UzbekistanRepublic of Uzbekistan
Currency: 1 sum = 100 teen.Dialing code: 998.Time: GMT + 5.Local time now:
Region: Central Asia.Capital: Tashkent.
Main cities: Samarqand, Namangan, Andijon, Bukhoro, Nukus (the capital of the Qoraqalpogh Autonomous Republic).Land and Resources: Uzbekistan is bordered by Afghanistan to the south, Turkmenistan to the west, Kazakhstan to the north, Kyrgyzstan to the northeast and Tajikistan to the east and has a colourful and varied countryside. The south and east are dominated by the Tien-Shan and Pamir-Alai mountain ranges and the Kyzyl Kum Desert lies to the northeast. The northweste autonomous region of Karakalpakstan is bordered by the Aral Sea and the sparsely populated Ustyurt Plateau with its vast cotton fields. Uzbekistan generally lies between the two largest rivers of Central Asia, the Amu Darya and Syr Darya. Another important river is the Zeravshan.Climate: Uzbekistan has a harsh continental climate. Four distinct seasons create great fluctuations in temperature over the course of a year. Average daily temperatures in January range from -6° to 2°C (21° to 36°F) and in July from 26° to 32°C (79° to 90°F), although temperatures can be much more extreme. There are also wide ranges of temperature between day and night. Precipitation is scant, and the long, hot summers are marked by drought, although the only truly arid region in Uzbekistan is the Qyzylqum desert. The wettest months are March and April. Snow is common from December through February, although snow cover often melts within a couple of days.Govement: Republic. Head of State: President. Head of Govement: Prime Minister.Population: Highly homogeneous. Uzbeks constitute the majority of the population. Russians are a large minority group. Other minorities include Tajiks, Kazakhs, and Tatars, followed by Qoraqalpoghs, Kyrgyz, Koreans, Ukrainians, and Turkmens (or Turkomans).Languages: The official language is Uzbek. There is a Russian-speaking minority. Many people involved with tourism speak English.Religion: Predominantly Sunni Muslim, with Shia, Russian Orthodox and Jewish minorities.Holidays:1 January - New Year’s DayJanusy - Kurban Khait (Feast of the Sacrifice)8 March - Inteational Women’s DayMarch – NavrusApril - Prophet’s Birthday1 May - Labour Day9 May - Day of Memory and Respect1 September - Independence DayNovember - End of Ramadan18 November - Flag Day8 December - Constitution DayVisa: Required by all except nationals of the CIS (except nationals of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan); transit passengers. Visa regulations within the CIS are liable to change at short notice. Application requirements: (a) Valid passport with at least one blank page to affix the visa. (b) Two completed and signed application forms. (c) Two passport-size photos. (d) Fee, payable in US$ or a cheque in pounds sterling on collection of visa. (e) Pre-paid, stamped, self-addressed envelope, if applying by post. (f) Letter of invitation from inviting partners in Uzbekistan. Applications are usually made through a travel agent. 10 working days required. For nationals of Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland, the UK and USA, allow two days.Customs regulations: The following goods may be imported by passengers aged 16 and older without incurring customs duty: 1000 cigarettes or 1kg of tobacco products; 1.5l of alcoholic beverages and 2l of wine; a reasonable quantity of perfume for personal use; other goods for personal use up to a value of US$10,000. All valuable items such as jewellery, cameras and computers should be declared on arrival. Prohibited imports: Firearms, ammunition, drugs, photographs and printed matter directed against the country, live animals (without special permit) and fruit or vegetables. Items more than 100 years old and those of special cultural importance require special permission for export. When buying items that may be more than 100 years old, ask for a certificate stating the age of the item(s). Precious metals, stones, furs, arms and ammunition, antiquities and art objects (subject to duty and special permit from the Ministry of Culture) are also prohibited. The import of foreign currency is unlimited, but should be declared on arrival. Travellers importing sums in excess of US$1000 may be subject to a body search. The export of foreign currency is permitted. Travellers who have imported sums in excess of US$2000 are required to provide proof of lawful exchange into Sum, otherwise a fine of 30 per cent of the amount imported will be payable. The import and export of local currency is unlimited.Transportation: The national airline, Uzbekistan Airways, flies from London, Amsterdam, Athens, Bangkok, Bahrain, Beijing, Birmingham, Delhi, Dhaka, Frankfurt/M, Hoshemin, Istanbul, Jeddah, Kiev, Kuala Lumpur, Moscow, New York, Osaka, Paris, Riyadh, Rome, Seoul, Sharjah and Tel Aviv. It also flies to most destinations within the CIS. Tashkent is also served by a number of other inteational carriers. Inteational airports: Tashkent Inteational Airport. Tashkent is the nodal point for rail services from Central Asia. Lines lead west to Ashgabat (Turkmenistan), south to Samarkand and on to Dushanbe (Tajikistan), east to Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan) and Almaty (Kazakhstan) and north to Moscow (Russian Federation). Uzbekistan has road connections to all its neighbours. There are bus services to all the neighbouring countries, although the occasional border closures between Uzbekistan and Tajikistan make this route unreliable. Uzbekistan Airways flies to all the major towns and cities in Uzbekistan