About Uzbekistan

Hotels and restaurants in Uzbekistan will introduce a rating of Muslim hospitality
22 April 2019
Hotels and restaurants in Uzbekistan will introduce a rating of Muslim hospitality

Uzbekistan’s Tourism State Committee is holding talks with CrescentRating company about the inclusion of Uzbek hotels and restaurants into the rating of Muslim hospitality. This will allow to develop Ziyorat tourism (pilgrim tourism).

In the East, “Ziyorat” means “visiting holy places” and involves two main varieties: pilgrim tourism and religious tourism of an excursion-cognitive orientation.

According to a press release from the Tourism State Committee, a memorandum of cooperation with CresentRating was signed during Ziyorat Tourism Forum, held in Bukhara in February of this year.

There are plenty of other measures being taken in Uzbekistan to develop pilgrim tourism. In particular, a special section of the national website is being developed - Halal.Uzbekistan.travel, containing a database of hotels, cafes & restaurants and other organizations catering for Muslim tourists; a new advertising and information campaign is being developed '7 reasons to celebrate Ramadan in Uzbekistan and so on. It is expected that film crews of Malaysian and Indonesian television companies will come in April to prepare promotional videos advertising ziyorat tourism in Uzbekistan.

There are already quite favourable conditions have been created for Muslims visiting the country. Last year they began to introduce recognised practices of "halal" standards in local restaurants and cafes. All international airports and train stations have dedicate prayer rooms. The national airline Uzbekistan Airways launched a flight between Tashkent and Jeddah (Saudi Arabia), the nearest airport located to the Muslim holy cities of Mecca and Medina. Flydubai has been granted the right to fly between the capital of Uzbekistan and the city of Dubai five times a week.

Since February 2018, a visa-free regime has been established for citizens of Indonesia, Malaysia and Turkey, so that they can visit Muslim shrines located in Tashkent, Bukhara, and Samarkand without unnecessary bureaucratic delays. Since March of this year, the UAE has been included into the list of countries whose citizens can visit Uzbekistan visa-free, Iranians have the right to obtain electronic visas. In addition, since the beginning of 2019, a special 'Pilgrim visa' has been introduced, it is issued for two months to foreign tourists who come to Uzbekistan to make pilgrimages and study the country's religious and spiritual heritage.

Indeed, according to international studies, Ziyorat tourism is steadily growing every year. For example, if the number of Muslim tourists in the world amounted to 131 million people in 2017, then by 2020 this number will increase to 160 million. Similar forecasts are observed for profits from pilgrim tourism: in 2017 this was at around $142 billion, by 2026 year it is expected to grow to $300 billion.

According to the State Committee for Tourism, 5.3 million foreigners visited Uzbekistan last year, of which 4.6 million were citizens of neighbouring Central Asian countries, 406,000 were citizens of other CIS countries, about 326,000 were tourists from rest of the world. The export of tourist services exceeded $1 billion. However, it was not specified how many foreigners entered the country with the aim of ziyorat 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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14449.76 UZS
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