topic of the green financing instruments.

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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
Exchange rates
100 RUR
13606.31 UZS
100 USD
1250001.02 UZS
100 EUR
1353147.75 UZS
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1585376.21 UZS
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