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July 2012

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Get Wet

Watersports in THE World’s Largest Landlocked Country

edgekz .com

Exploring the Ancient Discovering Southern Kazakhstan

The Grape Unknown Kazakh Wines Come Into Their Own

London Olympics

Kazakh Athletes Primed For Gold

What’s Hot in KZ:

Nightclubs, Bars, Restaurants, Arts & Culture and Much More

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Kazakhstan The Future Is Wide Open

Since its independence just 20 years ago, Kazakhstan has grown to be the success story of Central Asia. A country of awesome steppes, grand canyons and majestic mountains, Kazakhstan is becoming known as much for its progress, as it is for its wide open spaces. As the powerhouse of Central Asia, Kazakhstan’s economy is thriving thanks to industries such as oil, clean energy, minerals, agriculture, finance and more. In Kazakhstan, the ninth largest country in the world, ethnic and religious harmony rule the land – a land once marred by nuclear disaster. Now a leader in nuclear responsibility, Kazakhstan has hosted many highly-productive international summits on the issue in its glittering new capital city, Astana.

A nation reborn, Kazakhstan is a place of open hearts and open minds. It’s a country open for business and investment. It’s a place where big ideas have room to grow – and the future is wide open.

The Nazarbayev Center 2, Respublika Avenue Astana, Kazakhstan 010000

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Published by the International Information Committee, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan


Editor-in-Chief Patrick Gilsenan

Astana Futuristic Skyline’s Just Getting Started


BUSINESS: Rare Earths

Nation Enjoys High-Tech Minerals Boom

Contributing Writers Alex Walters Colin Berlyne Michelle Witte Teri Barner Alex Lee


Grape Unknown Kazakhstan’s Broadening Wine Palette


What to Say? Getting by in a Dual Language Nation


London Olympics Kazakh Athletes Primed for Gold


Water Sports in the World’s Largest Landlocked Nation

Contributing Photographers Marat Abilov Igor Logvin




PROFILE: Berik Aitzhanov Kazakhstan’s Down-to-Earth Film Star

Research and Production Dionis Chinivizov




Fashion Designs of Dana Rgebayeva


Model Saltanat Bekzhigitova


Astana Hits the Beach Summer on City’s Yessil River

Designed by Addnoise Dimitra Darlioti Evdokia Stivaktaki Consultants Jennifer Grinnell Paula Mahoney Thanks for assistance and photography The Nazarbayev Center Ministry of Foreign Affairs Astana City Administration

Southern Kazakhstan Exploring the Ancient Kanat Saudabayev Solidifying Kazakhstan’s International Role


Cultural Connection Folk Troupe Takes Heritage Global


CULTURE: Kazakh Fashion

Surprising, Unique & Cutting Edge

For additional information © 2012 EdgeKz All rights reserved Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is strictly prohibited

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Astana Listings 66









Arts & Culture


Fitness & Banya





100 Almaty Listings Useful Information

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Astana Map

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A City With a Future By Colin Berlyne The city of Astana has come a long way over the last 14 years. It has grown from town to city and has been become of the world’s most architecturally interesting urban centers. And on July 6, Astana – the nation’s capital – will celebrate its 14th official year of existence. What many visitors don’t know, however, is that Astana as a living, developing city is far from complete. The city is developing slowly under master plans drawn up by one of the globe’s most prominent architects and the vast Kazakh steppe you see out your hotel window will soon be filled with parks, homes, businesses and life. To mark the city’s 14th anniversary celebration, EdgeKz looked into Astana’s future and discussed its plans with the capital’s chief planner. And it’s clear that this vibrant metropolis is just getting started.

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The View from the Pyramid

The city is developing slowly under master plans drawn up by one of the globe’s most prominent architects

The 62-meter-high Palace of Peace and Harmony, also known as the Pyramid of Peace, fascinates thousands of visitors annually with its bold design and vision of a reconciled, peaceful world. However, most of its admirers don’t realize that the Pyramid of Peace is actually the exact center of the city of Astana. The official center of the city is represented by a single point at the bottom of the pyramid. Like many of Astana’s new public buildings, the Pyramid is spectacularly lit up at night and contains the national opera house, a museum of culture and other unique attractions. In the first decade and a half that Astana has served as the capital of Kazakhstan, however, the Palace of Peace and Harmony has stood alone on the southern bank of the Yessil River surrounded only by flat plains and park land. But in the next phase of Astana’s growth and development, that is going to radically change. The land around the Pyramid of Peace and other previously empty districts are going to buzz with construction workers and machines as the city surges ahead in the next phase of its development. That development will be a living testimony to the vision of three men: Kazakhstan’s founding President Nursultan Nazarbayev who had the vision to locate a new capital in the heart of the Eurasian steppe embodying the spirit and heritage of the Kazakh people. Kisho Kurokawa, one of the greatest architects of his time and the man who drew up the master plan for the gleaming new city. And Astana’s current chief planner, Vladimir Laptev who’s working to enact those visions while bringing insights of his own to the city’s master plan. Kurokawa died in 2007 at the age of 73 but his architectural agency continues to work closely with the chief planner, the government of Kazakhstan and the city of Astana in advancing the development plan. For his part, Laptev has embraced

Kurokawa’s vision of an aesthetically futuristic city that blends with the four seasons of the year and the changing rhythms of nature. He has given practical guidance to this vision by comparing plans for building up Astana to the plan for the German city of Berlin. Berlin, like Astana, is a city with flowing water and green, leafy parks, sprinkled with woods and forests throughout. This integration of urban and rural, man and nature, East and West in harmony remains central to Astana’s plans and the men who had the vision to bring it forth. Astana is determined to make the Palace of Peace and Reconciliation the central jewel in a stunning complex that will eventually be filled with equally stunning architecture. This vision grows out of master-architect Kurokawa’s spiritual concepts, Laptev told EdgeKz. Kurokawa said his plans for Astana would provide “a new direction of architectural style that will inspire the visions and perceptions of the 21st century.” Every visitor to Kazakhstan’s amazing new capital will agree with that. e

Above: Urban Astana as it appears today Below right: Palace of Peace and Harmony, also known as the Pyramid of Peace

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Master Plan for Capital Growth By Colin Berlyne Astana’s chief planner Vladimir Laptev told EdgeKz that what appears to be a stunning but isolated building –the Palace of Peace and Harmony– will soon be on a central square that will serve as the heart of Astana. “The center of any city is the main square,” he said. “In the case of our city, the main square is Tauelsizdik Square and it is also the location of the Kazakh Eli monument. It is important to ensure that the locations where the Palace of Peace and Harmony and the Palace of Independence already stand will be recognized as being on the main square in the symbolic and actual centre of the city.” To accomplish this, Laptev told EdgeKz the city has a master plan designating the location, design and construction of Astana’s public buildings, educational institutions, sports and tourism complexes, as well as its recreation and transportation centers. That plan calls for the construction of new buildings surrounding not only the Palace of Peace and Harmony, but also revitalization of the area on the north side – or right bank – of the Yessil River where Astana will expand business, trading and information centers, as well as industrial and warehouse facilities, Laptev said. Following the master plan of renowned and late architect Kisho Kurokawa, the city is divided into six planning areas guiding new construction until at least 2020. “The central planning area is divided for inhabited, public, recreational, engineering and transportation buildings,” Laptev said.

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According to the plan, the Southwest District of Astana would encompass the center of the Olympic complex, the multipurpose Abu Dhabi plaza and the presidential library. It would also include a sports complex, track and field athletics arena, botanical gardens and an aqua park. The Southwest District will be filled with and shaped by large parks, including lakes for recreation and sporting activities in both winter and summer, as well as the city’s zoo. The Northwest District will continue to be significant to the city’s development with importance being given to the construction of schools. The interaction with nature throughout the city will also be an important component here and will find practical expression through the planting of hundreds of coniferous trees to cushion the sounds of traffic. The northern area of Astana will continue to be designed around the twin axes of major urban roads into the heart of the city from the Akmolinsky and Pavlodar areas. The north of the city will also contain a modern high-tech industrial park. Also included in plans for the city’s future center is an area currently slated to incorporate buildings which are planned in the event Astana hosts the international exhibition EXPO 2017, as well as the covered Batygay urban complex which will spread over 154 hectares. Bringing the city of Astana to its full potential is a lifetime of work. But Laptev remains full of energy and optimism and shares the original vision of Nazarbayev and Kurokawa for the future of the country’s capital.

Above and below: Renderings of Astana’s urban and transportation expansion plans

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The master plan of late architect Kisho Kurokawa divides Astana into six sections and guides construction through 2020

Happy Commuters Make Healthy City By Colin Berlyne

Top: Astana’s current main plaza leading to Kazakhstan’s Presidential Palace Above: Computer model of similar plazas planned for Astana’s future

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A city’s population is its beating heart and head. But a city’s transportation system, including its network of roads and railways, is its bloodstream carrying all living things to and from their homes and work places. Even the most beautiful and well-planned urban center will become a dangerous clot of frustration, stress, ill-health and misery if its transportation system is ignored or under-funded. The planners of the city of Astana know that and are determined Kazakhstan’s dazzling new capital will escape that fate. Astana’s development is being carried out within three major plans. And construction of a state-of-theart transportation infrastructure is integral to those plans, Vladimir Laptev, Astana’s chief planner and administrator, told EdgeKz. “First, we have developed a plan to guide the contiguity of the development of the city through the creation of new residential areas: second, the construction of a planned, integrated, urban transport infrastructure; and third, the establishment of town-planning regulations to govern and guide the development of the city territories,” Laptev said. “The most interesting part of the master plan is its transport infrastructure,” Laptev continued. “This has to be designed to accommodate a twice-daily pendulum-rhythm migration, or commute, from a 30-kilometer to 60-kilometer zone to allow smooth, convenient journeys for large numbers of workers into the city from the suburbs and satellite complexes where they live. But it must also ensure the convenience and practicality of short-term trips to recreation areas.” This transportation master plan, Laptev said, is defined along eight structural axes called Korgalzhinsky, Pavlodar, Kokshetausky, Kostanaysky, Karaganda,

Ereymentausky, Kosshy and Maybalyk. On each of these, Astana is creating systems of three parallel streets. One of them will serve as the central highway carrying public transportation. The other two lanes of each major arterial highway will consist of lateral oneway traffic lanes. The plan also includes the construction of five transfer terminals from public bus routes to easily accessible railway transportation systems. These terminals will also include multilevel parking garages for cars and bicycles. Much of Astana’s new transportation infrastructure will be focused in its northern districts. This is where major railways will be located to serve both commuter needs and the requirements of a major industrial park. And through it, at least two major highways already drive straight to the heart of the city. These ambitious but practical plans are designed to expand the services and livability of the capital to serve an anticipated population of one million people by 2030. For individuals, a healthy cardiovascular system is essential for a long and healthy life. Astana’s new transportation system is designed to serve the same purpose and to keep its people healthy and happy and to ensure the city has a long life.

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The Taste of


to Come: Broadening the Local Palette By Colin Berlyne

Kazakhs love their wine, and they have been drinking it for more than 1,300 years. However, the modern winemaking industry in Kazakhstan is surprisingly young. The earliest modern day experiments took place on collective farms in the Almaty, Shymkent and Taraz regions in the 1930s. Soviet dictator Josef Stalin had begun deporting hundreds of thousands of people from their original homelands further east to Kazakhstan. So it’s not surprising that these early efforts at winemaking used methods common in Georgia and the Caucasus – a major winemaking region from ancient times through today, – as well as in Moldova and Ukraine. And these peasant refugees and survivors from those regions brought their local vine-growing and wine-making techniques with them. It was only after the hard-fought victory over Nazi Germany in 1945 that the age of modern winemaking finally came to Kazakhstan. “The climate and nature of the southern regions were recognized as ideal for wine making,” Anatoly Kisilev of the Bacchus Company told EdgeKz. “The warmth of a fruitful soil, clean air and water, the riches of traditions sung by Kazakh poets saturate the colorful bouquet of our produce and shed light on it. And the phrase ‘the Sun in a glass’ becomes crystal clear.” By 1976, grapevines to produce wines were being cultivated on more than 22,311 hectares on 26 specialized farms. The quality was good and getting better, but no one outside what was still the Kazakh Soviet So-

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12 cialist Republic knew about them yet. British writer Christopher Robbins relates in his delightful travel book Apples are from Kazakhstan that when then Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and his wife Raisa visited Kazakhstan in 1987, they had never heard of its local wines even though Gorbachev prided himself on being a connoisseur of internationally acclaimed vintages. They were both pleasantly surprised and impressed when the local vintages were rolled out for them. Today, Kazakhstan’s vintages are receiving the respect they deserve. The finest varieties of grapes are grown on the lower hills and outlying ridges of the Tian Shan mountain range in the far south that extends to the suburbs of Almaty. The main vineyards and wineries remain concentrated in that area and around Taraz and Shymkent. They can be found close to the country’s southern borders with China, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan. A few of them are even located around the coasts of the Caspian Sea to the west. For although Kazakhstan is vast, the ninth largest nation in area in the world, only about 4 percent of its territory is suitable for high quality viticulture. But

the Kazakhs have revived the discriminating tastes of their ancestors. The widespread consumption of wine goes well, as this author can testify, with the culture of hospitality and friendliness that characterizes the Kazakh people. To satisfy this demand, the domestic wine industry today makes a whopping 6.2 million gallons (236,000 hectolitres) of wine every year, even though the total land area of the country’s vineyards has shrunk from 22,000 hectares 36 years ago to only 13,000 hectares today. The people of Kazakhstan consume 30 million bottles of wine every year, almost two bottles for every man, woman and child in the country. And only 20 percent, or one fifth, of that consumption can be satisfied by local production. The rest is purchased and imported from abroad. The pioneer vintners of the steppes 1,300 years ago would be astonished if they could see the machines and technologies that go into modern winemaking. The volume of output from today’s wineries would delight and astonish them. But once they sipped the new “Sun in a Glass” vintages produced by these modern methods, they would feel much more at home as the ancient traditions of quality winemaking, like the culture of hospitality that accompanies it, are alive and well in the 21st century Kazakhstan. e

There’s a sense among LocaL winemakers ThaT kazakhsTan has greaT PoTenTiaL To move Beyond The counTry’s TradiTionaL desserT wines

Kazakh Wines Move Beyond Dessert and Regional Flavors By Colin Berlyne The people of Kazakhstan love their wines, but they have traditionally focused their tastes on sweet dessert wines with meals and cognacs in the evening. However, local vintners are planning to expand their range of brands as an era of exploration and experimentation has begun in the nation’s wine industry. There’s a sense among local winemakers that Kazakhstan has great potential to move beyond the country’s traditional dessert wines, winemakers told EdgeKz. Underlining this potential is the fact that Kazakhstan is home to a remarkable variety of grapes – more than 40 of them. Yet more than 50 percent of annual production is limited to providing grapes as fruit rather than using them to produce a greater variety of wines. The country already grows the grapes to make Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Riesling Muscat Ottonell, Aligote, Bayan Shira, Kuljinski, Maiski Chernby, Aleatico, Saperavi, Rkatsiteli and Rubinovy Magaracha wines. Until recently, the strongest influence on Kazakh winemaking has been the more wellknown Georgian varieties from the Caucasus. Local tastes still run to unsophisticated sweet red wines for which the Georgians are famous. But these traditional tastes are going to change

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as Kazakhstan continues to emerge onto the international stage, and winemakers say they are poised to adapt to the more global market. The Issyk Winery in the village of Issyk 40 km east of Almaty is the shape of things to come. Over the past 16 years it has led the way in bringing Kazakhstan’s winemaking up to international standards. In 1996, the Issyk Winery was bought by Consulting Group, which is based in Switzerland. Recently, a local company, Dostar, purchased it. The Consulting Group brought in Italian and Australian experts and introduced such technological innovations as sweeping arm fermenters, air bag presses, cross flow filtration and nitrogen production. It was the first time these so-called “New World” technologies had been employed in Central Asia. Now these sophisticated systems are being operated smoothly on behalf of a local ownership. The innovations that Issyk pioneered have been carefully studied by old and new sister companies that have also risen to the challenge of the new global market place. “We already offer more than 50 alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Every day our wine makers are working hard on creating new wine and cognac brands, elevating the production to the next level, accord-

ing to international standards,” Anatoly Kisilev of the Bacchus Company told EdgeKz. Kisilev added that providing a wider range of products from the wide variety of available grapes was the key to expanding the local market and demand for his firm’s wines. Veteran winemaker Artush Karapetyan, the elder statesman of the winemaking industry of Kazakhstan, has learned the same lesson. He told EdgeKz his Winnac Company has already diversified its output. “Winnac already produces different brands of cognac, brandy, wine and chacha wine,” Karapetyan said. “We make them from classic vines such as Rkatsitelli, Aligote, Pino, Cabernet and Saperavi grapes that were originally imported into the country. But we also use domestic grapes such as Kuljinski and Bayan Shira.” Even frequent visitors to Kazakhstan are now finding new wines upon each return and winemakers say we have only taken the first sip of what is to come for wines in Kazakhstan.


Bacchus Winery

Lives Up to its name

By Colin Berlyne When tourists, educators, industrialists and engineers fly home to the four points of the compass after visiting Kazakhstan, odds are they’ll be carrying at least one bottle of high quality cognac as a gift or reminder of their time in the country. Founded in 1948, Bacchus is one of the oldest wine-making companies in Kazakhstan and it has become a symbol of the country’s successful development. Bacchus grew fast. In 1950, it had already produced its first batch of 5,000 bottles of champagne to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic. The company grew so fast, in fact, that within another two years it had produced 300,000 bottles of the sparkling drink. Today, Bacchus lives up its name – the ancient Roman god of wine. The company produces more than 80 alcoholic beverages including cognac (brandy), champagne, vodka, wine and sparkling waters. “We’re constantly trying to advance and extend our boundaries,” company spokesman Anatoly Kisilev told EdgeKz. “We are always working on improving our production technology and quality control. And we never stop experimenting and exploring, looking to expand our range of products.” By 1965, the production volume had soared to an enormous 300,000 bottles of champagne per year. Brandy, or cognac, rapidly grew in popularity too. By 1974, the company was importing basic alcohol to brew the cognac from Cyprus, Romania, Bulgaria and France – and it was producing no less than 260,000 bottles of it every year. The company continues to progress with the times. “In 2010, we introduced two new cognac brands – Bacchus of Kazakhstan and Dyarmen,

and a new light sparkling wine called VetoProseco,” Kisilev said. “New winemaking technologies that were pioneered in Italy and Russia have been introduced and they have proved successful. They have allowed us to produce a new range of wines including our own Chardonnay, Merlot and Saperavi Classic brands.” The main Bacchus winery is in Almaty. It is an impressive complex covering 7.2 hectares with its own railway spur and loading station. The company has been re-equipped with modern equipment from Germany and Italy. And it has its own stateof-the-art production laboratory and advanced quality control system. Bacchus needs these advantages of organization and mass production. Today, it produces an extraordinary 36.5 million bottles of cognac, wine and vodka a year. But for all its size and success, the company hasn’t forgotten the classic traditions of hospitality and good-cheer that have always accompanied the consumption of wine in the lands of the Kazakhs. “Bacchus is a hospitable host,” Kisilev said. “As is considered proper in Kazakhstan, our doors are always open for visitors. Anyone interested is invited for a tour. Our specialists will be glad to explain and show the stages of production, show our numerous workshops and halls and share the history and development of wine making in the country. “Visitors will experience the chill of wine cells, smell the heady scent of wooden barrels, and sample a wide range of products,” he said. So next time you’re in Almaty, stop by the winery and share a glass with some of the country’s most established wine makers.