on a regular basis. There are railways linking Termez, Samarkand, Bukhara, the Fergana Valley and Nukus. The Republic of Uzbekistan is served by a reasonable road network. Traffic drives on the right. Taxis and cars for hire can be found in all major towns. Travellers are advised to agree a fare in advance, and not to share taxis with strangers. Cars can be hired by the trip, by the hour or by the day or week. Tashkent is served by taxis, buses, trolleybuses, trams and the only underground in Central Asia.Sightseeing: Samarkand: the Registan Square, with three huge Islamic seminaries – including Shir-Dor and Tillya-Kari. Bukhara: many mosques and 100 religious colleges; the centre of historical Bukhara is the Shakristan, which contains the Ark, or palace complex of the Emirs. Tashkent has a variety of theatres.Museums in the republic include the Uzbek State Museum of Art and the Toshkent Historical Museum of the Peoples of Uzbekistan, both located in Toshkent; the Museum of Uzbek History, Culture, and Arts, located in Samarqand; and the Karakalpak Art Museum, located in Nukus.Andijon: the Babur Literary Museum. Chirchiq: a major winter recreation area for the Toshkent area. Ski resorts near the city attract tourists from throughout Central Asia.Fergana: the Great Fergana Canal.Nukus: a large museum with an art collection from the Russian avant-garde.Money: Tourists and businesspeople without special status have to pay for hotels, hotel services and transport in hard currency; US Dollars are the most widely acceptable. All bills are normally settled in cash. It is illegal to change money on the black market and penalties can be harsh. Banks and the currency exchange bureaux in major hotels will change at the official rates. Credit & debit cards are acceptable in some of the major hotels in tourist centres. Travellers cheques have limited acceptance. Banking hours: Mon-Fri 0930-1730.Communications: Area code for Tashkent: 71. IDD is available, but calls from hotel rooms still need to be booked either from reception or from the floor attendant. Inteational calls can also be made from main post offices. Calls within the city limits are free of charge. GSM 900/1800 network. Coverage is limited to certain areas around Tashkent. Inteet cafes exist in Tashkent. Letters to Weste Europe and the USA can take between two weeks and two months.Shops and cafes: The bazaars of Tashkent and Samarkand offer goods ranging from herbs and spices to Central Asian carpets. In the Alaiski Bazaar in Tashkent, it is possible to buy decorated Uzbek knives. Silk is still produced in the country and well-priced silks can be bought at large department stores. Many museums have small shops which sell a variety of mode reproductions and some original items. It is possible to buy carpets and embroidered wall hangings. Bukhara is famous for its gold embroidery, and visitors can buy elaborately embroidered traditional Uzbek hats. Visitors should be aware that it is illegal to export anything more than 100 years old or items which have a cultural significance. Shopping hours: Food shops open 0800-1700, all others open 0900-1900.Health and safety: Cholera is a serious risk in this country and precautions are essential. Vaccination against typhoid is advised. All water, particularly outside main centres, should be regarded as being a potential health risk. Milk is pasteurised and dairy products are safe for consumption. Only eat well-cooked meat and fish, preferably served hot. Immunisation against hepatitis A and meningococcal meningitis is advised. Hepatitis B and E occur. Trachoma is quite common. Tickboe encephalitis and diphtheria also occur. Rabies is present. Emergency health care is available free of charge for visitors although, as in most parts of the former Soviet Union, medical care in Uzbekistan is inadequate and there are extreme financial problems. Doctors and hospitals often expect cash payment for health services. There is a severe shortage of basic medical supplies, including disposable needles, anaesthetics, antibiotics and vaccines. Travellers are therefore advised to take a well-equipped first-aid kit with them containing basic medicines and any prescriptions that they may need. For minor difficulties, visitors are advised to ask the management at their hotel for help. In case of emergency, travellers should get a referral from either the Tashkent Inteational Medical Clinic or from the appropriate Embassy. For major problems, visitors are well advised to seek help outside the country. Travel insurance is essential.Electricity: 220 volts AC, 50Hz. Round two-pin continental plugs are standard.Embassies:FranceUzbekistan Embassy3, avenue Franklin Roosevelt750078 ParisTel: + 33 1 126.96.36.199Fax: + 33 1 188.8.131.52http://www.oaric.com/ouzbekistan.htmGermanyUzbekistan EmcassyMauerstr. 83/ 8410117 BerlinTel: + 030 22487457Fax: + 030 firstname.lastname@example.org://www.uzbekistan.de/PakistanUzbekistan EmbassyH.No. 2, St.No.2, F-8/3IslamabadTel: + 92 51 2264746Fax: + 92 51 2261739TurkeyUzbekistani EmbassyUgur Mumcu Sokak No:56 GOP-AnkaraTel: + 90 312 4409269Fax: + 90 312 4413453TurkmenistanUzbekistan EmbassyAshgabatTel: + 993 12 342337; + 993 12 email@example.comUnited KingdomUzbekistan Embassy41 Holland ParkW11 2RP LondonTel: + 44 (0)20 7229 7679; + 44 (0)20 7229 7679 Consular Section Tel: + 44 (0)20 7229 7029USAUzbekistan Embassy1746 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.20036 Washington D.C.Tel: +1 202 887 5300Fax: + 1 202 293 firstname.lastname@example.org://www.uzbekistan.org/
Sources:Encarta World Atlaswordtravels.comcolumbusguides.co.uktagish.co.uk