Tuesday, 9 May 2017

UZBEKISTAN: Uzbekistan Visa-free Regime Put Off Till 2021

The decree of the President of Uzbekistan on abolishing of visa regime for tourists from 27 countries earlier planned for 1 April 2017 is postponed until 1 January 2021, reports Gazeta.Uz.

The proposal on visa waiver postponement has been prepared by the State Tourism Development Committee, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Interior Affairs, State Customs Committee and other structures.

According to the new decree, the decision to postpone visa cancellation was taken to create necessary technical support and resources, to develop tourist activities in a sustainable and balanced way, to ensure the health and safety of tourists and residents, as well as to develop equitable economic cooperation with foreign countries.

The previous decree from 2 December stated abolishment of visa regime for citizens of 15 states and tourists aged 55 from 12 countries.

It is also to mention that introduction of electronic visas and the systems of "green corridor" customs control for foreigners at international airports of Tashkent, Samarkand, Bukhara and Urgench as well as separate passport control for residents and non-residents of the country at airports and railway stations, are also in the list of postponement.

From April 1, 2017 no visa is required for the citizens of Australia, Austria, Great Britain, Germany, Denmark, Spain, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Finland, Switzerland and Japan to visit Uzbekistan as a tourist for no more than 30 days.

The same applies to the tourists over 55 years of age from Kingdom of Belgium, Indonesia, China (as a part of tourist groups), Malaysia, the USA, France, Vietnam, Israel, Poland, Hungary, Portugal and the Czech Republic.

Citizens of these countries pay an entry fee of $50; the document confirming payment will guarantee entry into the country.

In addition, by April 2017 airports of the most touristic destinations, Tashkent, Samarkand, Bukhara and Urgench, will implement "green corridor" customs control for foreign tourists to simplify passport and customs control, baggage collection procedures.

At the airports and train stations separate passport control for residents and non-residents will be deployed to create additional facilities and accelerate arrival and departure procedures for foreign citizens.

Uzbekistan took the second place in the list of hot travel destinations in 2017 according to the Financial Times; it was reported on the official website of the newspaper. The rating was compiled from a survey of tourism market leaders.

It has been noted that The article says that demand has been boosted by recent books and television programmes on BBC and Discovery Channels.

For those without the months needed to make a full journey along the route, Uzbekistan offers a convenient taste of some of the highlights — including the mosques, mausoleums, mosaics and minarets of the ancient trading cities of Khiva, Bukhara and Samarkand.

However, the allure of such sites has always been tempered by the difficulties of getting a visa. But from April 2017 citizens of 15 countries and travelers over 55 from 12 countries will no longer require any sort of visa.

Along with Uzbekistan, the Financial Times ranking listed Nepal, Kenya, Finland, the Andaman Islands, United Kingdom, Madagascar, Cambodia and New Zealand.

A group of archaeologists from China and Uzbekistan made a significant discovery during excavations in the ruins of the ancient city Mingtepa in the south-east of the Ferghana valley, reports the information agency "Xinhua News".

It was reported on Tuesday at the forum of archeologists of China Academy of Social Sciences.

The excavations testify that over 2000 years ago Mingtepa was not merely temporary garrison fortress of nomads, but a full value city-fortress, moreover, the largest one in the Ferghana valley. Studio ruins, remaining part of the western gates of the inner city and the cemetery at the eastern wall of the external city were found during the digging process.

Mingtepa, being located not far from the current city of Andijan in the south-east of Uzbekistan, once belonged to the territory of the ancient Central Asian State of Davan. Cooperative works carried out by Chinese and Uzbek archaeologists shed light to the research of the Davan.

Also, it gave a start to participation of Chinese archaeologists in the excavations beyond the country.

Mingtepa research will be a long-lasting project and the next step will be making the chronology of Mingtepa based on discoveries.

On April 5, 2017 Uzbekistan Airways launched a new flight connecting Tashkent and Lahore, reported the press service of the airline.

Tashkent-Lahore flights will be operated twice a week on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and aircrafts will depart from Lahore on Wednesdays and Fridays. Flight will take two and a half hours.

Journalist of the National Geographic Mark Synnott was a part of international expedition of speleologists researching one of the deepest caves of the world located on the territory of Uzbekistan and later shared his story on the Nat Geo website.

The depth of the unique cave in the Boysun mountains is estimated by the scientists to be 2650 m, however, no one yet managed to reach the bottom of the cave, thus its true depth is still indefinite.

The deepest cave known to the scientific world is the cave Krubera in Georgia, 2196 m deep, but "underground Everest" in Uzbekistan can already lay up a claim to this place.

The research of the cave began with the British speleologists in 1990 naming it the Dark Star after a fictional film of the director John Carpenter. Since then the cave had attracted speleologists and extreme lovers.

In his article Sinott describes the Dark star as a geological time capsule, because Mineral deposits found there reveal millennia of climate history.

Mark Synnott's article on the Dark Star will be published in the March edition of the National Geographic.

On 21 March 2017 the international passenger train № 1/2 Almaty – Tashkent was launched from the station Almaty-2 to cater to the growing demand of passengers in the region, as per the release issued Kazakhstan National Railways press-centre.

The train is formed of “Tulpar-Talgo” cars with a wide body. The train Almaty-Tashkent consists of 29 cars and will run twice a week. Travel time is about 16 hours 30 minutes.