Pictures this page: Images from the Bacchus Winery

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Above: Winnac Winery Founder Artush Karapetyan Right: Images from the Winnac Winery

The Elder Statesman

of Kazakh Winemaking

By Colin Berlyne Artush Karapetyan is a living legend. The modern history of winemaking in Kazakhstan can be written from his biography. Karapetyan’s parents were Armenians who were among the hundreds of thousands of people forcibly deported to the steppes of Kazakhstan and dropped there to fend for themselves by Soviet ruler Josef Stalin in the late 1930s. Like so many others, Karapetyan’s parents found refuge and a warm welcome in their new homeland. And he has repaid the debt with a life of service to his country. “I have been in this business for 40 years and I know it very well,” he told EdgeKz. “That is why I was chosen as president of the Winemaker’s Union.” Karapetyan’s 60 years of experience encompasses the old state-owned wine and cognac-producing industries of the Soviet era and the wave of innovation and diversification that have revitalized the winemaking industry of modern Kazakhstan. Now well into his 70s, he found the idea of retiring inconceivable and since 2004 has led the successful Winnac Company, which he founded. His achievements have won him international renown, including the Association of French Winemakers Golden SPI medal in 2001 and the coveted Napoleon Medal in 2003. “Today, (Winnac) is a modern wine making enterprise with a developed infrastructure. Our wine cellars have a capacity to store up to 180,000 to 200,000 barrels of cognac for three to six years. We imported modern Italian wine-making

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technology that meets the most demanding world standards. Our wines and cognacs are kept and mature in oak barrels that are 80 to 100 years old. The modern bottling system we use processes up to 6,000 bottles per hour.” Winnac produces different brands of cognac, brandy, wine and chacha (vodka wine). “We make them from classic vines such as Rkatsitelli, Aligote, Pino, Cabernet and Saperavi grapes that were originally imported into the country. But we also use domestic grapes such as Kuljinski and Bayan Shira.” Winnac is an example of modern wine production in Central Asia. It combines high production volume, broad brand differentiation and strict quality control. Winnac wines have won 11 gold and seven silver medals in international wine expositions over the last eight years. “Today, we make four different brands of champagne, 22 kinds of wine, 5 different cognacs, three types of chacha and four kinds of non-alcoholic beverages,” Karapetyan said. “We bottle up to 30,000 bottles of cognac per month… Our products are made from local genuine raw local ingredients and we have our own vine yards in southern Kazakhstan.” Even in his eighth decade, Karapetyan still radiates a boyish enthusiasm. “I enjoy watching our production work and following every stage of the process,” he told EdgeKz. “When I approve my signature on the bottles, I mean it. It’s the philosophy by which I’ve lived my life.”

Karapetyan said one of his biggest remaining challenges is to expand the market for high quality wines and cognacs in his own coutnry. “(Kazakhs) like to drink vodka in the evenings and sweet table wines with their meals. Our goal is to educate our consumers so that they diversify more widely, and with discrimination to explore the wide range of wines, champagnes and cognacs.” “After all these years, wine making still enchants me with its mystery,” Karapetyan continued. “The grapes somehow transform into that aromatic, god-like beverage: The dark cognacs, the cobwebbed oak barrels, all this is an integral part of the classic repertoire of wine making. Preserving and developing the great traditions of making wine and cognac are the meaning of my life.”

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A Nation Prepares for Gold By Alex Walters

Kazakh Athletes Head to London

The Olympic Rings installed at the Saint Pancras International Station for the 2012 Olympic Games. Š i4lcocl2 /

16 The pressure on Talgat Ermegiyaev is nearly as great as that on Kazakhstan’s Olympic athletes. The dynamic former Culture and Sports Minister this year accepted the chairmanship of the Kazakh Sport and Physical Culture Agency. His mission? To assemble a well-trained team of top athletes to bring home medals from the Summer Olympic Games in London. That’s a tall order for any country, let alone one with only 20 years of independence and a young, though popular and well-funded, sporting sector. But 43-year-old Ermegiyaev doesn’t lack confidence. Early in 2012, he predicted to a Cabinet meeting in Astana that the Kazakhstan national team expected to win at least 3 gold medals at the London 2012 Games. “Our athletes must successfully perform at the Olympics and show results higher than at the previous Olympic Games in Beijing - to win at least three gold medals against two won in Beijing. Totally, we plan to win over 13 medals,” he said.

The Kazakh national team will be most heavily represented in London in the weightlifting, boxing, water polo, and track and field categories

Above from left: Former and current Kazakh athletes, Nurmakhan Tynaliyev, Saida Chasenova, Maxim Rakov, Anna Alybayeva, Maya Maneza Right: 2008, Kazakh Olympic Team

The Kazakh national team will be most heavily represented in London in the weightlifting, boxing, water polo, and track and field categories. Eight weight lifters, nine boxers, 13 water polo team players, 12 track and field athletes and male wrestlers in various categories have already qualified for London and more will likely follow them. According to Ermegiyaev, at least 74 Kazakhstan athletes from a minimum of 16 sports have won spots in the London Games. By the time the Games start on July 27, more than 100 Kazakh athletes are expected to have qualified from at least 25 sports. Ermegiyaev told EdgeKz that he thought the Kazakh Olympic team was particularly strong in its boxers and weightlifters. “We also plan to win medals in wrestling, shooting, both artistic and rhythmic gymnastics, judo, track and field, cycling, water polo, canoe and kayak, fencing and tae kwon do,” he said. Ermegiyaev has already chalked up a record of success in delivering a network of world class training facilities for Kazakhstan’s young athletes. “We have been able to give them a wide range of modern centres to train in,” he said. “These include the Baluan Sholak Sports Palace, Water Sports Center and Central Stadium in Almaty and the Kazakhstan Sports Palace and Sary Arka Republican Cycling Stadium in Astana.” The Kazakh Sport and Physical Culture Agency Chairman sees the strength of the current high-


Above and bottom right: Kazakh high jumper and Olympic hopeful Marina Aitova

Brains, Beauty and Talent Drive Three-Time Olympian By Alex Walters

The Success of Kazakhstan’s athletes has boosted national enthusiasm for the Olympic team

profile national Olympic team as a logical result of the well-established network of sports training facilities for children, teenagers and young people that the government has funded across the nation. Among these are the Children’s and Youth Sports Schools (CYSS) and Boarding Schools for Gifted Children in Sports (BSGCS), he told EdgeKz. Kazakh athletes and the country’s facilities already have significant success on the international athletic stage. The hosting of the Asian Winter Games in early 2011 has proven to be a bonanza for the country’s Olympic preparations. The success of Kazakhstan’s athletes boosted national enthusiasm for the Olympic team and many impressive new facilities were constructed around the country to international standards. “During the preparation for the Asian Winter Games in Kazakhstan, a ski and biathlon stadium was constructed in the Soldatskoe Gorge in Talgar in the Almaty region,” Ermegiyaev said. “We also built a new international complex of ski trampolines in Almaty, the new Republican Cycling Track, the Alau Skating stadium in Astana, the Astana Arena indoor stadium and we rebuilt the old Medeo sports complex in Almaty.” Not only was the event the largest international sports festival ever held in Kazakhstan or anywhere else in Central Asia, but Kazakh athletes were in top form beating out famous international stars from far larger nations like China and Japan to win a broad

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Competing on an international stage in front of millions of spectators is nothing new for Kazakh high jumper Marina Aitova. The London Olympic Games will be the third for the striking, statuesque blond athlete from Karaganda. She represented Kazakhstan in the 2004 Athens Games and the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Twenty-nine-year-old Aitova is still looking for her first Olympic medal, but winning gold in international tournaments is a common experience for her. She won the high jump competition at the 2003 Afro-Asian Games in Hyderabad, India, at the 2006 Asian Games in Doha, Qatar, at the 2007 Universiade Games in Bangkok, Thailand and at the 2010 Asian Indoor Championships in Tehran, Iran. And she proved she is still a global threat at the 2011 Asian Games in Kobe, Japan where she won the bronze medal. “I started my training at the age of 12 and the high jump when I was 15. Now I am 29, so I have plenty of experience in my event,” she told EdgeKz. Aitova was born and raised in Karaganda and has been a part of the Kazakh national Olympics team since she was 17 years old. But she is more than just an athlete. She graduated from Karaganda’s Economic University in 2002 with a degree in international economics and this year will graduate from the Academy of the Ministry of Interior Affairs of Kazakhstan. She is also a parent juggling the challenges of international competition and motherhood. “My granny is bringing up my child as I am often travelling. I try to take my son with me when possible. I would have had more hardships without the help of my relatives,” she said. But balancing the demands of academia and motherhood with the rigors of international level competition has not dampened

Aitova’s enthusiasm for her sport. “At this time, our sport is getting attention. For the kids, there are good conditions being created for training,” she said. “Our stadium was re-constructed and new equipment was installed.” She also continues to seek inspiration from other elite athletes. “In Kazakhstan, there are lots of first-class athletes like Olga Rypakova, Dmitry Karpov, the Croatian Blanca Vlasic, Anna Chicherova, high jumpers. I try not to admire them, but look at them as good examples,” she said. Aitova also told EdgeKz that despite having competed in two previous Olympics, she has no plans to retire anytime soon. “After the Olympics, I am planning to rest a bit and then I will start getting ready for the Asian Games,” she said. “My best results so far are my bronze medal at the World Cup, my gold medal at the Asian Games, and I hold a record at the Asian Games in indoor facilities. I hope in the future I will attain even higher results.”

6/15/12 8:55:19 PM


Above: Kazakh boxer and two-time amateur world champion Serik Sapiyev, in red Below: Former Samruk-Kazyna Wealth Fund Chairman Timur Kulibayev, left, with Sapiyev

Kazakh Boxing Champ Seeks KO in London By Alex Walters At 28, Serik Sapiyev is a seasoned veteran by sporting standards. The popular Kazakh boxer is also a two-time world champion having won the amateur world light welterweight title twice in 2005 and 2007. Today, Sapiyev is also captain of Kazakhstan’s national boxing team focused on the upcoming Olympic Games in London. He also recently moved up a weight class and told EdgeKz in an exclusive interview that winning gold in the new weight class will be a tough fight. “It’s a bit harder for me,” he said. “I was a double world champion at 64 kg and now I box in the 69 kg category. It is difficult to box against guys who are heavier. But if I have to fight against a heavy guy with less knowledge in boxing than I have, I think I can still beat him.” Sapiyev won his first world title in 2005 when he beat Dilshod Mahmudov. He then went on to capture a bronze medal in the 2006 Asian Games. Olympic gold medalist Manus Boonjumnong defeated Sapiyev in a semi-final bout that year, but

the Kazakh boxer still managed to knock down the eventual champion. In 2007, he won his second world title defeating Gennady Kov from Russia. But his success in the ring isn’t all past glory. On May 4, Sapiyev beat Lakhbir Singh of India in a one-sided fight which ended when the referee stepped in to protect Lakhbir. Sapiyev began his march toward boxing success early. “I started practicing in the ring at age 11,” he told EdgeKz. “I was 21 years old when I finally made it onto the national level.” He won his first world championship that same year. Sapiyev was born in Abai in the Karaganda region and later attended Karaganda State University. There he received degrees in law and physical education. He also received help on his journey to becoming an elite athlete. “I got an apartment in Karaganda city and the city and regional authorities there helped me a lot… There are still good people there who continue to help me a lot. Financially, the national boxing federation funds me as well.” Young boxers would also be wise, says Sapiyev, to pay attention to those who are trying to help them. “Be patient, work hard and listen to your coaches,” he advises. “They are your mentors. This is the best thing you can do at the beginning of your careers. It’s the secret to becoming skillful and successful. You must always want to learn and do better.”

As for the champion himself, he says he doesn’t have any boxing idols, but is a student of the sweet science in general. “I like good boxing and I admire good boxers. When I see anyone boxing well, it gives me pleasure just to stand back and watch them do it.” And though Sapiyev as a veteran fighter is a storehouse of knowledge, he’s not yet ready to pass the torch to the next generation of fighters. “No, I don’t even think about coaching yet.” Right now Sapiyev is so focused on preparing himself and his fellow boxers on the national team for the Olympics that he hasn’t given any thought to what he will do afterward. “And for now, I don’t want to,” he said. “I will think about it after the Olympics!”


Above: Olga Rypakova Right: Wrestler in blue Nurmakhan Tynaliyev, Immediate right: Anna Alybayeva For right: Kazakh swimmer

sweep of victories.“The supporters of Kazakhstan well know the champions and finalists of the World and Asia’s championships,” Ermegiyaev said. With impressive achievements already on the world stage, Kazakhstan in a few years could become a sporting success comparable to such nations as Australia and The Netherlands. Those countries have comparable populations, are also economically prosperous and have populations passionate about sports. They also regularly win international medals in greater numbers than their relatively small populations would suggest. President Nursultan Nazarbayev shares Ermegiyaev’s enthusiasm for the development of sports in Kazakhstan. Nazarbayev sees the national effort required to field a world class Olympic team as an opportunity to increase the sports and training infrastructure around the country. “Large scale work is under way for the construction of sports complexes. In addition, the reconstruction of stadiums, sports grounds and facilities is under way as well,” the President said. “It is important that (these facilities) serve the people of Kazakhstan so that a large percentage of the population gets involved in sports.” Ermegiyaev appears ready to take on that challenge. He served as sports minister from April 2011 to January 2012 and as vice minister for three years

before that from 2008 to 2011. This background has given him familiarity with both the problems and opportunities for making Kazakhstan a sporting success. And Ermegiyaev’s enthusiasm for Kazakhstan’s Olympic adventure and sporting future is infectious. When asked what advice he would give to young people starting out, his answer could serve as a roadmap to developing Kazakhstan’s Olympic future. “They must develop persistence, determination in achieving their predetermined and planned goals and make up their minds to continually best their own personal records. Then all their wishes will come true.” e

© Giancarlo Liguori /



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6/15/12 9:16:30 AM



Wonder of the Ancient

Southern KazaKhStan

By Alex Lee Living and working in bustling metropolises in Kazakhstan or abroad, life moves at unprecedented speeds. Smart phones and iPads give us instant access to information and people. And we live in a world of entertaining diversions where a minute of silence makes us feel uneasy. So it is easy to forget the value of history and roots. It is easy to overlook the beauty of the ancient. The south of Kazakhstan offers us the opportunity to remember the value of the ancient and to appreciate what came before us with its sweeping landscapes and ancient structures that have withstood history, witnessed revolutions and remained steadfast in form and spirit as the world has changed around them. These are holy and sacred places preserved by each new generation. In the south, you’ll find ancient towns and preserved mausoleums and see untamed horses chasing each other across Kazakhstan’s vast steppe. You’ll find enchanting lakes, green forests with mighty mountains and cool breezes that blow down the mountainsides. The southern section of Kazakhstan offers truly amazing scenery and an open, fresh air that tickles the throat. All of this welcomes those who enjoy beauty and can appreciate the cultures, landscapes and structures that have been around for centuries. EdgeKz recently returned to the region to pick out some of the highlights of what those with a few days and an adventurous spirit will experience in one of the most unique corners of Kazakhstan.

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Hodja Ahmet Yassaui Mausoleum

In the south, you’ll fInd ancIent towns and preserved mausoleums and see untamed horses chasIng each other across KazaKhstan’s vast stepp

The Hodja Ahmet Yassaui Mausoleum was built in 1398 by the order of Timur the Lame. It is said that Timur murdered all those who have had their hand in building the Mausoleum so that no one would reveal the secrets of the construction of the holy wonder. And they must have been valuable secrets as the structure stands today as the centerpiece of the ancient city of Turkestan. Hodja Ahmet Yassaui, for whom the mausoleum is named, was an active Islamic preacher who is purported to have lived for 126 years. It is believed that this Sufi thinker lived half of that time in a specially constructed underground facility about 100 meters from the Mausoleum. He lived in the underground bunker on the belief that since Muhammad lived only 63 years, Yasaui didn’t deserve to see daylight for more than that time either. There Yassaui wrote Holy Scriptures, expounded on the imperfections of the world, called for kindness among people and unveiled the wonders of Islam. When approaching Turkestan, the Hodja Ahmet Yassaui Mausoleum mesmerizes even before you arrive as buildings of more than four stories are prohibited in Turkestan to allow the ancient wonder to dominate. The building itself is 39 meters high, 62.5 meters in length and 46.5 meters in width. The structure attracts thousands of visitors per year and in 2003 was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage Site list.

Pictures this page: Hodja Ahmet Yassaui Mausoleum

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EDGE KZ D E S T I N A T I O N S 23 The mausoleum’s main entrance’s arch is 18.2 meters tall, which is quite impressive when looking up while standing in the entrance. Inside the first room is the main Kazandyk room, which features an 18-meter dome that curves 36 meters above the ground. In the middle of the structure is a “Taikazan”, or huge boiler, that weighs two tons and can hold up to three tons of water. It is said that water could be sanctified if saints spoke to it for enough time and that plants could either die or grow quickly depending on what kind of water was used in cultivation. And this enormous boiler was for that sole purpose – to sanctify the water and then wash sins away with it. There is also a burial vault, a mosque, a well, a dining room, a library, and the tombs of famous Khans and their Bi’s (Bi’s were a form of “advisors” and the word is pronounced “bee”). It is said that 21 Khans were buried on the territory of the Mausoleum. One of them was the Abylai Khan. He was one of the first Khans, who, with the help of the Russian Empire, defeated the Mongolian ancestors in the 18th century and united the divided Kazakh tribes. The entire structure has 34 rooms. The walls are two meters thick and the whole construction was built without a single nail. Numerous researchers, such as the famous Soviet archeologist Mikhail Gerasimov who was sent on an expedition by Stalin to research the life and deeds of Timur the Lame were unable to find out why modern scientists could not reproduce the same type of ceramic walls as were produced back in the 14th century. The complex also includes a

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Hamam (eastern sauna, or steam bath). The facility is constructed to keep three rooms at certain temperatures, without doors. It’s quite mesmerizing how the rooms preserve certain temperatures without doors separating them. There’s the steam room, the cold room and the main room. The walls are one meter thick and the doorways are only about 150 centimeters tall. Perhaps this is the ancient secret – to keep the doorways low and make thick walls. There is also a drying room at the entrance, which when the Hamam is fully functioning generates air along underground mines to dry visitors who stand on small wooden bars and allow the air to blow over them. The Hodja Ahmet Yassaui Mausoleum is one the world’s most precious historical sites. It heard the cries and whispers of the ancestors of Kazakhstan’s Khans throughout centuries and carries their spirit this day. e

Detail: Hodja Ahmet Yassaui Mausoleum

When Traveling to Turkestan… If you are travelling to Turkestan, make sure to learn a few Kazakh words. Locals in the region really enjoy and respond well to the relatively small number of Europeans and other foreigners who can speak a bit of the native tongue. And if you are lucky enough to find a translator, the locals are happy to share their stories about the local Batyrs – or heroes - that once hailed from Turkestan (ancient name – Yassy). Turkestan is a small town and it’s easy to find your way around. The mausoleum is in the town center and can be seen around Turkestan. The best hotels are the Turkestan and Yassaui hotels. The two hotels are across the street from one another and about a 10-minute walk from the Mausoleum. Make sure to also visit the new Ethnographic Museum which is right next to the Mausoleum, where you can learn about the history of Kazakhstan from the Stone Age to modern days, including the Soviet era and the latest plans for the town. Every year Turkestan hosts thousands of Muslims who come from all over the world to holy lands seeking blessings from the shrines of the Hodja Ahmet Yassaui Mausoleum.

