Moving to Uzbekistan
This central Asian country is unique for a lot of ways. It is one of only two doubly landlocked countries in the world. The second being Lichtenstein. It also sits at the heart of the ancient Silk Road, the route that linked China with the Middle East and Imperial Rome in times gone by.
The country’s landscape is diverse, ranging from mountains to the East and vast desert plains. With a largely continental climate you’ll experience hot summers and bitterly cold winters. Take advantage of that snow and test out the Uzbek slopes at one of the country’s many ski resorts.
Since gaining its independence in 1991, Uzbekistan has sought to distance itself from its past under the Soviet Union and redefine itself as its own nation. While the expat community is still quite small, it is constantly growing. So, believe us when we say that now is the right time to start moving to Uzbekistan.
Although expats have the opportunity to buy property, the process is very complex. As a result, most internationals choose to rent rather than buy. In the capital city of Tashkent, where the majority of expats settle, you will find plenty of apartments in the city centre but if you would prefer a house, then these tend to be found in the suburbs. While costs can be higher for expats than locals, it remains reasonable compared to the Western world.
Ensure a smooth transition and navigate the language barrier by enlisting the help of an estate agent or a local who can negotiate with the landlord on your behalf.
Education in Uzbekistan is compulsory for twelve years starting at 6 years old. Primary education lasts six years which is then followed by three years of lower secondary and three years of upper secondary. Since the curriculum is taught in Uzbek many expats choose to send their children to one of the International schools in the capital. Tashkent has three International schools. Two follow a British curriculum and the third follows the full International Baccalaureate program.
Uzbekistan boasts a broad ethnic mix that has influenced their culture over the years. Discover the influence of Islam by visiting the stunning Bibi Khanym Mosque in Samarkand with its glittering turquoise domes and intricate tile patterns. Samarkand was known as a centre for Islamic learning and remains as an excellent example of Islamic architecture. But that’s not all! During traditional festivals and holidays, you’ll see traditional Uzbek clothing. These colourful, brightly patterned robes have slipped out of everyday use in the cities but in more rural areas, it is more common.
Good to know
English isn’t widely spoken in Uzbekistan, particularly outside of the main urban areas, so consider taking the time to learn some Uzbek or Russian to help with your transition.
September 1st marks Uzbekistan’s Independence Day. This was the country’s very first public holiday and is widely celebrated. This is a time for the community to come together, where families feast and friends party. Tashkent hosts a huge festive show in Independence Square with dancing, music and famous Uzbek faces. When night falls, be sure to stay for the breath-taking fireworks!