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Kazakhstan, Almaty city, 050016, Pushkin street, 23
Tel: +7 705 167 9194 (for English) 
Tel: +7 (727) 327 4624 (for Russian) 
Email:  dimalkz@mail.ru
Skype: dimal.travel.agency
Web: www.dimal-travel.com

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About Kazakhstan

 The Republic of Kazakhstan

Flag of the Repblic of Kazakhstan Coat of arms of the Republic of Kazakhstan
Flag of the Repblic of Kazakhstan Coat of arms of the Republic of Kazakhstan
Capital Astana

Largest city


Official languages

Kazakh (state and major for Kazakh officials, spoken by all Kazakhs)
Russian (2nd official (spoken by 85% of residents, including non-Russians))
Ethnic groups  (2009 census)
63.1% Kazakh
23.6% Russian
2.9% Ukrainian
2.8% Uzbek
1.4% Uyghur
1.3% Tatar
1.5% German
4.3% Other




Presidential republic
 -  President Nursultan Nazarbayev  - 


December 16th 1991  
 -  Kazakh Khanate 1465 
 -  Alash Autonomy December 13, 1917 
 -  Kazakh SSR December 5, 1936 
 -  Declared December 16, 1991 
 -  Finalized December 25, 1991 
 -  Total 2,727,300 km2 (9th)
1,052,085 sq mi 
 -  Water (%) 1.7
 -  2013 census 17 010,600
Currency Tenge (KZT)
Time zone West/East (UTC+5/+6)
Drives on the right
Internet TLD .kz
Calling code +7-6xx, +7-7xx


Kazakhstan (also spelled Kazakstan, Kazakh, officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a country in Eurasia ranked as the ninth largest country in the world. It is also the world's largest landlocked country. Its territory of 2,727,300 km² is greater than Western Europe. It is neighbored clockwise the north by Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and also borders on a significant part of the Caspian Sea. The capital moved in 1997 to Astana. City of Almaty is Kazakhstan's largest city.   

Vast in size, the terrain of Kazakhstan ranges flatlands, steppes, taigas, rock-canyons, hills, deltas, and snow-capped mountains to deserts. With 17.6 million people (2013 census), Kazakhstan has the 61st largest population in the world, though its population density is less than 6 people per square kilometre (15 per sq. mi.). 

For most of its history the territory of modern-day Kazakhstan has been inhabited by nomadic tribes. By the 16th century the Kazakhs emerged as a distinct group, divided into three hordes. The Russians began advancing into the Kazakh steppe in the 18th century, and by the mid-19th century all of Kazakhstan was part of the Russian Empire. Following the 1917 Russian Revolution, and subsequent civil war, the territory of Kazakhstan was reorganised several times before becoming the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic in 1936, a part of the USSR. During the 20th century, Kazakhstan was the site of major Soviet projects, including Khrushchev's Virgin Lands campaign, the Baikonur Cosmodrome, and the Semipalatinsk "Polygon", the USSR's primary nuclear weapon testing site.

Kazakhstan declared itself an independent country on December 16, 1991, the last Soviet republic to do so. Its communist-era leader, Nursultan Nazarbayev, became the country's new president. Since independence, Kazakhstan has pursued a balanced foreign policy and worked to develop its economy, especially its hydrocarbon industry. While the country's economic outlook is improving, President Nazarbayev maintains strict control over the country's politics. Nevertheless, Kazakhstan's international prestige is building. It is now considered to be the dominant state in Central Asia. The country is a member of many international organizations, including the United Nations, NATO's Partnership for Peace, the Commonwealth of Independent States, and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. In 2010, Kazakhstan is chairing the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.

Kazakhstan is ethnically and culturally diverse, in part due to mass deportations of many ethnic groups to the country during Stalin's rule. Kazakhs are the largest group. Kazakhstan has 131 nationalities including Kazakh, Russian, Ukrainian, Uzbek and Tatar. It has a population of 17.6 million, of whom around 63.1% percent are Kazakhs. Kazakhstan allows freedom of religion, and many different beliefs are represented in the country. Islam is the primary religion. The Kazakh language is the state language, while Russian is also officially used as an "equal" language (to Kazakh) in Kazakhstan's institutions.

