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
- 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.