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Taraz Natural Beauty and Enduring Love A few hours east of Turkestan is another ancient Kazakh town known as Taraz. Taraz is actually older than Turkestan by 500 years and celebrated its 2,000th anniversary in 2002. Taraz is multicultural with lots of Russian speakers and boasts a broad history as a vital stop along the ancient Silk Road. However, it is a love legend that forever conquers the hearts of Kazakhs. There are 28 different variations of the beautiful love story of Aisha Bibi and Kara Khan. The most famous goes something like this: There once lived a Kazakh Batyr name Kara Khan, the ancestor of Karakhanids and the ruler of Taraz. He fell in love with the daughter of his nemesis, Zengi Baba. Together, Kara Khan and the daughter Aisha escaped against the will of her father. Upon discovering the treachery, the father ordered his guards to murder both. As the two lovers were escaping, they stopped at the Asu River to rest. It was there that someone secretly slipped a viper into Aisha’s “saukele” (a cone-shaped national Kazakh women’s hat that is worn by future brides). When she put the saukele back on, the viper bit her. Kara Khan was so desperate to marry Aisha, that he carried her to the closest village so a Mullah could marry them. But the viper’s bit was too much and Aisha lived only a few moments after they were wed. She died in Kara Khan’s arms. Kara Khan vowed to love her forever and to his last day he lived near where she was buried. There he asked the heavens to forgive him and he ordered built the most beautiful mausoleum in the world to honor her.

Aisha Bibi Mausoleum

The Aisha Bibi Mausoleum is located about 18 kilometers from Taraz. There is no official information as to when it was constructed. It has become a tradition to this day, however, that newly-weds visit the mausoleum to pay their respect and ask blessings from Aisha Bibi. It is a 7.6 meter squareshaped building with a cone on top. Aisha Bibi’s tomb is visible through open doors as you approach the Mausoleum. The outside walls are decorated with carved terracotta tiles with more than 60 patterns. The walls are also more than 80 cm thick and made of a kind of ancient brick. Next to the main mausoleum is a smaller mausoleum built for Aisha’s best friend Babadji Hatun, who lived at the place of Aisha Bibi’s death near the mausoleum and took care of the tomb during her life. Babadji Hatun was Aisha’s closest and most loyal friend. She was buried 20 meters to the right of Aisha Bibi’s mausoleum.

Aisha Bibi Mausoleum

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6/15/12 9:16:41 AM


Kara Khan Mausoleum

The resting place of Aisha’s would be husband, Kara Khan, can be found within the Taraz town borders near the town center. The Kara Khan Mausoleum was constructed in the 11th century to honor the ruler of Taraz, Kara Khan. The square shaped mausoleum is famed for having over 30 specially made types of brick used in construction. A huge dome sits atop the brinks and can be seen from around the city and beyond. The mausoleum has four small rooms at each corner, one of which includes a spiral staircase leading to the roof. In the center of the mausoleum’s main room is the tomb of Kara Khan. The mausoleum is fenced and surrounded by trees, which often obscures much of the structure during spring and summer.

Also Around Taraz…

On the outskirts of Taraz, on the mountainous bank of the Talas River, about three and a half kilometers from the town center is another unique attraction called Tekturmas, or a place of “worry.” A winding walkway of fragmented rock leads up and down over the rolling landscape to the tomb of the great Kazakh Batyr Mambet. And about 10 to 12 meters further is the mausoleum where the Saint Sultan Mahmud Khan was buried. In 1934, that mausoleum was destroyed. But it was rebuilt in 2002 on the threshold of Taraz’s 2000th year celebration. Beyond carrying an ancient holiness, this little mountain spot also offers breathtaking views of Taraz and the surrounding landscape. It is beautiful scenery and definitely worth the short hike from town. So take a break from your busy trip and urban life. Put down your iPad and your email alerts for a few days and explore the history and wonder of ancient Kazakhstan. e

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Above left and right: Kara Khan Mausoleum Left: View from the Tekturmas Mausoleum Below: Tekturmas Mausoleum

6/15/12 9:16:44 AM


Solidifying Kazakhstan’s International Role

Nazarbayev Center and its Director The

By Colin Berlyne

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For Kanat Saudabayev, running the new Nazarbayev Center in Astana is the culmination of a lifetime’s work. The center, recently launched, is the country’s premier institution for the political and humanitarian development of Kazakhstan internationally and domestically and for the preservation and studies of the nation’s history of statehood. The former Secretary of State Saudabayev is uniquely suited to this role as he has played a major role for decades on the country’s pre- and postindependence development. He is also a nearly lifelong associate and close advisor to President Nursultan Nazarbayev. Both came up and served through the old Soviet system and into the nation’s new independence.

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The Nazarbayev Center looks forward to furthering Kazakhstan’s international cooperation in the political, social and humanitarian arenas

Born near Almaty (then known as Alma-Ata), in 1946, Saudabayev didn’t start his career as a diplomat, but rather as a theatrical producer. He even served as Kazakhstan’s chairman of the State Committee of Culture, Chairman of the State Film Committee, and Deputy Culture Minister. However, his degrees from the Leningrad Institute of Culture and the Leningrad Academy of Public Sciences, and later two PhDs – one in Philosophy from Kazakh State University and the other in Political Science from Moscow State University – have suited him well for a life of public service. Among his early important postings was as Plenipotentiary Representative of Kazakhstan in Moscow from September 1991 to May 1992 during the Soviet Union’s transformation into the democratic Russian Federation. By the time he left that post, Kazakhstan had become an independent nation. He then became the country’s first ambassador to Turkey – with whom the country maintains strong ties – and later ambassador to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in the 1990s. He was also a key contributor to Kazakhstan’s strategic partnership with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) as a country’s signatory under NATO’s

Partnership for Peace (PfP) programme. Importantly, Saudabayev also served seven years as Kazakhstan’s ambassador to Washington where he helped develop Kazakhstan’s strategic partnership with the United States. He is credited with playing major roles in developing bilateral cooperation in security, nuclear disarmament, strengthening trade and economic ties and ensuring U.S. support for Kazakhstan’s steps towards a democratic system. Saudabayev has been secretary of state since 2007 and, from 2009 to 2011, served simultaneously as foreign minister. During that time, he prepared Kazakhstan for its ultimately successful 2010 chairmanship of the 56-nation Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). As secretary of state, he has been the effective top advisor to President Nazarbayev and has helped shaped proposals on major domestic and international policies, as well as represented president and nation internationally. Helping to create, shape and launch the activities of the Nazarbayev Center as its first director, with the center’s emphasis on both the political and cultural aspects of the country’s development, is a job for which Saudabayev’s lifetime of service has well prepared him.

Below: Saudabayev, left, with President Nursultan Nazarbayev at the OSCE summit in Astana on December 2, 2010

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6/15/12 9:40:27 AM


Above: Irina Bokova, Director General of UNESCO, left, with Nazarbayev Center Director Kanat Saudabayev on a May 29 visit to the center Left: children learn Kazakh history while visiting the Nazarbayev Center

Q& A

In the secton below, you will find the thoughts of Nazarbayev Center Director Kanat Saudabayev on the role of the new center and his efforts to preserve the country’s past and shape its future.

Q: What are the goals of the new Nazarbayev Center? A: As you might know, the Nazarbayev Center was established by Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev in January as a multifunctional research and educational public institution. Our center’s goals are similar to the ones of such institutions as the Carter Center, the George Bush Presidential Library Foundation, the Boris Yeltsin Presidential Library and others. In this regard, our center conducts systematic studies of the formation and development of the newly independent state in Kazakhstan and contributes to the continuing social and political, economic and humanitarian, as well as cultural development of our country. To this end, the Nazarbayev Center ensures interaction and cooperation among state bodies, scientific and cultural institutions, as well as civil society institutions and mass media. Our center also looks forward to furthering Kazakhstan’s international cooperation in the political, social and humanitarian arenas, as well as other fields. In this context, the center, along with the U.S. Embassy to Kazakhstan, recently held a conference, “Kazakhstan-U.S: 20 years of Partnership for Security and Development,” which underlined 20 years of fruitful cooperation between our countries as strategic partners. We hope the recently established Nazarbayev Center will significantly contribute to the continued strengthening and development of independent Kazakhstan, to the patriotic education of our citizens, and to the strengthening of our country’s role in the international community. Q: In what ways will the Nazarbayev Center contribute to Kazakhstan’s multi-vector diplomatic strategy of ensuring security, cooperation and understanding in the world?

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A: Kazakhstan has always stood and stands for the development of partnership, friendly and mutually beneficial relations with all states of the region and the world. A balanced multi-vector foreign policy promotes the coherent implementation of social, economicand political reforms, increases people’s welfare, and strengthens regional and international security. Through that multi-vector policy prism, the Nazarbayev Center will promote and popularize knowledge about Kazakhstan and its role in the world community. In addition, the centre will seek to further Kazakhstan’s international cooperation and its contribution to ensuring security and mutual understanding in the world. The centre will share with the international community Kazakhstan’s experience as a leader of the global non-proliferation movement, as a successful multinational and multi-ethnic state, and as the driver behind various integration processes and a number of dialogue platforms for strengthening peace, stability and security. Taking into consideration the difficult political and economic situation in some corners of the world, Kazakhstan can serve as a good example of the ways stability and harmony can lead to success. Generally speaking, the multi-vector policy’s balanced approach to international affairs has proven effective and forms the basis for the further successful development of Kazakhstan as a sovereign and independent state. Q: Will the Nazarbayev Center be launching any projects in the United States or Europe? A: Yes, the Nazarbayev Center will cooperate with organizations in various countries around the world, which share the goals of the center, including in the United States. Projects will include a variety of collaborative research, various international conferences, seminars and exhibitions. Currently, the

6/15/12 9:40:28 AM


Above: Nazarbayev Center Director Kanat Saudabayev Right: The Nazarbayev Center

Nazarbayev Center is working on the establishment of such cooperation with partners in Russia, the United States, and other countries. Q: One of Kazakhstan’s most public roles on the international stage since gaining independence was its 2010 chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). How do you assessthe achievements of Kazakhstan’s OSCE chairmanship? A: Kazakhstan became the first former Soviet state, the first state to the east of Vienna, where the OSCE is headquartered, and the first state with a predominantly Muslim population to chair the OSCE. I will be sincere in saying that our OSCE partners might have had concerns about the ability of Kazakhstan to effectively manage such a complex organization of 56 countries, four out of which are nuclear powers, located in the vast area from “Vancouver to Vladivostok”. However, our country is well known for its active foreign policy and reputation as a moderator and facilitator, including its role as the driver behind various integration formats and as author of a number of international initiatives. Chairmanship of the OSCE was a task of a completely different level and scope, particularly during the current difficult political and economic situation in the world. At the same time, for many participating states, Kazakhstan’s chairmanship was associated with hopes to “restart” the organization itself. Developing the program of our chairmanship and implementing it, we strived to justify the trust vested in us by the 56 countries. All of our OSCE partners realized the historic “restart” opportunity for the organization in convening its Summit, which is a regional platform for open dialogue and mutual understanding, reducing controversies, removing regional concerns and strengthening cooperation in Europe. Kazakhstan successfully accomplished that task. The fact that 56 OSCE participating states expressed their absolute support for holding the first OSCE Summit in 11 years in Astana in December 2010 speaks for itself. The year of Kazakhstan’s OSCE chairmanship was significant and our partners appreciated our work, including its main outcomes – the Summit of the Organization and the adoption of the Astana Declaration. This was a truly historic, global-scale event when a young state with its own just 19-year long history was able to breathe “the Astana spirit” into the vital activity of such an authoritative organization. I should note that to a very large extent, the success of our mission as the head of the OSCE was due to the personal involvement of the President Nazarbayev, his diplomatic skills and respect within the international arena.

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Q: How would you access Kazakhstan’s achievements on the world stage, and awareness of those particularly the West, since gaining independence 20 years ago? A: During just 20 years of its independence, Kazakhstan – starting as an unknown former Soviet Republic – has become a respected partner for the international community under the outstanding leadership of Nursultan Nazarbayev, its first president. Kazakhstan has a strategic partnership with the United States and with the key Western European countries. Kazakhstan and its president are recognized leaders in nuclear non-proliferation and the nuclear threat reduction process. Our economic success is also well known. Over the last 20 years, Kazakhstan has attracted more than $150 billion USD of foreign investments into its economy. Kazakhstan, in fact, was ranked 47th in the World Bank’s “Doing Business 2012” report marking the first time our country was listed among the top 50 most competitive economies in the world. Q: What are the achievements in your career of which you are most proud? A: You know, it will be 50 years next year since I started working. I am proud not of any achievements, but of the fact that no matter where I worked, I always tried to achieve the goals at hand, and I like to think I have succeeded in that effort. I have always followed the principle that Genghis Khan followed in his life: “The heart of every work beats to be completed.” Q: What advice would you give young government officials and diplomats based on your own career? A: Besides patriotism and love of country, I would like to wish young civil servants and diplomats who take the path of service to the motherland every success in their endeavors. These young men and women, their knowledge and experience acquired over the years are the guarantee of our prosperous future. Whoever they will become, whatever they will do, let them do it better than others and may they not forget that nothing in their path is impossible when hearts and minds are put towards it. And if this goal is to serve Kazakhstan and its people, my only advice is not to turn off the path and to fulfill their duty with truth and faith. And, of course, it is important, especially for a young country like ours, for our young people to always work on themselves, to continue progressing and to not stop as any pause taken in our rapidly changing and dynamic world would mean that you immediately fall behind others. So my call to them is to always keep going! e

6/15/12 9:40:29 AM

Folk Ensemble


Kazakh Culture

By Colin Berlyne



Above: Members of the Kazakhstan Folk Ensemble in California during a recent U.S. tour

The ensemble covers the entire musical heritage of the Kazakh people

If there is a cultural capital of the world, New York City is as close as it gets – and for music, dance and entertainment, Carnegie Hall is its greatest temple. So when the Kulansaz Folk Ensemble of Kazakhstan concluded its performance with a standing ovation from the audience at Carnegie Hall last year, they knew their presentation of the rich and ancient heritage of the Kazakh people had taken Manhattan by storm. “We put on display the national culture of Kazakhstan. The performances we chose expressed the inner feelings of our people. And the American audiences responded very warmly to all of them,” Ensemble Musical Director Marat Zhalbirov told EdgeKz. The Kulansaz ensemble’s tour was organized by the Embassy of Kazakhstan in the United States as part of an overall program to present and promote Kazakhstan’s cultural heritage to the American people.

It proved to be one of the most successful projects the 33-year-old ensemble has undertaken. Founded in 1979 by the great Kazakh composer Aset Beyseuov, and relaunched in 2010 under the artistic direction of Yerzhan Kosbarmakov and the musical direction of Ensemble Musical Director Marat Zhalbirov, the Kulansaz Ensemble today is comprised of student graduates of the Kurmangazy National Conservatory and the Zhurgenov National Academy of Arts in Kazakhstan. The repertoire of the ensemble covers the entire musical heritage of the Kazakh peoples. It includes folkloric music pieces, folk songs written by professional folk music composers and contemporary compositions and dances. Members of the ensemble play a vast variety of string, wind, and percussion instruments, including the dombra, sherter, bass dombra, zhetygen, adyrna, shinkildek, kobyz, kylkobyz, narkobyz and sazgen among others. During the ensemble’s American tour, reviewers commented on the combination of excellent performances, colorful costumes, and traditional dances. The Carnegie Hall performance was the greatest triumph of a coast-to-coast tour filled with them. The young Kazakh musicians, dancers and artists performed before mass and elite audiences in New York, Washington and Los Angeles – and received rapturous applause and rave reviews. “The American people welcomed our national culture, our original instruments, costumes and original music,” said Ensemble Musical Director Marat Zhalbirov. The tour was so successful that its outcome now seems preordained. But that was not the case in advance. “America, after all, is a very big country. So we

Young Mother Finds Success with Folk Ensemble By Colin Berlyne

Dancer Nargiz Otarova

Young ballerina Nargiz Otarova had to leave her husband and baby at home half a world away in Kazakhstan when she toured the United States recently with the Kulansaz Folk Ensemble. But like many of the Ensemble’s young performers, Nargiz feels privileged to have the opportunity to perform with one of Kazakhstan’s most prestigious cultural groups. “This ensemble is where I found the choreographer I needed to advance my skills and where I received the further education to teach dance and ballet,” the 25-yearold from Kogaly in the Almaty region told EdgeKz. “This is where I learned to develop and grow as an artist and as an educator.” Nargiz was invited to apply to join the ensemble by one of her friends who had worked with the troupe. “I was accepted by the ballet master who is the director of the ensemble. “I was requested to dance, and the directors checked my flexibility and my artistry on stage. But even after they accepted me into the team, they emphasized the importance of friendliness, team work and communicating well with my teammates.” Though Nargiz has already achieved great success

with the ensemble, she feels she is just starting her career as a dancer. “I want to be better than now. I am determined to achieve goals that I can’t reveal now. When I achieve them, then I will reveal them,” she said. The young mother also told EdgeKz that her tour in the United States with the ensemble was worth the pain of leaving her family. “It was my first time in the United States and I was really glad to have the privilege to see this amazing country… Washington amazed me with its cleanliness and the clear, classical and simple design of its buildings.” Nargiz also found the American people to be more generous and welcoming than she had expected. “Their good spirit was remarkable. It seemed to shine out of everyone we met,” she said. “I had heard the complete opposite about Americans. But I changed my opinion because I met with them myself.” Nargiz’s talents and work ethic have allowed her to inspire audiences halfway around the world from her native country. And though Nargiz was happy to return to her husband and child after the tour, she says she would not trade the success and experiences she has had as part of a unique aspect of Kazakhstan culture.