  Kazakhstan History

  Kazakh Khanate

Kazakh KhanateKazakhstan has been inhabited since the Stone Age: the region's climate and terrain are best suited for nomads practicingpastoralism. Historians believe that humans first domesticated the horse in the region's vast steppes. While ancient cities Taraz (Aulie-Ata) and Hazrat-e Turkestan had long served as important way-stations along the Silk Road connecting East and West, real political consolidation only began with the Mongol invasion of the early 13th century. Under the Mongol Empire, administrative districts were established, and these eventually came under the emergent Kazakh Khanate.

Throughout this period traditionally nomadic life and a livestock-based economy continued to dominate the steppe. In the 15th century, a distinct Kazakh identity began to emerge among theTurkic tribes, a process which was consolidated by the mid-16th century with the appearance of a distinctive Kazakh language, culture, and economy.

Nevertheless, the region was the focus of ever-increasing disputes between the native Kazakh emirsand the neighbouring Persian-speaking peoples to the south. By the early 17th century, the Kazakh Khanate was struggling with the impact of tribal rivalries, which has effectively divided the population into the Great, Middle and Little (or Small) Hordes (jüz). Political dis, tribal rivalries, and the diminishing importance of overland trade routes between East and West weakened the Kazakh Khanate.

During the 17th century Kazakhs fought Oirats, a federation of western Mongol tribes, among which the Dzungars were particularly aggressive. The beginning of the 18th century marked the zenith of the Kazakh Khanate. During this period the Little Horde participated in the 1723–1730 war against the Dzungars, following their "Great Disaster" invasion of Kazakh territories. Under leadership Abul Khair Khan the Kazakhs won major victories over the Dzungar at the Bulanty River, in 1726, and at the Battle of Anrakay in 1729. Ablai Khan participated in the most significant battles against the Dzungars the 1720s to the 1750s, for which he was declared a "batyr" ("hero") by the people. Kazakhs were also a victims of constant raids carried out by the Volga Kalmyks. 

Russian Empire

Kazakhstan during Russian Empire In the 19th century, the Russian Empire began to expand, and spread intoCentral Asia. The "Great Game" period is generally regarded as running approximately 1813 to the Anglo-Russian Convention of 1907. Thetsars effectively ruled over most of the territory belonging to what is now the Republic of Kazakhstan.

The Russian Empire introduced a system of administration and built military garrisons and barracks in its effort to establish a presence inCentral Asia in the so-called "Great Game" between it and the British Empire. The first Russian outpost, Orsk, was built in 1735. Russia enforced the Russian language in all schools and governmental organisations. Russian efforts to impose its system aroused the extreme resentment by the Kazakh people, and by the 1860s, most Kazakhs resisted Russia's annexation largely because of the disruption it wrought upon the traditional nomadic lifestyle and livestock-based economy, and the associated hunger which was rapidly wiping out some Kazakh tribes. The Kazakh national movement, which began in the late 1800s, sought to preserve the native language and identity by resisting the attempts of the Russian Empire to assimilate and stifle them.

the 1890s onwards ever-larger numbers of settlers Russian Empire began colonising the territory of present-day Kazakhstan, in particular the province of Semirechye. The number of settlers rose still further once the Trans-Aral Railway  Orenburg to Tashkent was completed in 1906, and the movement was overseen and encouraged by a specially d Migration Department (Переселенческое Управление) in St. Petersburg. During the 19th century about 400,000 Russians immigrated to Kazakhstan, and about one million Slavs, Germans, Jews, and others immigrated to the region during the first third of the 20th century.

