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General information, Uzbekistan

General information about Uzbekistan

General information

Uzbekistan, officially the Republic of Uzbekistan is a doubly landlocked country in Central Asia, with a total area of 447 400 square kilometers. It is the 56th largest country in the world by area and the 42nd by population (32 768 725, 2019 estimate). Among the CIS countries, it is the 4th largest by area and the 2nd largest by population.

Uzbekistan is bordered by five landlocked countries: Kazakhstan to the north (2330 km), Kyrgyzstan to the northeast (1314 km), Tajikistan to the southeast (1312 km), Afghanistan to the south (144 km), and Turkmenistan to the southwest (1793 km).

The Republic of Uzbekistan gained independence in 1991, after being part of the former Soviet Union since 1924, and it has begun its transition to a market economy. Uzbekistan is a presidential republic, and conducts presidential and parliamentary elections on a regular basis.

Uzbekistan is divided into twelve provinces (Andijan, Bukhara, Djizzak, Fergana, Kashkadarya, Khorezm, Namangan, Navoi, Samarkand, Surkhandarya, Syrdarya, Tashkent), one autonomous republic (Republic of Karakalpakistan), and one independent city (Capital city Tashkent).

National Flag of Uzbekistan

Flag_of_Uzbekistan.svgThe national flag was approved by the Extraordinary 8th Session of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Uzbekistan on November 18, 1991.

The flag of the country is a symbol of the sovereignty of the Republic. The national flag of the Republic represents the country internationally when official delegations from Uzbekistan visit foreign countries, as well as at conferences, world exhibition, and sports competitions.

The national flag of the Republic of Uzbekistan is a right-angled colored cloth of three horizontal stripes: blue, white and green. Blue is the symbol of the sky and water, which are the main source of life. Mainly blue was the color of the state flag of Temur. White is the traditional symbol of peace, moral and spiritual purity, and good luck, as Uzbek people say «Ok yul». Green is the color of nature and new life and good harvest. Two thin red stripes symbolize the power of life.

There is a new moon, which symbolizes the newly independent Republic.

There are twelve stars, which stand for spiritual sign. The stars also signify the historical traditions of the Uzbek people, as well as ancient solar calendar. A particular attention to twelve stars in the flag is explained yet by another suggestion, that in the states previously existed in the territory of modern Uzbekistan the scientific thought as «Astrology» had seen its rise. The stars in the Uzbek flag also point to the ancient roots of local culture, the aspirations of Uzbek people towards perfection and loyalty.

National Emblem of Uzbekistan

Uzbek_coat_of_armsThe state emblem of the Republic of Uzbekistan was approved by the 10th Session of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Uzbekistan on July 2, 1992. 

The new state emblem of the Republic of Uzbekistan was created to reflect the many centuries of experience of the Uzbek people.

The state emblem of the Republic presents the image of the rising sun over a flourishing valley. Two rivers run through the valley, representing the Syrdarya and Amudarya. The emblem is bordered by wheat on the right side and branches of cotton with opened cotton bolls on the left side.

The eight-angle star is at the top of the emblem, symbolizing the unity and confirmation of the republic. The crescent and star inside theeight-pointed star are the sacred symbols of Islam. The mythical bird Semurg with outstretched wings is placed in the center of the emblem as the symbol of the national Renaissance.

The entire composition aims to express to desire of the Uzbek people for peace, happiness and prosperity. At the bottom of the emblem inscribed the word «Uzbekistan» written in Uzbek on a ribbon in the national colors of the flag.

National Currency of Uzbekistan

National Currency of Uzbekistan is sum (also som, soum). The ISO 4217 currency code is UZS. One Uzbek sum is one hundred tiyin. The first banknotes were issued by the State Bank of Uzbekistan in 1993. All of the denominations share the same designs: the Coat of arms of Uzbekistan on the front and the Medressa on Registan Square in Samarkand. The second and current series, issued by the Central Bank of the Republic of Uzberkistan, were released in 1994 in denominations of 1, 3, 5, 10, 25, 50 and 100 som. A 200 som banknote was issued in 1997, the 500 som in 1999, the 1000 som in 2001, the 5000 som in 2013, 10000 som and 50000 som in 2017, and the 100000 banknote was issued in 2019.