Young Dancer Wins American Applause By Colin Berlyne Gulnara Shirinbekova had no idea what she was going to find in America during a recent tour by the Kulansaz Folk Ensemble of Kazakhstan. But the young dancer found that America’s appreciation for Kazakh culture matched equally her newfound affection for the United States. The 22-year-old dancer from Taldy Korgan in the Almaty region found appreciative audiences applauding her and her friends during the ensemble’s recent coast-tocoast American tour. But it was the vast scale of America and the generosity of its people that most impressed her. “You know, I noticed that Americans always smile… I liked them a lot. Americans are very different from Kazakhs. Kazakhs are very hospitable people, but Americans are very friendly,” she told EdgeKz. “It was my first visit to the United States… As soon as I got home, the very first words I said to everyone I met was that I wanted to go back.” The tour is the most recent success in Gulnara’s lifelong desire to be an entertainer. “I studied in the National Stage and Circus College,” she told EdgeKz. “Upon graduation, I was invited to work for the Astana Philharmonic Orchestra, but since Astana is too far away from my home town, I turned it down. That left me still looking for a job. Then later I got a call from the Kulansaz National Ensemble and they asked me to perform at one of their concerts. I agreed and after that trial, I was offered a full-time job.” Gulnara’s ambition was strongly supported by her

were a bit worried how people would accept us,” Folk Ensemble Director Daniyar Skakov told EdgeKz. As it turned out, he needn’t have worried. Organizers of the trip and its talented young performers all agree the tour was a great success and filled with unexpected surprises. “It was my first visit to the United States and I must say I was surprised that people knew so much about our country,” Skakov told EdgeKz. “Everything about the tour was great. We saw everything that was worth seeing in the great cities we visited and we were very glad to be given the privilege of being invited to perform in all of them... I would love to come back again and have our artists perform in many other American cities.” Skakov’s favorable impression of America and the impact of the ensemble is shared by his fellow performing artists. “During our stay in America we were greeted with warmth from people. The people were really friendly,” said ballerina Nargiz Otarova. “We performed in New York, Washington, Los Angeles, the audience was very positive... The audiences appreciated us.” Another pleasant surprise for the young performers was meeting the many Kazakhs who live in the United States and who came out for the ensemble’s concerts. “Many Kazakh-Americans came to see our performances. We had the opportunity to talk to them after our performance, and we were very glad to see them,” Nargiz told EdgeKz. “We got standing ovations wherever we played. They stood up everywhere to applaud us. It was great! That was when we knew we’d really done well.”

family. And she says her mother is thrilled with her recent success. “The best support I had was the encouragement that came from my mom because she sent me to study in this field. And now she is very happy for me. Every time she sees me on TV, she is happy.” But being a member of the ensemble isn’t easy. The Ensemble’s American tour included a 3,000-mile schedule. But Gulnara didn’t mind. “We performed in New York, and then went on to Washington and finally got to the magnificent Los Angeles. I fell in love with it,” she said. Having covered such a wide swath of America, Gulnara was happy to find United States celebrates the religious and ethnic diversity of its people just as Kazakhstan does. “I was surprised that in such a country I saw a Madrasah for teaching Muslims. Since I am a Muslim, I didn’t think that in America in the wide open there would be a Muslim school. It made me think that Americans have a good soul, to accept all religions in the country. And I am thankful to them for that,” she said. Gulnara says her eventual goal is “to become a national artist of Kazakhstan. I want to be one of the best dancers in the world. But in the next few years, I would like to go abroad to study and get an education from teachers in different countries.” And after the Ensemble’s recent tour, America is likely to be first on the list. “I would love to visit Los Angeles once more and to swim in the Pacific Ocean!”

Young dancer Gulnara Shirinbekova said she was surprised by how strongly the audiences responded. “They approached us to talk to us and to take pictures,” she said. Though the ensemble traveled coast-to-coast, Shirinbekova said she felt the greatest connection to the audience in Washington, DC. “People there were more perceptive. And it seems as if they listened and saw their own folk dances, music and songs when we performed,” she told EdgeKz. Shirinbekova found the whole experience of the tour one of the most positive and inspiring of her young career. “These memories are really warm and generous,” she said. “Upon returning to my country, I still thought that I was in America among Americans.” The tour wasn’t all perfect performances, however. As with any ambitious artistic undertaking, there were many challenges and crises to be surmounted to make sure everything looked perfect in public, Skakov said. “We had professional gaffes, but only we know about them, of course,” he told EdgeKz. “But I must say, overall, the concerts were good. I was very pleased with the way it all turned out.” The Kulansaz Folk Ensemble over its long history has proven to be an asset in preserving the musical and artistic achievements of the Kazakh people, both old and new. And it is now proving to be a superb cultural ambassador for Kazakhstan in bringing those cultural treasures to the attention of the wider world. e

Dancer Gulnara Shirinbekova


Kazakh Fashion

Complex, Unique and

Unexpected One of the most striking contrasts visitors experience when they arrive in Kazakhstan is the difference between how people look and dress here compared to how visitors thought everyday people would appear. Kazakhstan is a multi-ethnic society with a diverse history. It’s also located in the general neighborhood of some better-known, and not exactly modern, “Stans”. So visitors can’t be blamed if they have some misconceptions about Kazakh fashion. But it turns out Kazakhstan is a society both progressive and traditional. Fashions here balance the advancement of international trends with the country’s history in the heart of Eurasia and its culture as a modern majority Muslim nation known for religious tolerance. That’s a lot to incorporate with fabric and thread. And a lot for new visitors to wrap their fashion heads around. So EdgeKz tapped the fashion expertise of some of Kazakhstan’s top designers to learn what fashion means in Kazakhstan and where it’s headed next.

Trends and Tradition

“Comfort,” “freedom,” and “ease” are words that come up frequently when talking about Kazakh fashion. Almaty-based international clothing designer Kamila Kurbani, for example, describes the concept of her latest collection as “Comfort and freedom to be yourself. The style – unisex, the sizes – free... There are no restrictions!” Living in an era of independence seems to be on the collective mind of many designers. Another of Kazakhstan’s fashion design stars, Kenje

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Devyatko, tells EdgeKz that she wants her clothes to lean toward the unique and creative, even in her most formal designs. “When I go to state offices, I wear formal clothes, but they’re also creative. They’re not just Channel-style formal, but a bit wild or unusual – with a zipped collar, for example, that I can remove once I’m outside the government building or zip back on going in.” As Kazakhstan becomes more progressive, international and urban, there is also an emphasis on convenience and styles that work with the bustle of city life. Kurbani’s newest collection is “for modern people living with the intense schedule of everyday life in the megalopolis… The fabrics are modern and they don’t need tiresome ironing.” Kazakh fashion, however, doesn’t ignore the past. Kazakh Designer Dana Rgebayeva of the design company Dana Danielle chooses to give a nod to the country’s nomadic past not with cuts or motifs, but by using fabrics associated with life on the steppe, such as wool, felt, fur and leather. Devyatko also thinks the past should be recognized. “We can’t do without it! We live in Kazakhstan, not in Afghanistan! So elements of Kazakh style should be measured and formal – like a conservative dress with some ancient rock inscriptions. I’m not talking old-fashioned 19th century Soviet style. I’m talking high-tech, new, modern, 21st century high-end fashion.” Kurbani, however, doesn’t spend too much time on tradition. “I don’t use traditional ornaments in their pure form. I don’t do collections on national subjects. I make things according to world trends, rather than domestic ones.”

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credits this page: © RadlovskYaroslav /

By Michelle Witte

credits this page: Š RadlovskYaroslav /


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Above from left: Kazakh designers Kamila Kurbani, Dana Rgebayeva, Kenje Devyatko

Islam’s Influence on Fashion Though traditional and international trends have been integrated into modern, high-end Kazakh fashion, one article of clothing you don’t see much of – particularly for a majority Muslim country – is the traditional Muslim headscarf known as the hijab. Rgebayeva puts it this way, “I would call myself a Muslim, but that shows through my actions rather than propaganda in religion and clothing. I don’t believe faith is measured by clothing and I think most Kazakhs will support me on this. Kazakhstan is multicultural; we have plenty of different nations and religions, but we’re all one family.” That is not to say, however, that Islam and fashion don’t go together – far from it. Last year, Astana hosted the 13th Islamic Fashion Festival, a showcase of modern looks that comply with religious guidelines about dress. In the spirit of remaining “all one family,” in 2011 there was also the “Best Muslim Collection-National Style” competition to see who could most beautifully combine traditional Kazakh dress with the rules of hijab. Several major names in domestic fashion have also started Muslim lines. “Kazakhstan is a Muslim country, but it’s also very modern,” says Devyatko.

The Importance of Being Well-Dressed Fashions here balance international trends with the country’s history as a nation at the heart oF eurasia

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“I think fashion must have an important role [in society],” adds Rgebayeva. “Fashion is important because it is evolution. It changes through time and history, and helps us return to it.” Kazakhstan’s designers, however, see some challenges to bringing even more style to the masses. Devyatko decries that “(Officials) need to approach fashion like art. In Europe, high fashion was established in 1868 or so at the official level… We have nothing like that here and no one knows when we will. That’s why French perfume will dominate! French fashion will dominate! They need to review this question in parliament; otherwise we will be buried with cheap (imported) clothes.” Progressing Kazakh fashion on the international stage must also overcome the challenge of much of the world’s uneven understanding of the country. “Most people – most regular folks – don’t even have a clue where [Kazakhstan] is, never mind having a misguided impression of it,” says Rgebayeva. Devyatko has also seen

this misguided impression first hand. “In Paris in 2007, when I was invited to a show with top world designers, Kazakhstan was represented as “Boratostan”. They used the word “Boratostan”… After the show, they came up to me and said, ‘We’re pleasantly surprised. We didn’t expect that somewhere in Kazakhstan, in a provincial country, high fashion could be found.’ Then they continued, ‘If there’s such high fashion in Kazakhstan, then the place is clearly a mystery to us, a mystique that has to be unveiled...’ I was told by Kazakhstan’s ambassador to France that I had greatly elevated our country’s rating in the span of a few minutes.” Kurbani, however, has had different experiences. “I’ve never encountered incorrect ideas about Kazakhstan,” she says. “The nation is taking control of its image, slowly but surely.”

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Luxury brands like Dior and global chains like Zara, Mango and the Gap have all opened shops in Kazakhstan in the past decade and “Made in Kazakhstan” designs are making headway at fashion’s cutting edge. Almaty’s Fashion Week has been running since 1999, but it was only in 2003-4 that it began to focus on domestic designers. In the years since, Kazakh designers have been promoting their looks at home and abroad and Kazakh designers have exhibited their creations at Fashion Weeks around the globe. Collections at this year’s Fashion Week used lots of color – pops of bright red, yellow, and blue, and other mauve and pastel palettes. Designers were inspired by everything from “Madam Butterfly” to swinging 60s London, all given a modern edge. Kazakh traditional designs showed up on dresses in dramatic, architectural cuts. The juxtaposition of old motifs on brandnew shapes is a recurring theme. Domestic designers, however, are divided about how stylish their country really is. “Fashion doesn’t play a leading role in society here, but it doesn’t come last. I think people here generally prefer practical clothes to fashionable ones. In Italy, on the other hand, beauty and fashion are unequivocally in the first place,” says Kurbani. Style is on display, however, and more and more, the idea is to stand out. On the streets of Almaty, women’s fashion is mostly feminine and body-conscious – there are not a lot of androgynous looks. Jackets and scarves – practical in Kazakhstan’s cold winters – are turned into signature pieces with bright colors and body-hugging cuts. Men’s style is often very formal or very casual – well-cut dark suits or baggy jeans, caps, and bright shirts. Young men aren’t trying to blend into the background. Indeed, for many young Kazakhs, the style motto seems to be ‘Forget the classics, forget the brand, and dress to please yourself.’ This suits Devyatko, who says her style attitude is ‘Why not?’. “Go for it!” she says. “Be grotesque, be loud! Forget about public opinion.” Kurbani has generally the same types of people in mind when she designs her collections. “My clothes are intended for ambitious people who want to look unique... The line is focused on courageous dandies who have done a bit of travelling in the world and prefer to wear up-todate clothes, clothes that are convenient, clothes that show that the wearer is self-sufficient.”

Fashion Forward

All the designers interviewed told EdgeKz they see growth in Kazakhstan’s fashion future. “I think and hope that in the future we’ll have more fashion events that the young, creative, ambitious designers of the new generation won’t lag behind their European counterparts. I want to see designers that are not copying our neighbors, but working on our Kazakh public, because every country has its own spirit,” says Rgebayeva. Devyatko echoes her saying, “We need to support our designers. We need to be like a wave, to move altogether. I’m sure we’ll be talking about a different level of fashion in ten years.” That’s probably true, but now is also a great era for emerging Kazakh fashion. Domestic trends are taking shape and the international design community is beginning to notice. Kurbani was interviewed about her collection in Milan and has been showcased on Chinese television. Devyatko has presented collections in France, South Korea, and the United States. And a new generation of Kazakh models are stalking runways around the world. “There is a garden of fashion in bloom in Kazakhstan right now, and a style for every element of it…,” Devyatko says. “We live in a beautiful time.” e

Above left to right: Almaty Fashion week

on the streets oF almaty, women’s Fashion is mostly Feminine and bodyConsCioUs – there are not a lot oF androgynoUs looks

Kick up Your Heels “You can’t make a Kazakh lady take off her heels,” says designer Dana Rgebayeva. Convenience is all well and good, but it only extends so far. The fashion scene in Kazakhstan is diverse, but one consistent theme is heels – high ones. “I don’t know how the Kazakh ladies do it,” one visiting photographer noted, “graciously swinging on the uneven pavement in their killer boots, as if it were no more effort than wearing a pair of sneakers.”

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Kazakhstan Poised for

Rare Earth By Colin Berlyne




are earths are hard-to-find elements and minerals essential to the production of the high-tech gadgets that drive the world’s economy. And Kazakhstan is soaring up the league of producers to become one of the most important rare earth suppliers in the world. The term “rare earths” refers to 17 chemically similar elements which are vital to the production of items such as cell phones, laptops, televisions, hybrid cars, DVD’s and rechargeable batteries. These unique minerals appear to be concentrated in their geological distribution in the heart of north-Central Asia. That makes the neighbors of western China – Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan – the prime locations to look for them. For years, China had effectively monopolized world supply producing more than 90 percent of the rare earths sold annually. But China’s rapid industrial expansion and high-tech progress is now swallowing up most of that production. In July 2010, China rocked the world market by announcing it was withholding nearly three-quarters of its previously announced export quota of rare earths to meet its domestic requirements. The quota figures were slashed by 72 percent. As a result, in the second half of 2010 alone global rare earth prices soared 700 percent. Corporations such as Glencore International AG, Stans Energy Corp. and Greenland Minerals & Energy Ltd., then led the rush to prospect and open new rare earth mines, or reopen old ones. Prices have since dropped, however, as new supplies began to emerge.

Japan’s Sumitomo Confident on Rare Earths Venture By Colin Berlyne Japan’s giant Sumitomo Corporation has inin vested in a big way in Kazakhstan, Yerzhan Ishanov, the company’s Business Development Manager for Central Eurasia, told EdgeKz. “We are working with a relatively large numnumber of Kazakhstan companies, mainly in chemical, mineral, telecommunication, power infrastructure, oil and gas and others fields,” Ishanov said. “We think that there is a very good investment climate in this country and that consequently Japanese comcom panies can make long term investments here.” Ishanov also expressed confidence about the profitability of a new rare earths venture. “Of course, we expect the SARECO (Summit Atom Rare Earth Company) joint venture with our Kazakhstan partpartners will be profitable enough – otherwise there would be no meaning to establish such a company,” he said. “We are not able to disclose what our curcur rent profitability and revenue projections are, but we have no doubt that the profit margins will prove satisfactory for the shareholders both of our corpocorpo ration and our partners.” Ishanov said he expects the scale of the rare earths mining venture to grow rapidly in the next few years. “The current design capacity is 1,500 tons of rare earth per year, but we are going to double our capacity within the next five to six years. And if the market situation will allow us to expand the project further, why not? We are ready,” he said. Japan is going to need a guaranteed supply of

heavy rare earth metals for the foreseeable future, Ishanov told EdgeKz. “The Japanese market is the biggest in the world for rare earth consumption and a lot of high tech industries need rare earths,” he said. “These include hybrid and electric vehicles, mobile phones, PCs, hard disk drives, catalysts, LCDs and many others. “Currently China produces approximately 95 percent of all annual rare earths from across the world and therefore the whole world depends upon China for its supply of them,” Ishanov said. “But evevery year, domestic consumption of rare earths in China is increasing and the amount of them availavail able for the export market to global customers is decreasing accordingly.” Ishanov also cautioned that many of the new rare earth mining ventures around the world would be unable to fill the gap left by China’s reduction of its exports. “It is true that new comers are expecting to be bringing new production on the market soon, but mainly they will only be able to bring on to the market light rare earth metals,” he said. “However, the biggest demand is for heavy rare earth metals.” The Sumitomo Corporation operates in 69 councoun tries around the world and has 40,000 employees. The sphere of Sumitomo’s activity includes metals, transport, construction sector, infrastructure, media market and retail sales, chemistry and electronics, mineral resources and power generation, real eses tate, finances and logistics.

Sumitomo already has extensive experience in the implementation of large-scale projects in KaKa zakhstan. It has operated the APPAK Joint Venture in southern Kazakhstan since 2006 in partnership with Kazatomprom and the Kansai Electric Power Co. to develop the resources of the Mynkuduk uraura nium deposit. Its SARECO rare earths partnership was initiated on the orders of President Nursultan Nazarbayev after his visit to Japan in 2008. KaKa zatomprom, the national nuclear corporation of KaKa zakhstan, has 51 percent of the control of the comcom pany and Sumitomo Corporation has 49 percent. “The main reason why the Kazakhstan side sese lected Sumitomo is our huge experience on the rare earth market including our sales network and our web of direct contacts with the end users,” Ishanov said. “Our company also enjoys one of the biggest shares of the Japanese rare earth market.”

