About Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan launches new international flights from Samarkand to Istanbul starting 1 June
31 May 2023
Uzbekistan launches new international flights from Samarkand to Istanbul starting 1 June

Starting 1 June this year, new direct flights from Samarkand to Istanbul are being launched by Qanot Sharq Airlines. The direct flights of the Qanot Sharq local airline company from Samarkand to Istanbul are planned to operate 3 times a week from Samarkand International Airport.

According to the Ministry of Transport, the new flights on Samarkand-Tashkent route will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Departure from Samarkand is scheduled for 7:00 local time.

Earlier we announced that the first charter flight between Uzbekistan and Israel has started operating last month, on 3 May. The charter flight on the Tel Aviv-Samarkand route is the first one in the history of air communication between Uzbekistan and Israel.

The flights on the Tel Aviv – Samarkand route were also operated by Qanot Sharq, a private airline company, working in the market since 1998. Since the beginning of its history, the airline has been progressively developing and has carried out hundreds of successful air cargo and passenger flights so far. Earlier, the airline company has also announced the opening of additional flights on the Astana-Tashkent route from 3 July 2023.

We would also like to mention that, at the same time, Turkish Airlines and Uzbekistan Airways have been successfully operating direct flight from Samarkand to Istanbul on regular basis today. Increasing the number of direct flights to Samarkand tells about the raising interest among foreigners willing to travel to Uzbekistan, and specifically, the magnificent city of Samarkand.

To ease traveling to Uzbekistan for tourism and business purposes, Uzbek government has been implementing tourism reforms in the country in recent years. Announcing a visa-free regime to visit Uzbekistan for 93 countries and introducing electronic visas for over 50 countries is a significant and effective part of these reforms.

The countries, which are able to visit Uzbekistan without obtaining a visa include all EU member states and UK citizens. The current relaxation of a trip to Uzbekistan has brought significant results to the tourist flow to Uzbekistan in recent years, with visitor numbers peaking at 6.7 million in 2019, right before the outbreak of the pandemic. In 2023 our country expects to outgrow the pre-pandemic numbers of international tourists visiting Uzbekistan, reaching approximately 7 million visitors.

Uzbekistan’s visa-free policies and opening new international flight routes, whereas increasing the existing number of international flights, have indeed been working effectively to attract more tourists to visit Uzbekistan’s tourist cities, such as Samarkand, Bukhara, Shakhrisabz, Khiva and the capital of Uzbekistan – modern 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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