Foreign Currency Exchange

There is no currency black market in Uzbekistan anymore. You can exchange US dollars, euros, British pounds and Japanese yen for Uzbek so’ms in official exchange offices at national banks, installed in airports, hotels, markets, shopping centers and other public places of the country. There are also exchange mashines in banks and in some tourist places of the cities.

ATM in Uzbekistan

There are plenty of ATMs in major cities of Uzbekistan. ATMs are installed in airports, hotels, markets, shopping centers and near historical and tourist attraction places. Pay attention all ATMs provide you only national currency. You may also go to the nearest bank that serve the card you have, and withdraw US dollars at the counter.

All banks in Uzbekistan serve Visa Cards. Master Cards are being served only in Asaka bank, Orient Finance bank and Ipak Yuli Bank for now.

Not all shops and restaurants accept credit cards. It is recommended to withdraw sufficient cash for your expenses.

Visa to Uzbekistan Foreign Embassies in Uzbekistan Top Sights in Uzbekistan
Customs regulations Embassies and Consulates of Uzbekistan Day Tours to Uzbekistan

Climate

Traveling to Uzbekistan is possible at any time of the year. The best time to travel to Uzbekistan is from March to June and from August to November. Uzbekistan's climate is classified as continental, with hot summers and cool winters. Summer temperatures often surpass 40 °C (104 °F); winter temperatures average about −2 °C (28 °F), but may fall as low as −40 °C (−40 °F). Most of the country also is quite arid, with average annual rainfall amounting to between 100 and 200 millimeters (3.9 and 7.9 in) and occurring mostly in winter and spring. Between July and September, little precipitation falls, essentially stopping the growth of vegetation during that period of time.

chimgan_5.jpg aydar_lake.jpg bibi-khanum_mosque_samarkand.jpg

What to wear

There is no required dress code for travelers in Uzbekistan. If you travel in spring or autumn, you will be more comfortable in warm coats, windbreakers and sweaters. If you plan to travel to Uzbekistan during the winter, make sure to pack the winter essentials: warm, waterproof, fleece-lined boots big enough to wear with heavy wool socks, hat, waterproof gloves and thermal long underwear.

During the summer hat, sunglasses, light shoes, sun blocks and light colored cotton clothes are recommended. Shoes should be comfortable and provide support for walking on dry and sandy ground.

Before entering some religious buildings, you will have to take off your shoes. Women may need to cover their heads with a scarf.

Uzbek Cuisine

The basic ingredients of Uzbek dishes are flour, meat (beef or mutton), vegetables, herbs and spices. Uzbek dishes are rich in calories, due to a considerable amount of oil. Cottonseed oil and sunflower oil are most used. Fat is often used in many different dishes, but pork is never used in Uzbek cuisine. Some of the Uzbek dishes are cooked only by men. Some special dishes are prepared only in festivals, holidays and special events.

Main Dish of Uzbekistan is Plov (pilaf, palov, osh). Herbs and spices, such as coriander, zira (kumin), barberries, sesame, basil (raihon) are most popular in Uzbek cuisine.

Cost of living in Uzbekistan 

Living in Uzbekistan is not expensive compared to many places in the World. Tashkent took the 58th place in the ranking of the best cities in the world to live, published by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) of the authoritative British journal The Economist.

Avarage cost of accommodation in Uzbekistan

Hostels - 10-15 USD per night for a bed in dormitory room, including breakfast

Budget hotels - 35-40 USD per night for single room, including breakfast and 50-60 USD per night for twin/double room, including breakfast

Luxury and boutique hotels - 90-140 USD per night for single room, including breakfast and 120-200 USD per night for twin/double room, including breakfast

Avarage cost of food and drink in Uzbekistan

Cofee/Tea - 0,5-2 USD

Domestic beer (0,5 l) - 0,5-1 USD

Bottled water (0,5 l) - 0,25-0,5 USD

Lunch (two course and salad) - 4-20 USD

Dinner (two courses, salad and dessert) - 6-25 USD

Photographing and videoing in Uzbekistan

Please note that there is a fee for using professional cameras in most sightseeing places (1-3 USD). 