EDGE KZ B U S I N E S S 41 But with the supply and production so dependent on China, the world’s rare earths miners are seeking sources outside China, such as Kazakhstan. Rare earths can be produced from uranium tailings, which means countries rich in uranium, such as Kazakhstan, are the most likely places to find them. Kazakhstan is the largest uranium producer and exporter in the world, and as the globe’s ninth largest country there are plenty of new places to look for rare earths. All of this has led in the past year to major co-production agreements with leading companies in Japan, Germany and France to develop rare earths in Kazakhstan. Japanese Trade and Industry Minister Yukio Edano closed a major deal with Kazakhstan in May to build a major rare earths production factory at Stepnogorsk in northern Kazakhstan to turn out dysprosium, a vital rare earth needed to make motors for electric and hybrid vehicles among other uses. The giant Sumitomo Corp, Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp and Kazatoprom are the three partners in the undertaking which will provide Japan with more than 10 percent of its annual dysprosium requirements. “We think that there is a very good investment climate in this country and that consequently Japanese companies can make long term investments here,” Yerzhan Ishanov, business development manager for Central Eurasia for Sumitomo Corporation, told EdgeKz. Work on completing the new facility is expected to move quickly. It

Mining Rare Earths a Challenge Rare earths are critical to the manufacture of many high-tech items, but getting them from the ground to your laptop isn’t easy. Rare earths, as their name implies, are usually scattered around the world in such tiny quantities and low concentrations that mining them is very difficult and exorbitantly expensive. The most important current supply of yttrium – one of the key rare earth components – in the world is found in the ion adsorption clay ores of Southern China. Kazakhstan is also believed to be a potential source. Once found and pulled from the ground, it is also extremely difficult to separate rare earths from each other and the other elements in which they are found. They are also often radioactive, and the disposal of the contamicontami nated water from extracting them has angered environmentalists. HowHow ever, China – the most dominant player in the rare earth industry – has recently begun to be more environmentally conscious in its processing of rare earths. A new method is also being tried in California by Molycorp at its MounMoun tain Pass mine in which the mining processes saves and recycles the hyhy drochloric acid and contaminated water. This cuts out the need to maintain environmentally dangerous waste ponds and lowers the costs of purchaspurchas ing the chemicals needed in the extraction processes. Many in the rare earth industry say Kazakhstan is poised to become a dominant global provider. It will be interesting to watch how they overcome the obstacles to producing these vital bits for our high-tech world.

RaRe eaRths aRe cRiticalto manufactuRing high-tech items, but getting them fRom the gRound isn’t easy


Rare earths are vital for the manufacture of many laptops and high-tech equipment

is scheduled to start production as early as this summer to produce 30 tonnes (metric tons) of dysprosium to be exported to Japan before the end of this year. In 2013, a total production volume of over 50 tonnes is planned. Japan’s industries need 500 tonnes to 600 tonnes of dysprosium per year. This is good news for Sumitomo and the Kazakhs. They hope within 18 months to two years to mine up to 1,100 tons of rare earth concentrates per year for Japanese customers. Supplies could even soar to a massive 10,000-15,000 tons by 2014-2015, according to some estimates. That would be the equivalent of 10 percent of the entire world’s annual demand today. And global demand is anticipated to almost double to an estimated 225,000 tons by 2015. Kazakhstan is likely to coordinate its rare earths production with China and Russia. Kazakhstan formed a new Customs Union with Russia and Belarus in 2010. And Kazakhstan looks likely to coordinate its rare earth exports to the global market with Beijing. China is likely to welcome the Kazakh increase in production as a way to ease international complaints about their export cutbacks. The Kazakh move will also create a new supply that the Chinese can look to in the event of shortfalls in their own production. With all of these factors converging at once, Kazakhstan seems poised for a major move upward among the world’s rare earths suppliers. e

Below: Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev with German Chancellor Angela Merkel

Germany, France Bet Big on Kazakh Rare Earths By Colin Berlyne Germany and France, the two main Eurozone economies, have signed agreements with KazakhKazakh stan over the past year to secure their main sources of rare earth metals for high tech industries for dede cades to come. On February 8, President Nursultan Nazarbayev on a state visit to Berlin approved a strategic partpart nership with Germany. He and Chancellor Angela Merkel also approved an agreement allowing GerGerman companies to prospect for and develop rare earth resources and other minerals. The agreeagree ment was part of a web of 50 accords worth almost $4 billion or 3 billion euros. The deal came as Kazakhstan’s trade relations with Germany, already sound, were growing even closer. In 2011, the volume of bilateral trade rose by 20 percent to more than $8.5 billion or 6.3 billion eu-

ros. The Federation of German Industries hailed the agreement as a milestone. “The companies in Kazakhstan have a strong interest in German technology, and German manufacturers seek to grow cooperation in the area of raw materials,” Ulrich Grillo, who runs the FGI’s committee for natural resources, told the New York Times. In September 2011, Germany closed a similar deal with Mongolia, which is also believed to contain major rare earth deposits. France, Germany’s main European Union and Eurozone partner, has also partnered with KazakhKazakhstan to secure rare earths for France’s high tech industries in the decades to come. In September 2011, France and Kazakhstan concluded an agreeagreement on rare earths mining and development durduring President Nazarbayev’s state visit to Paris. Here too, the deal was part of a broader set of cooperation agreements that were reached on energy, aviation and industrial development. Indeed, France’s inin vestment in the Central Asian nation exceeds even that of Germany, Italy and Britain. In the rare earths agreement, Kazatomprom, KaKa zakhstan’s national nuclear mining and development corporation launched a new strategic partnership with the Bureau de Recherches Geologiques et Minieres (BRGM), France’s state-controlled geology and mining institution. The EuroEuro pean Company for Strategic Intelligence (CEIS) was also involved in the deal. The agreement extends beyond prospecting and mining. It also covers plans for research on where rare earths resources are likely to be found. The KaKa zakh and French sides also agreed to

conduct joint research to improve production techtech nology related to processing these precious metals. The ground had already been prepared for the new rare earths agreement between Kazakhstan and France by the success of two other equally ambiambi tious joint ventures between the two countries: The strategic partnership in uranium mining between Kazatomprom and the French Areva company, and in the oil and gas sector between KazMunaiGas (KMG) and the French oil major. These significant deals confirm the commitments of France and Germany to look to Kazakhstan for their main rare earths requirements for decades to come. And as these two countries are the economic and high tech industrial powerhouses of the European Union, they also mark a major milestone in the growing integration of Kazakhstan with Europe.

What to Say Kazakhstan’s Changing Language Landscape

By Alex Lee When the ninth largest country in the world, Kazakhstan, comes up in conversations around the world, one of the first things people ask is what language is spoken in this emerging nation in the heart of Eurasia. It turns out that answer isn’t easy – even for locals. Kazakhstan is one of the members of the Commonwealth of Independent States, which means it is one of the former Soviet republics that gained independence in the early 1990s as the former Soviet Union collapsed. During the Soviet era, all of the Soviet republics were required to speak Russian. People who spoke Russian had greater access to resources and services originating out of far-away Moscow than those who spoke their native tongues.



With Kazakh and Russian still spoken, what is the official language? The official language is Kazakh

In Kazakhstan and in Kazakh schools during that time, Kazakh was a secondary language treated like any other foreign tongue. It wasn’t something students were required to learn. And for working adults, speaking Russian offered greater opportunities to advance and get ahead since all official documentation was in Russian. Back then, those who spoke Kazakh were thought to be from villages and were labeled as simple, country folk. Today, Russian will still be suffice to help you get around in the country’s primary government and business centers. Most people in Kazakhstan’s largest cities of Astana, Almaty and Karaganda, as well as in nearly its entire northern region still speak Russian. But that doesn’t mean Kazakhs don’t love or want to learn their native language. “I think the problem is that at least living in Astana, I don’t need to learn Kazakh. If I spoke Kazakh, it would make people happy and I might get some bonus points. But frankly, with Russian I can do everything I need to do. I have never been in a situation where I thought, ‘if only I knew Kazakh’,” said Daniyar Zhalimbetov, a 22-year old Information Technology specialist from Astana. However, the same concepts don’t necessarily hold true in the suburbs of Kazakhstan’s major cities or in much of southern and western Kazakhstan. In many places in the south and the west you wouldn’t be able to buy milk in a grocery store without a few words of Kazakh. And you’d likely draw a few stares if you went about your business in Russian.

So what is the Language of Kazakhstan? So with Russian and Kazakh still spoken, what is the official language? The official language is Kazakh. At a national referendum in 1995, shortly after gaining independence, Kazakhstan approved a new Constitution establishing Kazakh as “the state language of the Republic of Kazakhstan” and stipulating that “in all state organizations and local municipal bodies, Russian is also to be equally and officially used.” Kazakhstan’s first and current president, Nursultan Nazarbayev, went so far as to say that a “command of the state language must become mandatory for all Kazakhs who work for the government.” However, Nazarbayev realized the need for Russian and stressed that its use should remain widespread because “it is a factor for Kazakhstan’s competitiveness.” This dual tongue is what can be confusing for many visitors and some locals. For example, all documentation in state organizations is kept in Kazakh. And locals who want to work in certain state companies or organizations need to learn Kazakh. However, most television channels, as well as individual TV and talk shows are in Russian. Russian is also mainly used among colleagues in most work places. Russian language skills for Kazakhs are also particularly beneficial now that Kazakhstan is part of a new Customs Union with Russia and Belarus.

45 And to further complicate the language discussion, there is a small but vocal movement among some in Kazakhstan to move the Kazakh language to the Latin alphabet. Another former Soviet state, Azerbaijan, switched to the Latin alphabet 2001. Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan rejected the Cyrillic script in the mid 1990s as a way to limit the Soviet presence in their states. In recent years, this question has reached Kazakhstan where some believe switching to the 26-letter Latin alphabet rather than the 42-letter alphabet currently used would help Kazakhstan keep up with modern technology and refresh the language in the Turkic world. A small effort has been launched by some to examine the most efficient way to make the switch. The Latin alphabet movement, however, has so far failed to gain broad support given the costs and confusion that would result from switching government documents and other logistics in a country already utilizing two languages.

Future Tense ... Though Russian remains vital to day-to-day life in many parts of the country and to the language of commerce, Kazakh is on the rise. Compared to the 1990s, more and more people speak Kazakh every year. The government allocates some 3 to 4 billion tenge (Kazakh national currency) annually to promote the Kazakh language in schools and to raise its status among citizens. The effort seems to be paying off. According to the State Statistics Agency, 34 per-

cent of citizens in 1999 said they did not speak any Kazakh. By 2009, that had dropped to 24 percent. And the percentage of those who said they didn’t understand Kazakh dropped from 74 percent to 64 percent from 1999 to 2009. Everything takes time, however. And in a country that is only 20 years young, old habits don’t die easily. Kazakhstan’s Russian speaking minorities are grateful to the President for not repeating the one-day language reforms instituted in Latvia and Ukraine and thus allowing Kazakhstan to remain united and multi-cultural despite dual languages. “A gradual development of the Kazakh language will not be at the expense of Russian,” said Nazarbayev in a state-ofthe-nation address in January. So gradually educating citizens and providing the necessary tools for them to learn Kazakh without radical or rapid changes seems to be working. But the Kazakh language is strong and growing. “I have been dreaming for a long time, when I as the President will be speaking only in the official language and all Kazakhstan citizens, no matter the nationality, would understand me well. The state language has a bright future,” said Nazarbayev. According to state plans, by 2020 95 percent of the people in Kazakhstan will learn Kazakh, while maintaining the command of Russian. And, to make the country even more competitive, a major drive is now underway to teach English to as many people as possible so that in the future this vast nation in the heart of Eurasia will yet again be a great connector in the worlds of business and trade. e

During the Soviet era the Kazakh language was treated like any other foreign tongue

Kazakhstan’s Presidential Palace. Above: The Kremlin in Moscow


Kitesurfer Ruslan Amelchenko


Getting Wet

Watersports in the World’s Largest Landlocked Country By Michelle Witte Kazakhstan is known for many things. It has a vast ancient steppe that stretches nearly the size of Western Europe. It has a new capital designed by the world’s greatest architects. It is also the world’s ninth largest country and the planet’s biggest landlocked nation. What it is not known for, however, – and logically so – is water sports. But this vast ancient land is filled with rivers and lakes and wind and a community of diehard water sports fans who have found a way to enjoy the water in a location as far from the ocean as you can get.


Ride the Steppe Wind: Windsurfing in Kazakhstan For a growing number of locals and visitors in the know, the world’s largest landlocked country is also a wonder of water sports

There’s a spot on the Kapchagai Reservoir where the wind starts blowing at 6 a.m., reaching 18 meters per second. By noon, this steppe wind raises waves two and three meters high. Artyom and Denis Chibisov, brothers from the Kapchagai area who have been coming to this spot for years, will tell you that this is one of the most popular spots among Kazakhstan’s growing number of windsurfing fans. Kapchagai is a big place. The Ili River pours into the Kapchagai Gorge, where a dam subdues it and creates huge Kapchagai Lake, stretching about 100 kilometers long and 25 kilometers across. Shallow sections and nearby resort pools are enough for most visitors from Almaty, 70 kilometers away. But for the new generation of water sports fans, it’s the lake’s wind and waves that keep them coming back. “It’s just you, a sail, a board, and nature–one on one!” the brothers told EdgeKz. The brothers have travelled as far away as Egypt to windsurf, have participated in international competitions, and even won awards. They’re big promoters of the windsurfing scene in Kazakhstan and of Kapchagai’s planned new windsurfing station, which will offer equipment and coaches. But windsurfing in Kazakhstan isn’t all new school. Windsurfer Alexander Voronin also got his start at Kapchagai. He’s been windsurfing since before anyone in Kazakhstan knew what it was. “In the 1980s… not many people knew about it. The equipment was completely different than it is today. The boards were big and heavy. The sails

were delicate and often broke.” Eventually he took matters into his own hands and opened a shop to sell the equipment he wanted. Today, it’s Alexander’s company Alex Grand KZ ( that will open the windsurfing station in Kapchagai. “We are totally sure windsurfing in Kazakhstan will get more popular every year,” he told EdgeKz. Aleksey Lichman is a 39-year-old skier who says he was lost without some intense, nature-based activity to keep him going from snow to snow. That is until someone told him to try windsurfing. “Despite numerous falls and a lot of water consumed, I liked it,” he said. So he continued, despite a lack of training and equipment. “It’s a good way for me to get my dose of adrenaline.” In addition to Kapchagai, many of Kazakhstan’s other lakes offer the key elements of windsurfing: water, wind and beautiful scenery. Balkash Lake, Bartogai Reservoir and Alakol Lake all draw their share of windsurf junkies. Balkash is Lichman’s favorite. “It is quite large, and the wind and nature make nice, dynamic scenery… The thermal wind blows from noon to sunset, plus other winds that come from air traffic and weather changes.” In Kazakhstan, however, the best windsurfing doesn’t always coincide with the most developed areas. You have to be a romantic, Lichman says, and “not be in love with comfort.” If you’re going to seek out the best windsurfing in Kazakhstan, you may want to add a tent to your packing list. e

Windsurfers practicing their sport on Lake Saryoba

Get Your Gear On Right now, Almaty has the only options for buying or renting windsurfing and kite surfing equipment. Try tour company Alex Grand KZ ( or shops Sport Lend and Evraziya. Travel and tour organizations can also sometimes provide gear or help you transport your own. With the planned opening of a windsurfing station on Kapchagai Reservoir, there will also soon be more options nearby the country’s business center. Kayakers, canoers, and rafters have it a bit easier. Tour companies like Asia Discovery (, KayakUSSR (, Trekking Club (, and other local companies can arrange trips. The Ecotourism Information Resource Center (http:// can also help you find local resources.


Top: kitesurfers on Lake Saryoba Above left: Dmitry Marytn, Far right: Ruslan Amelchenko

Between the Sea and the Sky: Kite surfing Kite surfing is an extremely young sport and has been practiced in Kazakhstan for only about a decade. This challenging sport, however, already has hardcore fans here willing to import equipment and wait for wind in order to kite surf in some of the country’s most stunning natural settings. Darina Shpachenko, a 30-year-old from Almaty, was one of Kazakhstan’s earlier kite surfers. She started by riding with other kite surfers and went on to take classes with an instructor. She encourages beginners to start out surfing with more experienced kite surfers. Luckily, beginners can find kite surfing groups in Almaty, Kokshetau, Ust Kamenogorsk, and Karaganda, and individual kite surfers around the country. Around Almaty, most kite surfers travel to the Kapchagai Reservoir or Balkash Lake to practice their sport. The wind at Balkash is generally present and steady, though there are also calm days. Shpachenko says that even though “it hurts to travel 300-400 kilometers only to find total calm,” the trips are stunning when the steppe is blossoming. But it’s the Caspian Sea that really beckons. The wind is almost always blowing there, luring kite surfers like seven-year kite surfing veteran Ruslan Amelchenko, 40, from Almaty, who just want to “move in the wind”. “People on the beach come running to see the colorful show” when the wind kicks up and the kites take flight, he told EdgeKz.

