What do I know about Kazakhstan?

As it is going to be my new country of residence for the next couple of years or more I had a bit of a brain storm and quick research about this potential ‘Dubai of the steppes’.

  • Host of the 2017 Expo
  • 9th largest country in the world – larger than all the EU countries combined
  • largest land-locked country in the world
  • Astana has been the capital since 1997 – annual Day of the Capital national holiday on July 6th
  • Astana is the 2nd coldest capital in the world
  • Population of approximately 18 million
  • Capital has population of less than 1 million
  • Nursultan Nazarbayev has been president since independence from the Soviet Union in 1991 – annual President’s Day  national holiday on December 1st
  • Country is bordered by 5 other nations: China, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Russia
  • Nuclear weapon free
  • Country competitors won 12 gold medals in London Olympics, 2012
  • Part of the Silk Road
  • Yurts
  • Vast steppes
  • Horses – both to ride and to eat
  • Mineral, oil and gas rich
  • Ghengis Khan
  • Baikonur Cosmodrome – currently only place were humans are launched into space
  • Country has three UNESCO World Heritage Sites for culture: city of Turkestan and Chang’an – Tianshan Silk Road corridor, Koja Ahmed Yassavy Mausoleum and the Tamely-Tas rock carvings.
  • County also has an UNESCO World Heritage Site for natural beauty: Tamely-Tas rock carvings
  • Both the Palace of Peace and Reconciliation and the Khan Shatyr shopping mall and entertainment centre (with a beach) were designed by Sir Norman Foster

According to the website expatistan.com, Astana is 66% cheaper to live in than Dubai.

I am sure I will be adding more to this list as I explore this vast country with such ethnic diversity and culture.



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