About Uzbekistan

The visit of the Secretary General of the World Tourism Organization to Uzbekistan: Meeting with the President, Visit to Silk Road Samarkand Complex and Culinary contest
08 November 2022
The visit of the Secretary General of the World Tourism Organization to Uzbekistan: Meeting with the President, Visit to Silk Road Samarkand Complex and Culinary contest

Secretary General of the UNWTO – World Tourism Organization Zurab Pololikashvili arrived in Uzbekistan last week and at the airport, he was welcomed by Aziz Abdukhakimov, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Tourism and Cultural Heritage of Uzbekistan.

During the visit, Zurab Pololikashvili took part in the Economic Forum of Uzbekistan held on 3-4 November in the ancient Silk Road city of Samarkand. The second Uzbekistan Economic Forum gathered the world's leading economists, investors, and international experts.

The Secretary General of the World Tourism Organization also visited the tourist village "Konigil" and the "Eternal City" in the tourist center of Samarkand. Zurab Pololikashvili emphasized the potential of the new tourist complex Silk Road Samarkand, which has recently opened its doors to tourists traveling to Uzbekistan.

We would like to remind you that the Silk Road Samarkand is a multifunctional tourist complex designed to become a modern attraction not only of Samarkand city but also of entire Central Asia. The complex combines cultural, gastro, medical and business tourism facilities.

On 7 November, President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev received the Secretary General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Zurab Pololikashvili. Shavkat Mirziyoyev stressed the importance of further expanding multifaceted cooperation between Uzbekistan and the World Tourism Organization.

The agenda of the meeting included issues of further expansion of practical cooperation between Uzbekistan and UNWTO.

It should be noted that Uzbekistan has been a member of the UNWTO since 1993. Over the past period, important initiatives and joint programs have been implemented aimed at unlocking the huge potential of the industry and promoting the tourism brand of Uzbekistan at the international level. There is also a regional office of the Organization for the Great Silk Road in Uzbekistan.

The partnership between Uzbekistan and UNWTO has intensified noticeably in recent years. Currently, joint preparations are underway for the 25th session of the UNWTO General Assembly, which will be held in the city of Samarkand in 2023.

During the conversation, Zurab Pololikashvili highly appreciated the results of the ongoing reforms to develop modern tourism infrastructure in Uzbekistan, including the creation of favorable conditions for the implementation of business initiatives that contribute to the qualitative growth of external and internal tourism indicators.

An agreement was reached on the adoption of a "road map" to expand mutually beneficial cooperation between Uzbekistan and the UNWTO, which will include measures to promote the tourism brand of Uzbekistan, conduct effective information campaigns, train highly qualified personnel, and implement other important projects.

As an entertaining part of his visit to Uzbekistan, the Secretary General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Zurab Pololikashvili took part in a culinary competition as well. Zurab Pololikashvili prepared a Georgian dish during the culinary competition held on the territory of the all-season resort Amirsoy Resorts. At the same time, Aziz Abdukhakimov, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Tourism and Cultural Heritage of Uzbekistan, prepared the Uzbek national dish.

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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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