Kite surfing can be difficult – “I still have scars from my first year,” 28-year-old kite surfer and instructor Dmitriy Martyn told EdgeKz. But the main obstacles are finding and affording equipment, and waiting for the wind. Kite surfers in Kazakhstan use a variety of different boards throughout the year, changing with the season and the wind. But the kite surfing community in Kazakhstan is a passionate one. “There’s a pond or artificial lake in or close to every major city in Kazakhstan. Looking on a map, you won’t see one near my city, but in reality, I have four options every day I decide to go out,” says Martyn, who lives in Karaganda. Instructors train students on small ponds and graduate later to bigger reservoirs and finally to Kazakhstan’s major kite surfing destination – hidden spots along the Caspian Sea. Like the prime windsurfing destinations, some of these places can be remote – which is just fine with Kazakhstan’s kite surfing community. “That’s why they’re still a paradise,” says Martyn. It’s that love of the beauty of nature that attracts many to the sport in some of Kazakhstan’s most beautiful locations. “I love kite surfing because you feel you’ve tamed the power of nature,” Martyn says. Like windsurfing, kite surfing enthusiasts here expect the sport to grow. But, they say, in a country the size of Kazakhstan, there will always be plenty of beautiful, uncrowded spots to practice their sport. e

Kite surfers often practice their sport in some of Kazakhstan’s most beautiful natural settings


Wild and Beautiful: Whitewater Paddling in Kazakhstan “There’s nothing like the feeling of cold water as it covers your head,” says Inna Yurchenko, 13, from Oskemen, who has been practicing the sport of canoe slalom for two years. “I like navigating boats, but sometimes it seems like it’s the river who navigates. We fight to see who is in control, me or the river.” Whitewater slalom involves guiding a canoe or kayak through river rapids while navigating turns and passing through a series of gates. The sport is less than a decade old in Kazakhstan, but its following is growing. Right now, it is based in Ridder and Ust Kamenogorsk. “The place where we practice is a little, wild nature corner on the Ulba River,” says teenager Valery Shirokov, also from Oskemen, who started the sport at the age of ten. “Sometimes it’s scary, but slalom is not as extreme as it may seem.” But whitewater in Kazakhstan isn’t all about competition. There are plenty of spots for recreational paddlers. Whitewater rafting,

Above: Whitewater paddler Valeriy Shirokov Below: Svetlana Polezhayeva

To Every Sport There is a Season The best seasons for these water sports are from the spring to the fall. Obviously, the most appealing time to chuck oneself in a river or the sea is in the hot summer months. Sports that depend on wind, however, are probably best practiced in the gustier spring and fall.

canoeing, and kayaking are some of Kazakhstan’s most popular adventure sports and one of the best ways to get a close look at some of the country’s diverse terrain. Whitewater paddling has been around in Kazakhstan for a long time so there are plenty of guides that rent visitors equipment and show them where to go. There are rivers that run through forests, deserts, and deep canyons; you can even visit petroglyph sites while on paddling trips and the Almaty region has multiple major river systems. The deep, calm Ili River is perfect for beginners, while the Chilik is for skilled paddlers. The wide Turgen River is a major rafting site, with stretches for absolute beginners as well as those who want more white with their water. So Kazakhstan may be known for its vast grassy steppe and cutting-edge capital, but for a growing number of locals and visitors in the know, the world’s largest landlocked country is also a wonder of water sports. e

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Actor Berik Aitzhanov in the film “The hour of the wolf”

Berik Aitzhanov

Kazakstan’s Down-To-Earth

Film Star

By Michelle Witte

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Above and opposite page: Actor Berik Aitzhanov in the film “Makhambet”

WE havE proDucErs, DirEcTors anD camEramEn Who KnoW WhaT To Do To igniTE or inspirE our film inDusTry – acTor BEriK aiTzhanov

Berik Aitzhanov has the chiseled features and ethnic good looks you would expect of one of kazakhstan’s most popular film stars. he is also currently appearing in one of the largest and most internationally recognized films in the history of the young country, Zhauzhurek Myn Bala. But this 33-year old actor who grew up in Almaty carries none of the ego of many film stars and says he is just getting started. “First of all, i don’t consider myself a star,” he told EdgeKz. “i am not hiding behind the ‘modest-but-yearning-for-attention’ mask either. i am straightforward and don’t like hypocrisy.” But despite this low profile, people are starting to take notice, and he acknowledges some sense of responsibility as a public figure. “there are times when i get invited to tv shows and i get recognized on the streets by people, older and younger. i want to be an example for our youth, not an idol. i do not want the next generation to say in the future something like ‘Well, if Berik can do this, why can’t i?’ – i would like to be a good example. this is my principle.” though he’s one of the stars of the new kazakh epic Myn Bala, Aitzhanov actually had to learn the language that matches his features at the start of his career. “i graduated from a russian high school. i started my career at 21 and i’d never read a book in

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kazakh before that. of course, there are both russian and kazakh acting schools, but i look Asian, so it was recommended that i learn kazakh to be able to portray kazakh characters.” his parents were never worried about his risky career choice – only the language challenge that comes from living in such a multiethnic society. “My parents weren’t against [acting], they just doubted that i could study in kazakh.” his success, however, never seemed to be in doubt. “My parents were happy when i decided to study acting because before that i’d had problems choosing what to do. As for the risk, my parents were somehow sure that i would be successful, because they saw my passion for acting. Unfortunately, my father didn’t get the chance to see me in any of my roles… My mother is happy to see where i am in my life, of course.” now that he’s got the language skills, what kazakh heroes would he like to play? “in our great steppes we had so many epic heroes, khans, akyns, that we have to talk about all the time. they were people who fought for our freedom, for our idea of kazakhstan and its people. there are too many. i would like to try both khan roles and batyrs, although i have already played some of them.” he currently is appearing as khan Abulkhair in Myn Bala.

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EDGE KZ P r o f i l e 53 But while these heroes of an older tradition are enjoying a revival, there are other, forgotten heroes on Aitzhanov’s mind. “In the near future, I’m very interested in playing World War II heroes. Kazakh Film has only produced five or six movies about World War II. There are films about Baurzhan Momushyly, Aliya Moldagulova, Manshuk Mametova – but I wish I could introduce more heroes. We have many more: Adi Sharipov, Talgat Bigeldinov, Rakhymzhan Koshkarbayev, Kasym Kasenov. We need to make movies about them, and stage spectacles. It is unfair that now we are forgetting about them; they shed blood for us.” It’s not only Kazakh heroes who inspire the actor, however. “I would play Macbeth with pleasure”, he says. Aitzhanov’s first role was Laertes, in Hamlet. In fact, Aitzhanov is known for his seamless transition from theatre to film. It’s a change he’s asked about often and he smiles when it comes up again. “I’ve answered this question too many times,” he said. “At this point of my career, I can afford to switch between the two industries. I have been an actor in the Kazakh Academic Drama Theatre named after Mukhtar Auezov for over eight years now.” Having made his mark on stage, it was time to make the leap. “The first day I had the chance to submit my documents to Kazakh Film, I applied to be in movies.”

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The transition wasn’t simple. Acting on stage and acting in movies require different tricks and techniques. This is not yet reflected in the acting schools in Kazakhstan, however. “In our country, for some reason, we don’t have different schools [for film or theatre acting], just theatre. I had to pick up film acting experience along the way.” Despite the recognition that has come with film, Aitzhanov’s theatre experience remains significant to him. “Coming back to the question of what’s closer to me,… two or three years ago, I would have said undoubtedly film, because it was movies that really started my career. But I’ve changed my point of view now. I would say both experiences are valuable to me.” Don’t look for him to switch to TV next, though. “Television, well – it’s too much propaganda. I’m not very interested in it, not to offend any professionals in that field.” As an Asian-looking, Russian-speaking citizen of this socially complex nation, however, televi-

I have the seething, gnawing feeling that I don’t know even two or three percent of what I want to know about acting – Berik Aitzhanov

Zhauzhurek Myn Bala A Kazakh Epic Berik Aitzhanov’s latest significant role, Khan Abulkhair, comes in a very big movie: Zhauzhurek Myn Bala (a thousand brave men). Everything about this picture is epic – the panoramas, the cast, the battles, and the story about a boy who loses his family, discovers love and friendship, and rallies the thousand men (boys, really) of the title to fight his enemies. It’s been 20 years since Kazakhstan gained its autonomy, and independence is on people’s minds. Zhauzhurek Myn Bala commemorates another fight for independence, this one from the 18th century, when the country was under the thumb of a tribe of Mongols called Dzungars. Teenage warrior Sartai and his band of young fighters help take them on in hopes of achieving a free nation of their own, foreshadowing more recent struggles. In addition to the story of this battle, Zhauzhurek Myn Bala has a more contemporary story to tell, one about the country that exists now. The film was shot on location, in the Kazakh language, using Kazakhstan actors in all the major roles and employing the renowned “Nomad” stunt group.

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54 EDGE KZ P r o f i l e

Photos this page: Aitzhanov in the film “Retrurn to A”

My goal is to work hard. Sometimes I feel I’m hostage to my own sloth. It stops me from doing certain things in life that I then regret later

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sion may yet have some benefits. “It does have social influence. Television can show and express multi-cultural life, praise the country and the government.” Now that he’s embedded in the film world, where would Aitzhanov like to see the Kazakh film industry go? “Under Kazakh Film President Ermek Amanshayev, Kazakh Film in the past four years has made so much progress. Ermek Amanshayev (I must repeat) works so hard for Kazakh Film, participates in movie festivals, ensures that our local movies get recognized, all this shows his work.” “In the future, I’d like to see the Kazakh film industry create more of a producing character, in terms of investment, so our rich people would contribute into it. And so our government would also support us, because the film industry is our national face, showing the pride of our country, propaganda about our country. Look at American movies. In almost 80 percent of their movies they have some kind of propaganda of love for their motherland in some form: an anthem, American flags. Isn’t this propaganda? Our industry is advancing pretty fast right now, but there’s so much to be done.” And clearly Aitzhanov believes Kazakhstan has the talent to get it done. “We don’t lack producers or actors. Just about five months ago I was in Los Angeles taking acting lessons, and every year about 10 people go there from Kazakh Film to study producing or cin-

ematography. There are talented guys that write plots at a world-class level. We have producers, directors and cameramen who know what to do to ignite or inspire our film industry.” And for his own future, Aitzhanov insists he’s not yet a star. “At this point, I have not achieved anything, to be honest. There are certain things on my list, but still I’m nowhere near the career peaks that I’ve assigned myself. I’m one hundred kilometres away from them, so to speak. I’m making progress in centimetres, you see, so I have a long way to go. My goal is to work hard. Sometimes I feel I’m hostage to my own sloth. It stops me from doing certain things in life that I then regret later. Work, work and work, that’s what I have to do.” He won’t say whose career he might be working toward. “There is a saying – ‘don’t make idols’. I like a lot of actors; I don’t want to name any names.” The advice against making idols is something Aitzhanov wants to pass on to the next generation of Kazakh actors. “My advice for the new generation is to stand out, be original, be the only one. Once, I was a young actor just starting out. Now I’m taking steps in movies and theatre, but I have the seething, gnawing feeling that I don’t know even two or three percent of what I want to know about acting. If you decide to become an actor, you must really be in love with and devoted to this profession.” e

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Rgebayeva The latest collection of Astana-based clothing designer Dana Rgebayeva focuses on three essential qualities in a woman: confidence, femininity and comfort. Rgebayeva tells EdgeKz she focuses on these essentials by using standard colors that don’t sidetrack the viewer from “the essence of a woman, from her natural facial features and her body curves.” The collection was also inspired by the multiple influences of the 1980s. Rgebayeva became an independent fashion designer after studying to be a costumier in Paris and working for three years in internships at various fashion houses. “I want to bring something new along with technical innovation; something individual that has not been created before,” she told EdgeKz.

You can see Rgebayeva’s collection by visiting her boutique in Astana at 57 Pobeda Avenue or calling 7 (717) 232-5634. You can also contact the designer at




Rgebayeva focuses on three essential qualities in a woman: confidence, femininity and comfort





I want to bring something new... something individual that has not been created before



Young Kazakh Model

Born Catwalk to the

By Michelle Witte

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Model Saltanat Bekzhigitova was named after Saltanat Kamaliyeva, the first Kazakh woman to be named Miss Asia

Some people are born to be athletes, or teachers, or artists. But Saltanat Bekzhigitova was born – and named – to be a successful model. “Even when I was a child, I liked to turn and pose in front of the mirror. I’d make dresses out of my mother’s scarves or even bed sheets. I’d put on red lipstick and walk around in my mother’s beautiful high heels. But my mother didn’t punish me for this. Instead, she took pictures,” Bekzhigitova told EdgeKz. Even her name steered Bekzhigitova toward the catwalk. Bekzhigitova was named after Saltanat Kamaliyeva, the first Kazakh woman to be named Miss Asia. “Since I was a child, I’ve been interested in the fashion industry. I used to watch fashion shows on TV more than cartoons! I would marvel at models on catwalks, in photo shoots, in commercials; I was sucked in. I wanted to be like them.” Bekzhigitova started modelling in 2008, when she was 15. “I’ll always think of that year as something special, unique, and unearthly… It always brings a smile to my face.” Even though modelling was what she had always wanted to do, a catwalk can be an intimidating place for a young teenage girl. “When I was 15 years old and walked a catwalk for the first time at Kazakhstan Fashion Week, my knees were knocking. I couldn’t see anything because of the spotlights and the camera flashes. I thought I’d go blind! I had one goal: don’t fall… Then when I got backstage, I realized that there was such pleasure mixed with pride in walking out there that I wanted to do it more and more. I realized that I was on the right path.” Bekzhigitova was invited to work in Europe, Singapore and China that year, but she was a minor and her parents didn’t want her travelling so far alone. Instead, she began to enter modelling and beauty com-

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petitions. The first year, she won nothing, but gained a lot of experience. In 2009, she placed in the top ten of the “Top Model Asia 2009” competition. Finally, in 2010, she decided to try to live her childhood dream, and entered the Miss Almaty competition. “I had to work hard on myself. I admit, the preparation was intense”, she says. Her hard work paid off, and she went on to the Miss Kazakhstan competition, where she again was part of the top ten. But it wasn’t her year to win the crown that her namesake wore. “Who knows,” she says, “perhaps destiny is shaping me for a second chance, or for something bigger.” For now, she’s still got a lot going on. “I work for an agency as a top runway and photo model… and I’m a TV host and studying to be an actress.” And somehow she finds time to study management at the Turar Ryskulov Economics University, because, she says, she wants to be “sure about the future.” Bekzhigitova also stresses that modelling isn’t as easy as it sounds. “Many people not connected with the fashion industry assume that it’s really easy to be a model; you just have to dress in beautiful clothes and walk. It’s far from that. It’s actually really difficult. You have to watch yourself constantly, you have to go to casting after casting, you have to remember fittings, and you have to do it all on heels that are at least 10 centimeters high.” Despite the hard work, Bekzhigitova has come a long way since dressing up in her mother’s shoes. Modeling was something she always wanted to do and now she has achieved it. “I enjoy my work, and I think that’s the most important thing, to be doing something you like.” e

Photos this page and opposite: Model Saltanat Bekzhigitova

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Hits the Beach!

It’s true that Astana is known the world over as the planet’s second coldest capital. Only Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia gives its residents the shivers more than the Kazakh capital. Astana took over that prestigious second place slot from Ottowa, Canada 14 years ago when this city on the steppe was named Kazakhstan’s new government center. Nearly six months a year, the capital is virtually covered with a beautiful – but cold – layer of permafrost with temperatures known to drop to -40 C. A record -51 C was once recorded. And if you include the wind chill, locals will tell you it gets much colder than that. Luckily, however, Astana is also known for having an intense weather change between winter and summer. Summer temperatures in Astana often climb into the 20s and 30s and once reached 41.6 C, that’s 114 F. So when summer comes in Astana, people like to hit the beach. It doesn’t matter that Kazakhstan is also the world’s largest landlocked country and about as far from an ocean as you can get. Officials in Astana have taken care of that. When Astana was transformed into the capital, planners made the Yessil River a centerpiece of the city with a wide promenade, shops and houses along the water – and a beach. In the northern section of Astana beside one of its quaint foot bridges is a sandy area that that is packed every weekend with families, children and Astana’s young and beautiful strutting their bathing suit bodies like it was Rio De Janeiro. So here is a sneak peak of Astana at the beach. e

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usiness travel doesn’t have to be all about work. Taking in the sights, meeting locals and getting a taste for the local culture can turn a business trip into an adventure. One of the easiest ways to get a sense of a place is by its cuisine. And what you’ll find in Kazakhstan may surprise you. Though the country has only been an independent nation for two decades, its culinary history is long and broad. Here you’ll find foods ranging in origins from the Far East to Europe, to Kazakhstan’s home in the heart of Central Asia. Kazakhstan’s capital Astana and its business center Almaty form the country’s urban core and in both cities you will find a plethora of local and international cuisines to sample. Among the most surprising offerings can be found in Astana’s Line

Brew restaurant. This unique eatery on the right bank is styled after a medieval castle with the type of meat and beer- filled menu you’d expect to find in an ancient European village. Also surprising in Astana is the amount of quality Italian food available. Many of the city’s cafes, such as Rafe and Daisy, offer authentic pastas and pizzas. But Kazakhstan features plenty of traditional and regional fare as well. Almaty’s Kok-Tobe restaurant offers a main dining room in the shape of a traditional Kazakh yurt and serves such Kazakh staples as beshbarmak, lagman and manty. And to get a taste of the region, you can try Almaty’s Alasha, which is known for its Uzbek-style interior and cuisine. So once the work day is done, head out to one of Kazakhstan’s many international style restaurants and get a taste for the diversity of this new nation.

67 the ones responsible for the great atmosphere here. Al Fresco is perfect for a power lunch, a business dinner, a date or for a child’s birthday. Service is fast, so if you want you can eat and be out in 30 minutes, but you very well may choose to linger through the afternoon or evening over wine and/or coffee.

Cuisine: Italian Address: 14 Kunayeva Street Phone: 8 (7172) 50-83-85 Hours: 10:00 am – 12:00 am Business lunch: 12:00 pm – 04:00 pm Price range: $$ Arbalet Austeria After the December 2010 edition of Edge, this successful Almaty chain restaurant extended its reach to Astana – and it has not disappointed. So extensive is the fare, that the restaurant’s website lists 17 different menus to cover it all. Think classic Russian dishes with a good dose of French haute influence, recreating the culinary traditions of late-Czarist Imperial St. Petersburg. Then throw in some Western taste, and you have an adult-ready, kid-friendly mesh of what the Czars may have done if they set out to create their own version of an upscale Ruby Tuesdays. Expect a menu of clay-baked lamb and veal, a steak list with more than 20 entrees, seafood, plus bar food and a children’s menu. And just when you think it’s over, they roll the dessert menu out. There’s even a hookah flavor selection that’s 50 percent off on Wednesday nights. You can enjoy phenomenal wine and spirits and live music, too. Takeout and delivery is available. Take a look at the delivery menu on their website, but it’s also worth coming here just to see the fantastic and unusual interior.

Cuisine: European Address: 8 Vodno-Zelenyi Boulevard in the Keruen Shopping Center Phone: 8 (7172) 79 55 13 Hours: 10:00 am – 11:00 pm Price Range: $$ Website: Al Fresco If you crave some traditional Italian food – whether staple favorites common in Europe and America, to authentic specialty dishes – this menu is sure to satisfy. The chef prides himself in diversity, and loves to mix things up with surprise offerings or accommodating special requests. The attentive staff is really

If you would like to forget the mundane for a while and pretend you are back in the Dark Ages or in the Arctic North, this is the place for you. Arbalet has a Viking theme with traditional tall, heavy chairs, stone walls, swords and axes on the walls. It is easy to get to and stays open 24 hours a day. Arbalet is not cheap, but the ambiance is wonderfully romantic, and the food is consistently good.

Cuisine: European Address: 16 Beibitshilik Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 32 40 60 Price: $$$ Arystan Restaurant Most European-style restaurants in Astana are relatively expensive. This one is not, even though it has an impressive interior. Anyone looking for casual dining will like Arystan, and students can afford it.

Cuisine: European Address: 2 Aykayryn Street Phone: 8 (7172) 29 20 36 Price range: $ Assorti This popular chain has many outlets all over Kazakhstan (including small ones at the Astana and Almaty airports) and an impressive range of cuisine served at reasonable prices. (Of all other places, Assorti has now been opened in Arlington, Virginia, just across the street from Hell’s Burger, frequented by Barack Obama.) It serves a mixture of Italian, Japanese, Russian and European. The décor and atmosphere are routine, but you can consistently count on good food and good service. Assorti has some of the best pizza, pasta and salads compared to similar franchises in Kazakhstan. The grill is pretty good, too. It is also large, and is often packed at nights, especially weekends. Assorti has buffets during the day.