The competition for land and water which ensued between the Kazakhs and the newcomers caused great resentment against colonial rule during the final years of Tsarist Russia, with the most serious uprising, the Central Asian Revolt, occurring in 1916. The Kazakhs attacked Russian and Cossacksettlers and military garrisons. The revolt resulted in a series of clashes and in brutal massacres committed by both sides. The Russians' revenge was merciless. A military force drove 300,000 Kazakhs to flee into the mountains or to China. When approximately 80,000 of them returned the next year, many of them were slaughtered by Tsarist forces. During the 1921–22 famine, another million Kazakhs died starvation.

Kazakh SSR

Almaty city in Kazakh SSRAlthough there was a brief period of autonomy(Alash Autonomy) during the tumultuous period following the collapse of the Russian Empire, many uprisings were brutally suppressed, and the Kazakhs eventually succumbed to Soviet rule. In 1920, the area of present-day Kazakhstan became anautonomous republic within the Soviet .

Soviet repression of the traditional elite, along with forced collectivization in late 1920s–1930s, brought mass hunger and led to unrest (See also: Soviet famine of 1932–1933). Between 1926 and 1939, the Kazakh population declined by 22%, due to starvation, violence and mass emigration. Today, the estimates suggest that the population of Kazakhstan would be closer to 20 million if there had been no starvation or massacre of Kazakhs. During the 1930s, many renowned Kazakh writers, thinkers, poets, politicians and historians were slaughtered on Stalin's orders, both as part of the repression and as a methodical pattern of suppressing Kazakh identity and culture. Soviet rule took hold, and a Communist apparatus steadily worked to fully integrate Kazakhstan into the Soviet system. In 1936 Kazakhstan became a Soviet republic. Kazakhstan experienced population inflows of millions exiled  other parts of the Soviet  during the 1930s and 1940s; many of thedeportation victims were deported to Siberia or Kazakhstan merely due to their ethnic heritage or beliefs, and were in many cases interned in some of the biggest Soviet labour camps, including ALZHIR camp outside Astana, which was reserved for the wives of men considered "enemies of the people". The Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic contributed five national divisions to the Soviet 'sWorld War II effort. In 1947, two years after the end of the war, the Semipalatinsk Test Site, the USSR's main nuclear weapon test site was founded near the city of Semey.

The period of World War II marked an increase in industrialisation and increased mineral extractionin support of the war effort. At the time of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin's death, however, Kazakhstan still had an overwhelmingly agricultural-based economy. In 1953, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchevinitiated the ambitious "Virgin Lands" programme to turn the traditional pasture lands of Kazakhstan into a major grain-producing region for the Soviet . The Virgin Lands policy brought mixed results. However, along with later modernizations under Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev, it accelerated the development of the agricultural sector which remains the source of livelihood for a large percentage of Kazakhstan's population. By 1959, Kazakhs made up 30% of the population. Ethnic Russians accounted for 43%.

Growing tensions within Soviet society led to a demand for political and economic reforms, which came to a head in the 1980s. A factor that has contributed to this immensely was Lavrentii Beria's decision to test a nuclear bomb on the territory of Kazakh SSR in Semey in 1949. This had a catastrophic ecological and biological effect which was felt generations later, and Kazakh anger toward the Soviet system has escalated.

In December 1986, mass demonstrations by young ethnic Kazakhs, later called Jeltoqsan riot, took place in Almaty to protest the replacement of the First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Kazakh SSR Dinmukhamed Konayev with Gennady Kolbin  the Russian SFSR. Governmental troops suppressed the unrest, several people were killed and many demonstrators were jailed. In the waning days of Soviet rule, discontent continued to grow and find expression under Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev's policy of glasnost.


Caught up in the groundswell of Soviet republics seeking greater autonomy, Kazakhstan declaredIndependence of Kazakhstan itssovereignty as a republic within the of Soviet Socialist Republics in October 1990. Following the August 1991 aborted coup attempt inMoscow and the subsequent dissolution of the Soviet , Kazakhstan declared independence on December 16, 1991. It was the last of the Soviet republics to declare independence.

The years following independence have been marked by significant reforms to the Soviet-style economy and political monopoly on power. Under Nursultan Nazarbayev, who initially came to power in 1989 as the head of the Communist Party of Kazakhstan and was eventually elected President in 1991, Kazakhstan has made significant progress toward developing a market economy. The country has enjoyed significant economic growth since 2000, partly due to its large oil, gas, and mineral reserves.

