About Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan’s pilgrimage tourism opportunities and obstacles discussed in Tashkent conference
18 April 2022
Uzbekistan’s pilgrimage tourism opportunities and obstacles discussed in Tashkent conference

A scientific and practical conference on the topic "Actual problems and the importance of pilgrimage tourism in Uzbekistan" was hosted by the International Islamic Academy hosted on 12 April 2022 in Tashkent.

The conference was organized by the Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Heritage of Uzbekistan. Representatives of the Committee for Religious Affairs under the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Committee for Interethnic Relations and Friendly Relations with Foreign Countries, the Center for Islamic Civilization of Uzbekistan, the Institute for Tourism Development under the Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Heritage attended the event. Other attendees included representatives of the Samarkand, Bukhara, and Khiva regions under the Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Heritage, as well as students of the International Islamic Academy.

The idea of creating a single brand of the pilgrimage tourism in Uzbekistan was brought up during the meeting. The participants also discussed current opportunities, advantages, and problems of developing pilgrimage tourism in Uzbekistan, as well as experience of Uzbekistan regions in the growth of pilgrimage tourism.

“In order to train highly qualified specialists in the field of domestic and pilgrimage tourism, there are currently 2 research institutes (in the areas of tourism and cultural heritage), 4 colleges, 6 technical schools, and the Silk International University of Tourism and Cultural Heritage in the system of the Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Heritage. way, located in Samarkand. International events are being held in Uzbekistan to form scientifically-based information about shrines, scientists, and their scientific heritage and to comprehensively study the potential of pilgrimage tourism and systematize data,” said Temur Mirzaev, Advisor to the Minister of Tourism and Cultural Heritage.

Today, there are 784 Islamic shrines, 19 Christian shrines, and 8 objects of Buddhist cultural heritage in Uzbekistan. The Uzbek government is organizing various cultural events to promote Jewish and Buddhist shrines, and to create movies about Uzbek scientists in foreign languages. The International Hadith Competition of Imam al-Bukhari and the Islamic calligraphy competition are on the list of newly developed events organized by the government of Uzbekistan.

A number of reports and proposals on resolving the issues of the pilgrimage tourism in Uzbekistan and developing the sector were delivered during the conference by relevant experts in the tourism sector. Applying an innovative approach to the development of pilgrimage tourism in Uzbekistan was also offered as a way to expand the sector. Thus, works on creating an online platform covering pilgrimage tourism in Uzbekistan have been launched.

Particularly, the head of the pilgrimage tourism department of the Center for Islamic Civilization of Uzbekistan Saidkomil Kholkhodzhaev made a report on topical issues of creating a single brand of the pilgrimage tourism in Uzbekistan, the significance of the brand and its importance in the field of tourism.

The diversity of religions and the deep historical roots of Islam in the region create a wonderful perspective for developing the pilgrimage tourism sector in Uzbekistan, attracting foreign travelers to visit Uzbekistan for pilgrimage and cultural purposes. 

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Did you know?

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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.

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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.

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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:

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