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Facts about Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan is a country that was barely on the tourist map until recently – has come into focus. Travel to Uzbekistan takes hold of the imagination and does not let go. The country is, in a sense, an island like Britain, but a landlocked island, surrounded by desert and mountains. The stunning architecture of its ancient cities links the empires of China and Persia and reflects layers of history that take in the giddy pinnacles of civilisation and culture.

Uzbekistan has the extra pull of being about as far from the familiar as it is possible to go: an unknown, exotic, fabled destination full of astounding mosques, the toothsome bread, and the smiling faces. 


Uzbekistan, officially the Republic of Uzbekistan (Uzbek: O‘zbekiston Respublikasi) is the only doubly landlocked country in Central Asia and one of only two such countries worldwide. It has  borders with Kazakhstan to the west and to the north, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to the east, and Afghanistan and Turkmenistan to the south. Before 1991, it was part of the Soviet Union.

Once part of the Persian Samanid and later Timurid empires, the region was conquered in the early 16th century by nomads who spoke an Eastern Turkic language. Most of Uzbekistan’s population today belong to the Uzbek ethnic group and speak the Uzbek language, one of the family of Turkic languages. Uzbekistan was incorporated into the Russian Empire in the 19th century, and in 1924 became a constituent republic of the Soviet Union, known as the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic (Uzbek SSR). It became independent on 31 August 1991 (officially, from the following day).

Natural reserves

Uzbekistan is the fourth largest country in the world on gold reserves after South Africa, the U.S. and Russia. And in terms of gold - the second place among CIS countries after Russia.

Uzbekistan is one of the top five world producers of cotton. Five countries: China, USA, India, Pakistan and Uzbekistan - together produce 65% of its total amount. Uzbekistan is the third largest cotton  exporter after the U.S. and India. Over 75% of the produced cotton is exported.

Uzbekistan is the seventh largest country in the world on uranium reserves after Australia, Kazakhstan, Russia, Canada, South Africa and Ukraine, and the third in the world in its export after Kazakhstan and Australia.

On reserves and production of copper and tungsten Uzbekistan is among the top ten countries in the world. Natural gas production - Uzbekistan among the top ten producing countries of the world and the third largest in the CIS after Russia and Turkmenistan. The gas industry of Uzbekistan is mainly concentrated in areas Gazley and Karshi. In 2010, Uzbekistan discovered new natural gas field near Kosbulak trough and North Ustyurt region (Western Aral), as well as the prospective area Ernaza in the Bukhara-Khiva oil and gas region.

Known for its orchards and vineyards, Uzbekistan is also an important region for raising Karakul sheep and silkworms. Uzbekistan’s mineral and oil and gas reserves are substantial. 

By the total population of Uzbekistan is the third largest in the CIS after Russia and Ukraine - more than 29 million people.

Uzbeks - the third largest Turkic-speaking people in the world. After the Turks and Azerbaijanis (Azeris living in Azerbaijan and Iran).

Uzbeks make up about three-fourths of the population, followed by Russians, Tajiks, Tatars, Kyrgyz, Ukrainians, Kazaks, Koreans and Karakalpaks. The Uzbeks speak a language belonging to the southeastern, or Chagatai (Turki), branch of the Turkic language group. The Uzbeks are Sunnite Muslims, and they are considered to be among the most devout Muslims in all of Central Asia. 


Uzbek is the official state language; however, Russian is the de facto language for interethnic communication, including much day-to-day government and business use. In some regions such as Samarkand and Bukhara local people also speak Tajik language. In the cities, more and more people speak English, especially those in the hotel and catering trades.


Uzbekistan for more than two thirds consists of plains (Turan lowland, the Fergana Valley, the valleys of the rivers Amu Darya, Syr Darya, Zarafshan and their tributaries) and the third - from the mountains and foothills (foothills of the Tien Shan, Hissar-Alai).

Highest point: Hissar ridge (4643 m above sea level)

The lowest point depression Mynbulak (-12.8 m below sea level)

Uzbekistan - the only country in the world, the names of all the neighbors of which end in "stan". This is also the only country in Central Asia, bordering with all countries of the region.

Uzbekistan, along with Liechtenstein are the only countries in the world, even the neighbors who do not have access to the sea.


Uzbek cuisine reflects its agriculture, rich in grain farming.  Thus Uzbeks excel in preparing a variety of breads, noodles and dumplings.  Since sheep farming is popular, you will find that mutton the king of Uzbek meats. Since today’s Uzbekistan was on the path of the Great Silk Road, it absorbed many of the Asian culinary traditions, creating its own unique and delicious blend.

Some Uzbek recipes are centuries old, with different rituals and ways of cooking them. The most well known of the national dishes, one that is featured at every feast, is an intricate pilaf (plov, osh) prepared with mutton, rice and various vegetables and spices. Although women usually do most of the cooking, men are considered best at preparing pilaf. For special occasions, an oshpaz (special pilaf chef) may even be called in.

Among the other dishes that you will enjoy in Uzbekistan are traditional breads baked in tandoors (clay ovens), delicious soups flavoured with various herbs and spices, unique stuffed pastries, and an abundance of fresh fruit.


Uzbekistan, although a Muslim country, is relatively secular, so the use of alcohol (especially wine) is quite widespread. Uzbekistan winery produces mostly dessert wines, some of which successfully competed at international competitions in Europe. The grapes are as exotic as the Samarkand locations of the winery.  

Interesting facts

The oldest cities of Uzbekistan count more than 2750 years, and the most famous of them - Samarkand, along with Rome, is one of the oldest cities in the world.

Tashkent TV Tower, which is the highest in Central Asia, was built in 1985, and its height is 375 meters. This is the eleventh in height tower of the world (2010 data), also TV Tower is the second tallest structure in Central Asia, the highest in the world after the chimney Ekibastuz GRES-2 (Kazakhstan).

In 1915, in Tashkent, was completed and put into operation the first in Central Asia, a powerful spark transceiver radio.

For the first time images of moving objects were passed at a distance by radio in July 26, 1928 in Tashkent by inventors Grapovskim and JF Beliansky and this can be regarded as the birth of modern television.

Back in the late nineteenth century in the vicinity of Tashkent in many reeds along rivers and streams of Chirchik one could find Turan tigers.

The observatory in Kitab - on the bank. Kashka, is one of the first five latitude stations in the world. In the spring of 2010 the team at Kitab ORI-40 began to seek hazardous near-Earth asteroids.

Tashkent is the only metropolitan area in the world where almost all public transport consists of Mercedes buses.

Mirzachul melon - the most delicious in the world, in consequence of the unique combination of dry soil, scarcity of irrigation and high number of sunny days per year, but in general, all the fruits, vegetables and ground berries that grow in Uzbekistan has a very high content of natural sugars.

Uzbek fruits still natural! Break the cucumber, cut melon, watermelon, tomatoes, peaches! Each fruit aroma can fill an entire room.

Tashkent - one of the few cities in the world, where, due to the low gas content, at night you can see the night sky.