Democracy, however, has not gained much ground since 1991. In 2007, Kazakhstan's parliament passed a law ing President Nursultan Nazarbayev lifetime powers and privileges, immunity criminal prosecution, and influence over domestic and foreign policy. Critics say he has become a de facto "president for life."

Over the course of his ten years in power, Nazarbayev has repeatedly censored the press through arbitrary use of "privacy" laws, and refused demands that the governors of Kazakhstan's 14 provinces be elected, rather than appointed by the president.

Kazakhstan Geography

With an area of 2.7 million square kilometers (1.05 million sq. mi), Kazakhstan is the ninth-largestKazakhstan mapcountry and the largest landlocked country in the world. It is equivalent to the size ofWestern Europe. It shares borders of 6,846 kilometers (4,254 mi) with Russia, 2,203 kilometers (1,369 mi) with Uzbekistan, 1,533 kilometers (953 mi) with China, 1,051 kilometers (653 mi) with Kyrgyzstan, and 379 kilometers (235 mi) with Turkmenistan. Major cities include Astana, Almaty,Karagandy, Shymkent, Atyrau and Oskemen. While located primarily in Asia, a small portion of Kazakhstan is also located west of the Urals in Eastern Europe.

Kolsay LakesThe terrain extends west to east the Caspian Sea to the Altay Mountains and north to south the plains of Western Siberia to the oases and deserts of Central Asia. The Kazakh Steppe (plain), with an area of around 804,500 square kilometres (310,600 sq. mi), occupies one-third of the country and is the world's largest drysteppe region. The steppe is characterized by large areas ofgrasslands and sandy regions. Important rivers and lakes include: the Aral Sea, Ili River, Irtysh River, Ishim River, Ural River, Syr Darya, Charyn River and gorge, Lake Balkhash and Lake Zaysan.

The climate is continental, with warm summers and colder winters. Precipitation varies betweenCharyn Canyonarid and semi-arid conditions.

The Charyn Canyon is 150–300 metres deep and 80 kilometres long, cutting through the red sandstone plateau and stretching along the Charyn River gorge in northern Tian Shan ("Heavenly Mountains", 200 km east of Almaty) at 43°21′1.16″N 79°4′49.28″E / 43.3503222°N 79.0803556°E. The steep canyon slopes, columns andarches rise to heights of 150–300 m. The inaccessibility of the canyon provided a safe haven for a rare ash tree that survived theIce Age and is now also grown in some other areas. Bigach crater is a Pliocene or Miocene asteroidimpact crater, 8 kilometres (5 mi) in diameter and estimated at 5 ±3 million years old at 48°30′N82°00′E / 48.5°N 82°E.

 Kazakhstan Economy

Kazakhstan EconomyBuoyed by high world crude oil prices, GDP growth figures were in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005: 9.8%, 13.2%, 9.5%, 9.2%, 9.4%, and 9.2%, respectively. Other major exports of Kazakhstan include wheat, textiles, and livestock. Kazakhstan forecasts that it will become the world's leading exporter of uranium by the year 2010.

Its principal challenge since 2002 has been to manage strongBaikonur cosmodrome foreign currency inflows without sparking inflation. Since that time, inflation has not been under strict control, registering 6.6% in 2002, 6.8% in 2003, and 6.4% in 2004.

In 2000 Kazakhstan became the first former Soviet republic to repay all of its debt to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), 7 years ahead of schedule. In March 2002, the U.S. Department of Commerce ed Kazakhstan market economy status under U.S. trade law. This in status recognized substantive market economy reforms in the areas of currency convertibility, wage rate determination, openness to foreign investment, and government control over the means of production and allocation of resources.

