Time Difference: GMT + 5
The official language is Uzbek, but Russian and Tajik are also spoken, the latter particularly in Bukhara and Samarkand where there is a large ethnic population. However, Russian is used particularly in the cities for government and business use and is spoken as a second language by many.
There is no particular dress code in the large cities, although in a Muslim country it is always advisable to dress conservatively, for both men and women. However, in the more rural areas, it is not recommended to wear shorts and when visiting religious places shorts are definitely not recommended and women should always cover shoulders and chest.
Electrical Current/ Plugs:
220 AC volts. Plugs are rounded two-pronged variety.
The capital is Tashkent with Namangan, Samarkand and Andijon the largest cities.
Islam is the predominant religion as 90% of the population are Muslim (mostly Sunnis), with Russian Orthodox Christians making up c.5% of the population.
It is not recommended to drink the tap water. Bottled water can be bought throughout the country.
The Republic of Uzbekistan is a unitary, constitutional, presidential republic with twelve provinces, one autonomous province and one independent city. It declared independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.
Fixed holidays are New Years Day, 14 January (Day of Defenders of the Motherland); 8 March (International Women’s Day); 21 March (Nowruz); 9 May (Remembrance Day); 1 September (Independence Day); 1 October (Teacher’s Day); 8 December (Constitution Day). Ramadan Khait and Kurban Khait, two major Muslim holidays, are celebrated each year according to the lunar calendar.
Uzbekistan has large deposits of gold, copper, uranium and natural gas, with the fourth largest gold deposits in the world. It is also one of the top five global producers of cotton.
Uzbekistan is Central Asia’s most populous country, with 34% of its population younger than fourteen. Uzbecks are the majority of the population (80%), with other ethnic groups including Russians, Tajiks, Kazakhs, Karakalpaks, Armenians and Tatars. There is also an ethnic Korean population that was forcibly located to the region by Stalin from the Soviet Far East in 1937-1938.
It is generally warmest in the south and coldest in the north of the country. In December, temperatures average from minus eight degrees in the north and 0 degrees in the south. During the summer, temperatures can reach as high as 45 degrees. Spring and autumn are the best times to travel.