It was illegal to take pictures inside the metro system or any of the stations until 31 May 2018 because they were considered military installations due to the system's secondary role as a nuclear bomb shelter. The government under the newly elected Shavkat Mirziyoyev ruled that from 1 June 2018, taking photos is allowed inside the metro.

spring_in_uzbekistan.jpg uzbek_plov.jpg khazrat_imam_complex_in_tashkent_1.jpg

Telephone codes in Uzbekistan

At present, Uzbekistan has five operators of mobile communications:

  • LLC "UNITEL", acting under the trademark - Beeline
  • JV LLC "COSCOM", acting under the brand name - UCell
  • JV LLC "Universal Mobile Systems" - acting under the brand name - UMS
  • The branch of "Uzbektelecom Mobile" "Uzbektelecom" (Uzmobile)
  • The operator of CDMA 2000 1x 450 - a branch of "Uzbektelecom Mobile" "Uzbektelecom" (Uzmobile)
  • The operator of CDMA 2000 1x "Rubison Wireless Communication»", trademark Perfectum Mobile

Most of the population of the country has access to mobile communications. Operators Beeline, UCell provide data services standard 3G, and from December 2014 UCell provides services to 4G.

International dialing code for Uzbekistan: +998

Uzbekistan cities

Area codes

Uzbekistan cities

Area codes

Almalik

Andijan

Angren

Asaka

Bekabad

Beruniy

Bukhara

Chirchik

Chust

Gulistan

Denov

Ferghana

Jizzakh

Zarafshon

261

374(2)

266

37436

291

36152

365

271

36942

367

37641

373(2)

372(22)

43657

Kagan

Karshi

Khiva

Kitab

Kokand

Navoiy

Namangan

Nukus

Samarkand

Shahrisabz

Sirdaryo

Tashkent

Termez

Urgench

6552

375(22)

36237

37554

37355

436

369(22)

361

366(2)

37552

3673

371

376(22)

362

Uzbekistan Emergency numbers

Uzbekistan mobile phone codes

Fire Service

Police

Ambulance

MoES

(Emergency situations)

101

102

103

 

1050

Beeline

UCell

UMS

Uzmobile

Perfectum Mobile

+998 90/91

+998 93/94

+998 97

+998 95/99

+998 98

Religion in Uzbekistan

According to Article 31 of the Constitution, the freedom of conscience is guaranteed for all. Everyone has the right to profess any religion, or none at all. Forced imposition of religious views is unacceptable. Uzbekistan is a secular state where all religious organizations and citizens, regardless of their affiliation to a particular faith, are equal before the law. The state does not interfere with the activity of religious associations.

Islam is the majority Religion in Uzbekistan with a more than 90% Muslim population. Approximately 5% of the population are Russian Orthodox Christians. 

There are more Sunnite than Shi'ite Muslims among the residents in Uzbekistan. Islam was brought to Uzbekistan during the 8th century when the Arabs entered Central Asia.

Currently, more than 2,000 religious organizations representing 16 different religions are operating in Uzbekistan. 

The 16 religions in Uzbekistan include Islam, Orthodox Church, Judaism, Buddhism, the Roman Catholic Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church, Evangelical Christian Baptist Church, Full Gospel Christian Church, New Apostolic Church, the Christian Church, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Hare Krishna, and Religious Society of Bach.

In other words, more than 150 Christian organizations, eight Jewish communities, six Baha’i communities, one Hare Krishna society, and one Buddhist temple freely operate in Uzbekistan.

Believers in Uzbekistan freely celebrate all religious holidays. Thus, every year Muslims celebrate Eid al-Adha and Ramadan on a larger scale; Christians, Easter and Christmas; and Jews, the High Holy Days and Purim.

Official holidays in Uzbekistan

January 1: New Year, "Yangi Yil Bayrami"

January 14: Day of Defender of the Motherland "Vatan Himoyachilari kuni"

March 8: International Women's Day ", Xalqaro Xotin-Qizlar kuni"

March 21: Nowruz, "Navro'z Bayrami"

May 9: Day of Memory and Remembrance "Xotira va Qadirlash kuni"

September 1: Independence Day, "Mustaqillik kuni"

October 1: Teacher's Day, "O'qituvchi va Murabbiylar"

December 8: Day of the Constitution, "Konstitutsiya kuni"

End Ramazon Ramazon Hayit Eid al-Fitr

70 days later Qurbon Hayit Eid al-Adha