Astana cityIn September 2002 Kazakhstan became the first country in the CISto receive an investment-grade credit rating  a major international credit rating agency. As of late December 2003, Kazakhstan's gross foreign debt was about $22.9 billion. Total governmental debt was $4.2 billion. This amounts to 14% of GDP. There has been a noticeable reduction in the ratio of debt to GDP observed in past years; the ratio of total governmental debt to GDP in 2000 was 21.7%, in 2001 it was 17.5%, and in 2002 it was 15.4%.Astana City

The upturn in economic growth, combined with the results of earliertax and financial sector reforms, has dramatically improved government finances the 1999 budget deficit level of 3.5% of GDP to a deficit of 1.2% of GDP in 2003. Government revenues grew 19.8% of GDP in 1999 to 22.6% of GDP in 2001, but decreased to 16.2% of GDP in 2003. In 2000, Kazakhstan adopted a new tax code in an effort to consolidate these gains.

Hotel Kazakhstan in Almaty CityOn November 29, 2003 the Law on s to Tax Code was adopted, which reduced tax rates. The value added tax fell 16% to 15%, the social tax 21% to 20%, and the personal income tax  30% to 20%. (On July 7, 2006 the personal income tax was reduced even further to a flat rate of 5% for personal income in the form of dividends and 10% for other personal income.) Kazakhstan furthered its reforms by adopting a new land code on June 20, 2003, and a new customs code on April 5, 2003.

Energy is the leading economic sector. Production of crude oil and natural gas condensate in Kazakhstan amounted to 51.2 million tons in 2003, which was 8.6% more than in 2002. Kazakhstan raised oil and gasNurly Tau building in Almaty Citycondensate exports to 44.3 million tons in 2003, 13% higher than in 2002. Gas production in Kazakhstan in 2003 amounted to 13.9 billion cubic meters (491 billion cu. ft), up 22.7% compared to 2002, including natural gas production of 7.3 billion cubic meters (258 billion cu. ft);

Kazakhstan holds about 4 billion tons of proven recoverable oil reserves and 2,000 cubic kilometers (480 cu mi) of gas. Industry analysts believe that planned expansion of oil production, coupled with the development of new fields, will enable the country to produce as much as 3 million barrels (477,000 m³) per day by 2015, lifting Kazakhstan into the ranks of the world's top 10 oil-producing nations. Kazakhstan's 2003 oil exports were valued at more than $7 billion, representing 65% of overall exports and 24% of the GDP. Major oil and gas fields and their recoverable oil reserves areTengiz with 7 billion barrels (1.1 km³); Karachaganak with 8 billion barrels (1.3 km³) and Astana City quay1,350 km³ of natural gas); and Kashagan with 7 to 9 billion barrels (1.1 to 1.4 km³).

Kazakhstan instituted an ambitious pension reform program in 1998. As of January 1, 2005, the pension assets were about $4.1 billion. There are 16 saving pension funds in the republic. The State Accumulating Pension Fund, the only state-owned fund, could beprivatized as early as 2006. The country's unified financial regulatory agency oversees and regulates the pension funds. The pension funds' growing demand for quality investment outlets triggered rapid development of the debt securities market. Pension fund capital is being invested almost exclusively in corporate and government bonds, including Government of Kazakhstan Eurobonds.

Hotel Ritz Carlton in Almaty CityThe Kazakhstani banking system is developing rapidly. The banking system's capitalization now exceeds $1 billion. The National Bank has introduced deposit insurance in its campaign to strengthen the banking sector. Several major foreign banks have branches in Kazakhstan, including RBS, Citibank, and HSBC. Raiffeisen Zentralbank and UniCredithave both recently entered the Kazakhstan's financial services market through acquisitions and stake-building.

Despite the strength of Kazakhstan's economy for most of the first decade of the 21st century, the global financial crisis of 2008-2009 has exposed some central weaknesses in the country's economy. The year on year growth of Kazakhstan's GDP ped 19.81% in 2008. Four of the major banks were rescued by the government at the end of 2008 and real estate prices have sharply ped.