Portofino Classic Cuisine, Consistent Quality Pizza, pasta, tiramisu and cappuccino; these are Italian classics whose names make the mouth water and which await you at Portofino along the heart of Astana’s restaurant row on Turan Avenue. Since opening in 2008, this authentic eatery named after a small fishing village in Italy has gained a sustained reputation as one of the best Italian restaurants in the city. The menu offers quality standards such as Arabiatta, Primavera, Bolognese spaghetti and ravioli, as well as more exotic seafood dishes. And to top off your meal, the restaurant features a variety of cheese cakes and tiramisu. Portofino also offers a small Japanese and sushi menu. Wines are a big part of any Italian meal and Portofino has also developed a reputation for having a diverse wine cellar of uniquely high quality vino. But you can also order less traditional cocktails and fruit drinks. Beyond the food and drinks, Portofino also offers guests a cigar lounge and a selection of the best Cubanos. Billiard’s lovers will enjoy the restaurant’s imported billiards tables, and live classical guitar is also performed most weekend evenings. Portofino’s interior is also diverse with quiet, window-side tables as well as luxurious banquet and VIP rooms for small gatherings and celebrations. In general, the restaurant’s atmosphere is family friendly and customerservice oriented. Astana has a lot of Italian food to choose from. And year after year, Portofino is one of the best.

(Please note: the telephone numbers listed here are for dialing in Astana from a cell phone. For more information on making telephone calls, please see the “Practical Information When in Kazakhstan” section.)

68 Cuisine: Russian, Italian, Japanese Address: 9 Dostyk Street (right behind Ramstore) Phone: 8 (7172) 79 53 97 Price range: $$ Astana Nury When you have something to celebrate, this is the place to come. It is easily one of the best restaurants in town with excellent service, a sophisticated, elegant atmosphere and a splendid range of shish kebabs (45 different varieties of shashlyk, including vegetarian). In all, it has 150 selections on the menu. It also has delicious desserts. You will get a 20% discount on the entire menu for lunch, on weekdays from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm. With a slice of sophisticated 1920s Cole Porter Paris effortlessly transported to the heart of Central Asia, the music alone is worth the trip, and the price. The restaurant is located on the new embankment of the Yessil River with a spectacular view of the cityscape. It is particularly nice in the summer, when you can sit on the veranda and watch people walking along the river, as well as view the lights from the amusement park. Because of its proximity to the river, it’s a big spot for special occasions such as weddings.

Cuisine: Caucasian, European Address: 3/2 Respublika Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 43 93 38/39 Price range: $$$ Website: Bagrationi Bagrationi is one of Astana’s most authentic Georgian restaurants. They import all ingredients, including the bottle water, from Georgia and recruited their chefs from top restaurants in Georgia. The restaurant features traditional Georgian food such as Khachapuri and features unique Georgian art, photography and crafts. Live Georgian music is also played most nights.

Address: 25 Turan Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 40 21 48, 8 (7172) 40 21 50 Hours: Daily 11:00 am – 2:00 am Price range: $$$ Beerhoff As the name suggests, prepare for a genuine culinary journey through Deutschland and Mitteleuropa (Central Europe). The owners have captured the spirit of these regions’ famous beerhouses superbly, presenting an earthy atmosphere and a hearty selection of juicy sausages, steaks and grilled meats. If you are a beer connoisseur, or simply a beer lover, this is your place: You’ll find here one of the better selections of draught beer in Astana, especially of the German persuasion.

Cuisine: European Address: 44 Kenessary Street Phone: 8 (7172) 21 00 10, 8 (7172) 21 00 40 Hours: 11am - 2am Price Range: $ Bochonok Brewery For German and Mitteleuropa visitors seeking gemutlechkeit cuisine, or

American and Russian engineers thirsty for good beer and food (especially meat), we recommend the Bochonok. Styled after an old European brewery, this restaurant offers a wide variety of beers and has solid and large menu. It sometimes offers grill specials, and it is not too pricey.

Cuisine: European, mixed Address: 75 Kenessary Street Phone: 8 (7172) 37 16 66 Price range: $$ Website: Capital Music and Pub Restaurant

For middle-aged partiers in search of a good time, you can’t do better than the Capital. Located in Astana’s spectacular new left bank, not far from Baiterek Tower, it has live music featuring popular Russian and international songs. You can also sing karaoke in the VIP room. The VIP room gets booked early on weekends, so call early if you want to sing with your friends.

Cuisine: European, Kazakh Address: 14 Tauelydzyk Street Phone: 8 (7172) 24 46 71 Price range: $$ Chilli Peppers No local atmosphere here! This is as Western frenetic as they come, which makes it a very popular pizza place for young people. The low prices and good value for portions don’t hurt either. The main room seats about 30 people, and it has a small VIP hall for 10. It’s conveniently located close to the Baiterek Tower, and they deliver as well.

Cuisine: Pizza, European, Italian Address: 33 Sarayshik Street

Phone: 8 (7172) 50 37 73 Price range: $ East West A fascinating mix of 21st century sophisticated cuisine and 20th century caution in its décor, East West offers both general international and excellent Indian cuisine. The interior retains a pre-independence style. A must see if you are interested in Soviet décor. Please change that.

Cuisine: Indian, International Address: 2/2 Kabanbay Batyr Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 24 40 34 Price range: $$ Egorkino Derevnya Located in Restaurant Alley, Egorkino Derevnya is a part of a hotel with the same name. It’s not cheap, but you can get good Russian food here, usually much better than you would find in many parts of Russia. It has excellent meat and very good salads, as well as fish, like sturgeon. Since it opened, this restaurant has maintained a high standard of cuisine. It has two floors and a garden area with a Russian-village theme and heavy wooden doors. It is open from 12:00 to midnight.

Cuisine: Russian Address: 33 Turan Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 40 21 81 Price range: $$$ Epoch Anyone who misses the Cold War or still loves old John Le Carre novels has to make a stop here. Epoch has a décor evocative of the Soviet Union – and revels in it. Old Russian-made cars are parked inside and out. This is a great theme restaurant with public

69 and private rooms, depicting Sovietera flags and icons. Some areas have glass floors with memorabilia underneath. The food is bold and innovative, and the menu includes whole-cooked fresh fish, goose and rabbit, all at reasonable prices. It’s a great place to party with live music and dancing on the weekends. A very good value.

Cuisine: European, Kazakh, Russian Address: 9 Valikhanov Street Phone: 8 (7172) 21 01 57 Price range: $$ Europe-Asia Good, solid value and quality food, neither too cheap nor too expensive, with a solid selection of European and Kazakh dishes.

Cuisine: European, Kazakh Address: 30 Kabanbay Batyr Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 62 87 43 Price range: $$ Farkhi / Ali Baba With its big yurt-shaped building, this place is great fun, and the perfect place to bring kids. Everyone loves the Ali Baba, located just off the big curve of the Yessil Embankment. Serving traditional Kazakh and Uzbek food, with excellent service, it is over-the-top festive nomad in style and décor with the waiting staff in traditional costumes. Kids can play in the lavish indoor playground, which Walt Disney couldn’t have done any better. The garden terrace is popular in summer, with fountains and private cabins. Business people and food lovers fly up from Almaty to savor the fantastic food. It’s known to get busy, especially on weekends. Try their chebureks (a pastry with meat inside); warm and fresh, they are spectacular. It’s a little pricey here, but well worth it. No trip to Astana is complete until you’ve dined there.

Cuisine: Caucasian, Kazakh, Middle Eastern Address: 3 Bukeykhan Street Phone: 8 (7172) 32 04 06 Price range: $$$ French Brasserie Capri Located in the Radisson Hotel alongside the Yessil River, this is another one of the best restaurants in Central Asia. Cuisine is limited in scope and there is no ethnic taste to it. But if you fly in straight from Cannes, you’ll feel right at home. The Mediterranean cuisine is outstanding. This is also one of the prime locales for sophisticated partiers on a Friday night. Expensive, but worth every tenge.

Cuisine: Mediterranean

Address: 4 Sary Arka Avenue, Radisson Hotel Phone: 8 (7172) 99 00 00 Price range: $$$ Fusion Another five-star location for the social set and the hard partiers, Fusion combines traditional world cuisines, and is a classy, top-level restaurant right above the Fashion night club. One unusual feature is that the restaurant sports three main rooms with a different ethnic menu in each (American Steak House, Italian Grill and Japanese), so select your preference before sitting down. The Japanese room is particularly interesting with small wooden bridges over “rivers” of small white stones, surrounded by a wall of glass. The VIP-Fusion room has extra-comfortable furniture and a large plasma TV screen as well as karaoke. Free Wi-Fi.

Cuisine: American, Italian, Japanese Address: 4B Mailina Street Phone: 8 (7172) 22 27 77 Price range: $$ Grilliage Restaurant As the name indicates, this is a refuge for carnivores, not vegetarians, and it offers a wide range of reasonably priced grills in the local, European and Russian styles. Russian cuisine in grilling meat, when done well, is excellent and unique, not to be missed.

Cuisine: European, Kazakh, Russian Address: 1 Zhenis Street Phone: 8 (7172) 32 52 22 Price range: $$ Il Patio and Planet Sushi This is part of a chain of ItalianJapanese restaurants, which means you get reliability and predictability. Il Patio was the first restaurant with a nice salad bar in Kazakhstan, and offers good pizza, pasta and other Italian favorites, and it has a great dessert menu. At all Il Patio locations, you can order sushi on the pizza side, or pizza on the Planet Sushi side, or mix it up. They play background Italian music in Il Patio and Japanese music in Planet Sushi. Il Patio-Planet Sushi remains one of the most popular choices for takeout and delivery across Kazakhstan.

Cuisine: Pizza, Italian Address: 24 Turan Avenue (Saryarka Shopping Center) and 10 Respublika Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 79 22 03 Price range: $$

Line Brew: A Medieval Meal in an Urban Castle It’s not every day that you have the chance to eat dinner in a castle, particularly in the heart of Kazakhstan. But Astana’s unique Line Brew restaurant is not your average restaurant. Line Brew opened six years ago and is located on the right bank about 10 minutes by taxi from the city center. It is easy to spot as it is the only restaurant in the city that sports a three-story medieval turret. And once inside its thick castle doors, the stone and medieval theme is continued throughout the restaurant. This unique eatery boasts an extensive European menu, which also includes local favorites, such as the beloved shashlyk, which is a meat kebab, cooked over open flame. But it is the tasty and numerous steak dishes that really make this place. The restaurant also has its own Line Brew Beer which can be found in local stores and is delicious on tap. A quality wine list and a wide range of German, Belgian and Kazakh brewed beer completes the restaurant’s theme, which restaurant Director Gulmira Zhakupova described to EdgeKz as “a beer garden with plenty of meat.” The restaurant also offers live music daily, except Sundays, from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. and upstairs you’ll find two mint condition billiards tables. And if you really want an experience, you can reserve the VIP turret area, which you reach by climbing a harrowing three-story circular staircase which hugs the turret’s walls. Karaoke is also available. Line Brew is part of a chain of restaurants with outlets in Astana, Karaganda and Almaty. But don’t let the chain tag scare you away. This is one unique and tasty dining experience.

70 pumpkins and herbs. Tables and private dining areas are scattered about the garden among the vegetables. The maître d’ is well known as a character in the Astana restaurant world. When you leave, you get a small bag of sunflower seeds.

Cuisine: Ukrainian Address: 31 Turan Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 40 21 68 Price range: $$ Mingen One of the oldest “new” restaurants in Astana, Jet Set opened after the city became the new capital. Reliable European cuisine served in the median price bracket.

Cuisine: Korean Address: 2/1 Kabanbay Batyr Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 24 29 04 Price range: $$ Most

Kausar Restaurant Well worth exploring, Kausar offers European and Kazakh food prepared according to Halal standards and very-reasonably priced. This restaurant is far from the new city centre, so be ready for a drive.

Cuisine: Halal Address: 5th Microdistrict, 20/1 Phone: 8 (7172) 34 34 70 Price range: $ Kishlak Kishlak is another super-comfortable Uzbek spot with a really interesting interior, with streams running inside and raised platforms and comfortable cushions. The waiting staff is dressed in Uzbek national garb. The lagman is popular, and comes in clay pots. This place is packed with business people for lunch, but is kind of a party spot during weekends.

Cuisine: Uzbek, European Address: 22/2 Kabanbai Batyr Avenue, Kruglaya Ploshad Phone: 8 (7172) 974 161 or 974 142 Hours: Daily, 12:00 pm to 2:00 am Price range: $ Korean House A part of Restaurant Alley. There are now a lot of South Koreans working at any one time in Kazakhstan, not to mention the fact that there are a lot of people who simply adore Korean food, so this restaurant does a healthy amount of business. It also offers a good introduction to Korean cuisine. The restaurant says its chefs

have been trained by great masters from South Korea, and the service is excellent.

Cuisine: Korean Address: 19/1 Sary Arka Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 40 20 99 Price range: $$ La Riviere One of the most expensive restaurants in Astana, but worth every penny: Exclusive atmosphere, exquisite food. It has a cigar room and two VIP-halls – one seating 12 people, and another small one for 4 – while a live pianist provides atmosphere. The only stipulation for the dress code is “no sportswear”. La Riviere also has a children’s menu, a nice fireplace and you can also order Kalyan.

Cuisine: French Address: 2 Kabanbay Batyr Avenue (near Quay Park) Phone: 8 (7172) 24 22 60 Price range: $$$ Line Brew Line Brew offers the unique opportunity to enjoy your meal in a medieval castle. The eatery is easy to spot as it is the only one in Astana with a three-story castle turret which can be rented for special occasions. The restaurant also offers a great selection of steaks and its own brewed beer which can be found in local shops. Line Brew also offers billiards tables and live music daily except Sundays. It’s a unique dining experience in the heart of Eurasia.

Cuisine: European, Caucasian Address: 20 Kenessary Street Phone: 8 (7172) 23 63 73 Price range: $$$ Maghreb Dining at Restaurant Maghreb is like spending the evening in an Arabian palace. The upstairs is designed in the style of an Arabian castle with tents, flowing fabrics, carved furniture and live music. The first level is designed like an Easter garden and perfect for a romantic dinner. The menu features Eastern and European traditional dishes and is accompanied by a cocktail and wine menu.

Cuisine: Eastern, European Address: 20/1 Beibitshilik Street Phone: 8 (7172) 53 44 66, 8777 999 20 09 Hours: Daily 12:00 noon – to last visitor Price range: $$ Medved This is a very Russian style restaurant with rustic décor. Gazprom executives may not dine here but you could easily imagine they would.

Cuisine: Russian Address: 46 Kenessary Street Phone: 8 (7172) 21 28 75 Price range: $$ Melnica “The Windmill” Located in Restaurant Alley, Melnica offers traditional Ukrainian country home-cooked style food. Decorated like a traditional Ukrainian farm house, in the summer the garden is used to grow vegetables, including tomatoes, corn,

If you love to cook but hate to clean, you’ll love Most Restaurant in Astana. Customers at Most have access to tableside grills where they can prepare their own meat, fish and vegetables. These dishes are then served with a fine whiskey or wine chosen from Most’s extensive drink menu.

Cuisine: European Address: Saraishik Street, Turkestan Street corner “Arailym” housing estate Phone: 8 (7172) 51 40 44 Hours: 12:00 am -2:00am Price range: $$ Muller If good German sausages and a beer are what you’re looking for then Muller is the place for you. The venue is separated into two main hall providing live jazz and serving a variety of European and German staples. A relaxed atmosphere, Muller is a great place for lazy weekend afternoons over a beer and a snack while enjoying some sporting favorites on giant TV screens.

Music: wallpaper music, jazz, alive

71 Cuisine: German & European Address: 12/1 Gabdulina Phone: 7(7172) 41 19 30, 41 19 32 Opening hours: Mon.-Fri: 11am-midnight, Sat:11am-2am Average price: $ Pivovaroff If you’re feeling cold or blue, this is the place to come to replenish your soul with traditionally hearty German food and beer. The restaurant is decorated in a traditional German country atmosphere, but the music is livelier. On Fridays and Saturdays, you can enjoy live Jazz and Blues. On weekdays there is an all-you-caneat buffet.

Cuisine: German Address: 1 Beibitshilik Avenue Phone: 8 (7212) 41 15 62 Price: $$ Portofino Opened in 2008, Portofino has developed a consistant reputation for offering some of Astana’s best Italian food. The menu offers quality standards such as arabiatta, primavera, Bolognese spaghetti and ravioli, as well as more exotic seafood dishes. It also has a quality wine cellar and cigar room offering a selection of cubanos. Its atmosphere is family friendly and customer service oriented. Portofino is simply a great place to enjoy quality Italian food.

Cuisine: Italian, Japanese Address: 27 Turan Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 40 20 34 Price range: $$$

Princess Turandot


Reasonably-priced and a magnet for visiting Chinese businessmen and engineers, the Princess Turandot chain is famous for offering large portions of very good Chinese food. Princess Turandot first opened in Almaty at the Auezov Theater in 1998, and because of its high value-formoney, it is also one of the most popular take-out restaurants. Everything is prepared by skilled chefs from China. Located on the Right Bank of the Yessil River.

This is good restaurant with good portions of delicious food, and they also feature special entertainment programs. The centre of the restaurant is beautifully decorated like an opera stage, and offers excellent acoustics for entertainers who sing both traditional Kazakh and popular international ballads. A host introduces the entertainment, which includes comedy and music. It serves breakfast, as well as a business lunch for 1,700 tenge, and offers a separate children’s menu. With good service, it’s a strong choice for holding special banquets. It seats 350 people, and has a VIP-hall for 30.

Cuisine: Chinese Address: 40 Sary Arka Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 23 70 55 Price range: $$ Regine’s Located across the street from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in the same building as Jimmy’z, Regine’s caters to an older clientele. Its atmosphere is formal and conducive to business lunches and dinners. It’s the perfect place to impress your guests and negotiate a contract. This is a good place to dress up a bit for the occasion.

Cuisine: French, European, Kazakh Address: Astanalyk Business Centre, Left Bank Phone: 8 (7172) 50 21 33 Price range: $$ Rixos L’Olivo Italian Restaurant Rixos L Olivo Italian Restaurant The L’Olivo Restaurant is the Rixos’ Hotel’s new signature eatery. It opened in September 2011 and offers modern Italian cuisine. It’s Milanoborn chef uses classical Italian ingredients to produce modern Italian and Mediterranean dishes.

Cuisine: Italian, Mediterranean Address: 7 Kunayeva Street Phone: 8 (7172) 24 50 50 Hours: 12:30pm – 22:30pm Price range: $$$ Samovar Samovar is another place with two locations that are very popular with locals. The layout gives you a bit of privacy, as it’s divided into small sections with curtains covering the booths. It serves up home-cooked style traditional Russian food. It has quite a selection of soups, meats and blini, while Compote is always available. It’s often packed for lunch.

