Moving to Uzbekistan
Expats moving to Uzbekistan will bear witness to the massive political and economic change that has taken place since it gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. However, thanks to the Uzbek government’s efforts to transform the country, Uzbekistan's GDP is steadily increasing year by year.
The expat population of Uzbekistan may be fairly small but it is gradually expanding. The main drivers of the Uzbek economy are gas, oil and gold and most expats work as senior management professionals in one of these industries.
The official language of the country is Uzbek, although Russian is also spoken by some. Very few Uzbek people speak fluent English, so a basic knowledge of Uzbek or Russian is recommended.
While most Uzbeks are Muslim, Uzbekistan is a very tolerant nation, so expats won’t have any difficulties practising their religion freely here. Regardless, expats should always demonstrate respect for local etiquette and should dress modestly.
The rate of crime in Uzbekistan is generally quite low, and violent crime is rare. However, street crime is on the rise in big cities, especially in the capital, Tashkent. Expats should exercise caution late at night and on public transport, where most pickpocketing incidents occur.
Healthcare in Uzbekistan isn't on par with standards in Western Europe or North America and there's a serious shortage of doctors and medical facilities. While the Uzbek government is trying to reform the medical system, it's best for expats to seek treatment in a private hospital such as the Tashkent International Clinic. Many expats travel abroad for more complex medical procedures.
Expats relocating to Uzbekistan with children should keep in mind that there are only a handful of international schools in the country, including Tashkent International School and Tashkent Ulugbek International School. Expats planning on living in Uzbekistan for an extended period should consider enrolling in a local language course to make the transition smoother.