  Kazakhstan Religion

Almaty City Central Muslim MosqueIslam is the major and largest religion in Kazakhstan. After decadesAstana City Central Muslim Mosqueof religious suppression by the Soviet , the coming of independence witnessed a surge in expression of ethnic identity, partly through religion. The free practice of religious beliefs and the establishment of full freedom of religion led to an increase of religious activity. Hundreds ofmosques, churches, synagogues, and other religious structures were built in the span of a few years, with the number of religious associations rising 670 in 1990 to 4,170 today.

Approximately 65% of the population are Muslim, mainly followed by the ethnic Kazakhs, who constitute just over half of the population, as well as by ethnic Uzbeks, Uighurs, and Tatars. TheCatholic Church in Almaty City majority are Sunni Muslims of the Hanafi school.Less than 1% are part of the Sunni Shafi`i school (primarily Chechens). The southern region of the country has the highest concentration of self-Russian orthodox cathedral of the Holy Ascension of Christidentified practicing Muslims. There are a total of 2,300 mosques, all of them are affiliated with the "Spiritual Association of Muslims of Kazakhstan", headed by a supreme mufti. The Eid al-Adha is recognized as a national holiday.

One third of the population is Russian, including ethnic Ukrainians and ethnic Belarusians, and Russian Orthodox by tradition. Other Christian groups include Roman Catholics and Protestants. There are a total of 258 Orthodox churches, 93 Catholic churches, and over 500 Protestant churches and prayer houses. The Russian Orthodox Christmas is recognized as a national holiday in Kazakhstan. Other religious groups include Judaism, the Bahá'í Faith, Hare Krishnas, Buddhists, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

  Kazakhstan Customs, Traditions,  Housing

  The Yurt

To go all the way to Kazakhstan and not step into a Kazakh yurt-a-snow-white dome nestling in the green of a jailyau (summer pasture) - would mean missing an important aspect of Kazakh life. TheKazakh Yurtyurt is one of the most ancient and greatest inventions of the Eurasian nomads. It is a convenient, practical dwelling, ideally suited to the demands of nature and everyday life, and easy to pack up and take with you by horse or camel.

Known as "a miniature vault of heaven above the steppe", the yurt consists of three main elements: a collapsible latticed base (kerege), dome-shaped poles (uyk), and a round top (shanyrak). The Kazakhs always pay attention to ornament, as you can see the decoration inside a yurt: carpets on the walls (tuskz), left mats (tekemet), and embroidered articles of many colours, decorated with animal and plant motifs.


In Kazakh traditions a marriage was a lengthy process which began with arranging the match. There were two ways of arranging a marriage. The suitor could either send matchmakers to the girl`s parents or he could kidnap his intended. In the former case the matchmakers - relatives ofKazakh national weddingthe suitor - would bring lavish gifts to the girl`s parents and ask for their consent. The bride - price and wedding date would then be set. Sometimes the girl was given the right to choose. Usually she would set the suitor an almost impossible task rather than refuse his proposal directly. An old legend tells that Abylai Khan fell in love with beautiful girl a poor family. But she already had an intended - an ordinary soldier. However, she could not offend the khan and bring his wrath upon her clan. So she said she would marry the khan if he could shoot an arrow higher than the mountain by the lake. She had decided that if the khan fulfilled her task, she would throw herself off the rock into the stony stream below. However hard the khan tried to shoot straight into the sky, no arrow ever flew higher than the mountain. Since then the mountain (in Northern Kazakhstan) has been called Okzhetpes ("unreachable by an arrow") and the lake Zhumbaktas ("riddle-stone").

  Kazakhstan Public holidays

Date English name Notes

January 1

New Year's Day


January 7

Eastern OrthodoxChristmas


Last day of Hajj

Qurban Ayt

March 8

International Women's Day


March 22

Nauryz Meyramy

Traditionally a springtime holiday marking the beginning of a new year, sometimes as late as April 21.

May 1

Kazakhstan People'sUnity Day


May 9 Great Patriotic War Against Fascism Victory Day

A holiday in the former Soviet  carried over to present-day Kazakhstan and other former republics (Except Baltic Countries).

July 6 Capital City Day

Birthday of the First President

August 30 Constitution Day


December 16

Independence Day