About Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan enhances cooperation in pilgrimage tourism with Malaysia
20 October 2022
Uzbekistan enhances cooperation in pilgrimage tourism with Malaysia

Khokim of Bukhara region met with the Minister of Tourism of Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur to discuss perspectives on cooperation in pilgrimage tourism between the countries.

The delegation of the Bukhara region, headed by Khokim Botir Zaripov, who is on a visit to Kuala Lumpur, held talks with the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture of Malaysia Nancy Shukri and the Director General of the Islamic Tourism Center under the Ministry Razip Hassan.

During the meeting, the parties noted the successful development of cultural and humanitarian cooperation between Uzbekistan and Malaysia and the perspectives of further intensifying ties in the field of tourism with the Bukhara region.

Nancy Shukri highly appreciated the measures taken by the Government of our country to develop and modernize the tourism infrastructure of Uzbekistan against the background of the negative consequences of the pandemic on the economy and hospitality industry of other countries. In this context, the Malaysian side congratulated the Uzbek partners on the opening of the International Tourism Center "The Great Silk Road" in Samarkand, which will serve to strengthen the status of Samarkand city as the "Tourist Gate of New Uzbekistan".

The minister welcomed the initiative of Uzbekistan to send a delegation of imams of the country to conduct sermons in the central mosques of Kuala Lumpur, which helps to popularize the spiritual heritage and potential of ziarat tourism / pilgrimage tourism of Uzbekistan among the Muslim community in Malaysia.

The Malaysian side was familiarized with the plans to transform Bukhara into one of the regional tourist hubs and create a new international tourism cluster to increase the tourist flow to Bukhara region.

Agreements were reached on cooperation between Malaysian Kuala Lumpur Airport and Bukhara International Airport, as well as on other important issues.

According to Nancy Shukri, “To achieve Uzbekistan’s ambitious goals of increasing the number of tourists from Malaysia to 200 thousand, it is critical to launch direct flights to Bukhara at affordable prices and radically increase the frequency of flights by the national air carrier to at least 3 times daily.”

The Malaysian side also emphasized the need to develop and launch large-scale targeted advertising campaigns by the Ministry of Tourism of Uzbekistan and interested regional khokimiyats to increase the recognition of the republic among the public. Nancy Shukri gave an analogy to the global marketing campaigns of Malaysia under the brand "Malaysia Truly Asia", actively promoted in many countries by the tourism promotion agency "Tourism Malaysia" under the Ministry of Tourism of the country.

The Director General of the Center for Islamic Tourism, Razip Hasan, praised the rapid growth of Uzbekistan in the Global Muslim Tourism Index, which ranked 9th among 138 countries in 2022. Emphasizing that Malaysia traditionally occupies a leading position in this ranking, Razip Hasan reaffirmed his readiness to establish an exchange of the country's best practices in this area. One of the options for cooperation in this direction could be the launch of a permanent program "Joint seminar on ziarat tourism", which provides for the annual organization of special training courses alternately in both countries.

As a result, agreements were reached:

- on the participation of Malaysian representatives in the Ziarat Tourism Week in Uzbekistan and the annual Tashkent International Tourism Fair in November of this year;

- organization in the near future of the Ministry of Tourism and the Khokimiyat of the Bukhara region of fact-finding info-tours to Uzbekistan for Malaysian travel companies;

- exchange of best practices in the development of Muslim tourism standards and the creation of ziarat tourism products, organization of training courses for representatives of the republic together with the Center for Islamic Tourism.

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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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