Cuisine: Russian Traditional Address: 22/2 Kabanbai Batyr Avenue, Kruglaya Ploshad, as well as 24 Kenessary Street (near the Sine Tempore Shopping Mall) Phone: 8 (7172) 974 171 Hours: Daily, 12:00 pm to 2:00 am

Cuisine: Kazakh, International Address: 32 Kabanbay Batyr Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 24 28 48 Price range: $$$ Sbarro If you’ve eaten in one of these in any airport in the United States, you know what you’re going to get. Far from haute cuisine, but honest Italian staples, competently-cooked and reasonably priced. Sbarro is a quick place to get an inexpensive meal, and is situated in the Mega Centre shopping mall.

Cuisine: Pizza and pasta Address: 1 Kurgaldzhinskoe Highway (Mega Centre) Phone: 8 (7172) 79 14 97 Price range: $ Tiflis Georgia is known as the “Italy of the Caucasus,” although Georgian cuisine is little known outside the former Soviet Union. But is has always been famous for its hearty opulence. Tiflis is a good place to discover it.

Cuisine: Georgian Address: 14 Imanova Street Phone: 8 (7172) 22 12 26 Price range: $$ Tre Kronor This traditional brewery/restaurant/ pub serves up northern European cuisine in a romantic setting that the 19th century poets would have loved. Located in Restaurant Alley, you can’t miss it: It looks like a Scandinavian traditional house from the outside. Very expensive, but nonetheless, a popular lunch and weekend spot. Also a good choice for doing business.

Cuisine: European Address: 17 Sary Arka Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 40 20 50 Price range: $$$

Vaquero Anyone dreaming of char-broiled, Latin American style grill will not be disappointed by this authentic replication of Latino fare – simply muy bueno!

Cuisine: Mexican, Italian Address: 5 Beibitshilik Street Phone: 8 (7172) 39 01 21 Price range: $$ Venice Located in the Sine Tempore shopping mall, Venice is one of the oldest restaurants in “new” Astana. Fantastic pizza, as one might surmise from the name.

Cuisine: Italian Address: 9 Kenessary Street Phone: 8 (7172) 75 39 06 Price range: $$ Zhybek Zholy This lively establishment is a testament to Astana’s rising taste for diverse Asian cuisine. While the overall menu includes traditional Kazakh and European fare, it clearly caters to Chinese and other mainland Asian palates. You can also rack up some billiards before or after your meal, and on select nights, your ears will be treated to themed live music. All told, the place most certainly has the stuff for a full night out.

Cuisine: Kazakh, European, Eastern and Chinese Address: 102 Abay Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 21 05 07, 8 (7172) 21 66 56 Hours: 11.00 am - 03.00 am Price range: $$

Cafés & Coffee Houses


he phrase “let’s meet for coffee” has become ubiquitous in many languages. Those four words are now a universal symbol for friends getting together in a comfortable space, sharing their lives for a few hours over coffee, tea or a cocktail. It is a phrase of fellowship. The same is true in Kazakhstan where you’ll find plenty of places to spend lazy summer afternoons chatting with friends over comforting liquids. Though Kazakhstan has plenty of small coffee shops to grab a quick cup and go, you’ll find most of the better coffeehouses in Kazakhstan’s two major cities – Astana and Almaty – go way beyond just a cup of coffee or tea. Most, such as Astana’s La Belle or Almaty’s L’Affiche, offer full international menus. And many, such as Almaty’s Madlen cafe, specialize in cakes and desserts. You’ll also find, however, that some coffee houses

don’t yet offer Wi-Fi or have Wi-Fi only for a limited time during the day. So if you have work to do, you’ll want to call ahead. But if you’re looking for a comfortable place to meet with friends, you’ll find plenty of options. One of the most pleasant coffeehouse atmospheres in Astana can be found at cafe Caramel. Caramel is known for its tasty desserts and the designs its baristas draw on the cappuccino froth. The café also lays out games of checkers and backgammon and encourages guests to spend long hours playing. Coffee Delia in Almaty is also a draw, particularly during the summer, with its outdoor seating and Wi-Fi. With so many coffeehouses and cafés waiting for you and your friends, the next time you tell someone in Kazakhstan “let’s meet for coffee”, they’ll know you really mean it.


Bar Fontan A lot of people in Kazakhstan go to shopping malls just to have something to eat because of the wide selection usually present. For a small café in the middle of a shopping mall, Bar Fontan is surprisingly popular whatever time of the day you visit. Often packed with people, it is especially known for its delicious pizzas, but also has a full-Russian-style menu, nice salads, fresh juices, alcoholic drinks and some good cakes. Its coffee is pretty basic – Americano regular and cappuccino.

Address: Kenessary Street, Sine Tempore Shopping Mall, 1st Floor, Phone: 8 (7172) 753 906 Hours: Daily, 10:00 am–10:00 pm Bon Bon Located near the Baiterek Tower, Bon Bon is well-known as a relatively inexpensive chain coffee house with properly-made Italian-style coffees. This is a great place to go after visiting Baiterek and the singing gardens. Kalyan (hookahs) are available, but only in the smoking section. The main room seats forty; and it has a 20-seat VIP hall.

Address: Khan shatyr mall Phone: 8 (7172) 57 09 75 Hours: 10:00 pm - 1:00 am Sat – Sun: 10:00 - 2:00 Bukhara This café offers a wide selection of European, Kazakh, Eastern, Caucasian and Asian dishes. It also has live music and shows. It comes complete with 25, 15, and 10-seat VIP halls available.

Address: 7, 3rd Microdistrict Phones: 8 (7172) 35 19 32 8 (7172) 36 57 32 Hours: 12:00 pm - 2:00 am Caféla Caféla has some of the most unique drinks in Astana. So if you’re looking for a break from the summer heat, head over and try Caféla’s unique

Cucumber Lemonade. All of Caféla’s drinks are made with fresh freshly squeezed ingredients with no artificial additives. The bartenders are even known for letting customers think up their own unique cocktails. Caféla is truly unique among Astana’s café scene.

Address: 9 Dostyk Street, Keruen and Sary Arka shopping centers, Astana International Airport Phone: 8 (7172) 79 55 73 Hours: Mon – Fri, 9:00 am – 1:00 am, Sat – Sun, 9:00 am – 2:00 am Café Marzipan Café Marzipan was Astana’s first café to open on the left bank of the Yessil River. It is popular for its light lunch menu, which includes different kinds of sandwiches. Relatively large and comfortable, government workers often frequent it at night. It also offers refreshing freshly-squeezed juices. Free Wi-Fi is available.

Address: 1 Magistralnii Street (by the Singing Fountains Square) Phone: 8 701 551 4897 Hours: Daily, 10am–2am Café Star Some people would consider Café Star more of a restaurant than a café. But we will go with the name and call it a café, although a rather fancy one. The atmosphere here is high class, with photos of movie stars on the walls. While pricey for a café, the outstanding food is worth the price. A perfect choice for inviting guests to a pleasant evening with good food and wine.

Address: 13 Dostyk Street (Nursaya-2 Residential complex) Phone: 8 (7172) 79 54 12 Hours: 9:00 am until the last visitor leaves Caramel Located on the right bank of the river in the old town centre, Caramel is known for the designs the baristas draw on the cappuccino froth. It has a nice, homey atmosphere, and in ad-

Caféla A Drink Menu Like None Other Coffee never goes out of style. But sometimes in the midst of the hot summer, you’re in the mood for something a little different. And Caféla offers some of the most unique and refreshing drinks in Astana. This upscale cafe located just five minutes walk from the Baiterek Tower in the heart of the busy left bank, is known for letting customers think up and create whatever cocktails they can imagine. Caféla’s free-thinking bartender and chef are also known for such refreshing offerings as “Cucumber Lemonade” or “Sorrel Lemonade”. Cucumber lemonade may not be the first thing you think of when going to a cafe, but like many of Caféla’s offerings this drink is a unique and refreshing experience. It’s made with pearl syrup, rosemary and, of course, cucumber. The cafe also offers top-of-the line cognac, beer and champagne. Caféla’s unique drink menu is a bit pricier than some of the city’s other cafes but everything is all natural, freshly squeezed with no flavoring additives. The drinks are so good, in fact, that Manager Gregory Park freely tells EdgeKz, “Our specialty is not food. We concentrate on our drinks instead.” However, if you do want some food to go along with your liquid concoctions, Caféla offers delicious European dishes and steaks cooked up by one of Astana’s 2010 “Best Chefs in Town” award winners. Caféla opened in November 2011 and has quickly become a favorite of those who enjoy an upscale environment. The café’s rich smell of mahogany, low lighting and VIP room for 10 add to the upscale ambience. And on weekends, Caféla features DJs and dance floor. So if you’d like a little break from the summer heat and to taste drinks you likely never had before, take a walk over to Caféla.

(Please note: the telephone numbers listed here are for dialing in Astana from a cell phone. For more information on making telephone calls, please see the “Practical Information When in Kazakhstan” section.)

74 from a wide variety of cakes and desserts similar in texture and taste to what you can find in Europe. They also have good, simple sandwiches. Sandwich lovers will be happy to find the bread is nice and fresh as well as soft. The bread alone is a reason to come here, if you like it baked-fresh and piping hot. This is also a good place for takeouts, including coffee to go. Some of the things you probably want to try are their muffins, pies, cookies, croissants, rolls, cheesecakes, and tarts. This company is socially-conscious, and they deliver free pastries each Thursday and Saturday to poor and elderly older people in Astana.

dition to enjoying one of its delicious desserts, you can play a game of checkers or backgammon. A great place for an evening out with the family.

Address: 10A Imanov Street Phone: 8 (7172) 53 73 88 Hours: 9:00 am – 11:00 pm Chili peppers If you like your coffee high-tech and Western, head to Chili Peppers cafe. This well established cafe on the left bank was opened in September of 2008 and has been thriving since with young people, locals and expats looking for a taste of the West. As one Chili Peppers employee put it, “No local atmosphere here! This is as Western frenetic as they come!” And to make sure their expat visitors feel welcome, the waiters speak English and have been trained to meet the often demanding nature of its Western guests.

Address: 33 Sarayshik Street Phone: 8 (7172) 50 37 73 Hours: 12:00pm – 1:00am Coffe Nova This new coffee house just opened in the heart of downtown Astana. It is not too large, and has a real intimate feel to it. Even though it is a relatively new addition, already you can find quite a few locals and guests spending the day talking or working on laptop computers. Free Wi-Fi is provided.

Cuisine: European Address: 15 Sagynak Street Phone: 8 (7172) 79 52 55, 8 (7172) 56 69 34 Hours: 09:00 am – 12:00 am Price range: $

Coral Reef Café The beauty of the marine world is on display at this uniquely decorated café. The interior was handcrafted by artists from northern Kazakhstan using clay and other materials. Children and adults alike will have tremendous fun eating and admiring the intricate designs on its walls.

Address: 171 Abay Street Phone: 8 (7172) 21 83 93 Hours: 12:00 pm – 12:00 am Corso Located on the right bank of the river not far from Tiflis, the Corso coffee house bills itself as “A small part of Switzerland in Astana.” Comfortable and diminutive, it’s better for good conversation on a date or lunch, rather than with a big crowd. Corso is at its busiest during lunchtime and at night. It gets a decent crowd drinking cocktails and beer, and it can feel a bit more like a bar rather than café. Its cappuccinos are really good, and so are the cookies and cakes. It also serves a nice breakfast. Free Wi-Fi is available.

Address: 12 Imanov Street (between Respublika Avenue and Valikhanov Street) Phone: 8 (7172) 53 73 00, 22 12 49 Hours: 9:00 am – 1:00 am Daisy Cafe Daisy Cafe sits in the heart of Astana’s business district so it is a great place to hold out-of-office meetings or to get some work done away from colleagues. But its comfortable interior and location near major tourist attractions also make it perfect for an after sight-seeing coffee and dessert.

Address: 17 Kabanbai Batyra Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 79 30 20 Hours: 9:00am – to the last visitor Del papa The Del Papa cafe is new in Astana and worth checking out. The cafe opened August 2011 and has been receiving rave reviews. Del Papa’s interior greets you with the warmth of a neighbourhood Italian joint with its checked red-and-white table clothes and bistro-style seating. This cafe caters to families, children and couples. It even has toys out and ready for children to play with. It’s not high tech or fast paced. It’s just a place to relax and enjoy a warm coffee and good food with friends.

Address: 59 Abaya Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 21 22 22 Hours: 11:00am – 12:00am Sat-Sun: 11:00am – 1:00am Website: Demalys Complex This café offers European and Eastern cuisine, including shashlyk (shish kebabs). This is a well-known place for hosting conferences and exhibitions.

Address: Central Park of Astana Phone: 8 (7172) 32 80 29 Hours: 11:00 am – 2:00 am Éclair Éclair is a new franchise, with branches in Almaty and Astana. It is the city’s first real French bakery. This is another spot with a real nice, elegant atmosphere (like a real French bakery), and you will probably find it ideal for treating someone to a business lunch. You can choose

Cuisine: French Address: 14 Kunayeva Street. Phone: 8 (7172) 50 83 85, 8 (7172) 50 83 81 Hours: 08:00 am - 12:00 am Price range: $ Website: www:é Indiana This is a nice café with large-screen plasma TVs and beer on tap. Sometimes they hold entertaining shows to accompany the tasty European and American food on the menu. There is no dress code, and you will see people in jeans, etc., capturing the down-to-earth nature of the residents of the middle-American state Indiana the place is named after. Offering a business lunch for 1,000 tenge, it’s also a good place for take-outs as well. Check for their special promotions and get a regulars discount cards.

Address: 22 Sary Arka Street Phone: 8 (7172) 32 34 63 Hours: 12:00 pm – 1:00 am Kvartal (Quarter) This inexpensive, friendly café has live music (mostly traditional) to entertain its patrons. The main hall is spacious, seating up to 70 people, and VIP rooms are available. Offering European-style cuisine, you can get a decent business lunch here during weekdays for a low 500 tenge. It also has secure parking.

Address: 24, 3rd Microdistrict Phones: 8 (7172) 34 11 25 8 (7172) 21 44 90 Hours: 12:00 pm – 12:00 am Fri – Sat 12:00 – 2:00 am La Belle Located in Old Town Astana, La Belle is usually crowded with young people. It has two main rooms with plasma TVs, and patrons can watch soccer and other sports. In the sum-


Medlen A Leader in Kazakh Coffee Culture With the advent of Starbucks and other international coffee houses, coffee culture in the US and Europe has been long established. But the idea of coffee as part of one’s daily routine in Kazakhstan is just gaining ground. But some. such as Astana’s Madlen café, were early adopters and saw the trend coming. Madlen has been offering Astana residents and visitors a quick morning pick-up, tasty treats and a place to meet with friends for more than 15 years. The origin of the café began nearly two decades ago in the city of Shymkent when then librarian and young mother of two children Elena Kharitidi began a Martha Stewart-esque enterprise to help earn extra money for her family by baking and selling cakes. The treats were instantly popular and she quickly gained enough regular customers to open up her own small pastry shop. After just one year, Kharitidi was ready to expand again adding a workshop, staff and locations. Today “Madlen-KZ Ltd” has 16 cafes throughout Kazakhstan and serves the finest coffees and tasty treats. Madlen’s outlet in Astana has a welcoming, intimate interior. Small tables for two, plush sofas, and the aroma of fresh ground coffee, croissants and cinnamon greet guests the moment they walk in the door. Madlen’s affordable menu attracts not only Astana’s business class and tourists, but also students and every day Astana residents. More than fifteen years after Kharitidi began offering customers quality coffee, tasty treats and a comfortable place to meet with friends, Madlen continues to lead the way for Kazakhstan’s emerging coffee culture.

76 mer, they open their terrace area, which is complete with tents and comfortable pillows where customers can sit back, smoke flavored tobacco from a hookah and sip some drinks.

Address: 12 Irchenko Street Phone: 8 (7172) 23 06 00 Hours: 12:00 pm - 2:00 am Library Café Description: This is a great little café where you can get good Americanstyle coffee, tasty desserts and cocktails. Then you are welcome to kick back and read from their big selection of fiction and classics in three languages, including English. Wi- Fi is available. (See sidebar)

Address: 61/1 Kenessary Street Phones: 8 (7172) 20 08 01 8 (702) 6822877 Hours: Tue – Fri 1:00 pm – 9:00 pm Sat 10:00 am – 7:00 pm Sun 2:00 pm – 7:00 pm (Closed on Mondays) Madlen The Madlen company opened its first pastry shop 15 years ago and continues to be a leader in Kazakhstan’s emerging coffee culture. The company has 16 coffeehouses across Kazakhstan and its Astana outlet is intimate and inviting. Small tables for two and plush sofas ideal for private conversation as well as the smell of cinnamon, croissants and fresh brewed coffee greet guests the moment they walk through the door.

Address: 12/1 Tauelsyzdyk Street Phone: 8 (7172) 68 96 79 Hours: 10:00 am – 2:00 am Website:

The “Rafe Coffee & Food” Coffee house Mr. Coffee This coffee house is well-known in the city for using only 100% organically grown Arabica beans, while the cakes and cookies are reputed to be the best in Astana. Patrons can also order sushi and request VIP rooms. It is right next to MEGA Centre, across the street from the Duman Hotel.

Address: 15 Turan Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 90 10 33 Hours: 10:00 am – last visitor News Café A diverse menu and accommodating feel makes this a great place to grab a meal any time of day. You can pick and choose from a variety of European, Eastern and Russian cuisine.

Address: 34 12th Street, Diplomat Complex Phone: 8 (7172) 50 35 67 Hours: 10:00 am – 2:00 am Fri – Sun 11:00 am – 3:00 am Oasis While Oasis offers a nice fixed menu with very good European cuisine, the management also tries to keep its offerings fresh. They often run specials, so whenever you decide to visit, it’s possible you can try something you’ve never had before, or get a nice discount on one of your favorite items.

Address: 7 Respublika Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 43 92 40 Hours: 11:00 am – 1:00 am Pizza City This American-style pizza joint is one of the most popular pizza spots in Astana. It has a steady stream of loyal and stylish clientele, partially

due to its huge pizzas and its famous pasta. Lots of people come here during late hours for a bite. It has an interesting design with a dark red interior, and comfortable sofas mixed with hard metal tables you might see at many pizza parlors in big U.S. cities. They also have good breakfasts, and their croissants are a big hit.

Address: 17 Imanov Street (between Respublika Avenue and Valikhanov Street) Phone: 8 (7172) 20 09 65 Hours: Daily, 8:00 am–2:00 am Redford This moderately-priced café seats up to 45 people in its two main rooms, one smoking, one non-smoking. You usually find people dressed relatively casual here. It has a VIP room with 20 seats, and a separate nonsmoking room. The traditional fare includes European cuisine and shish kebabs, with both shashlyk and other kebabs, and features a 1,000 tenge business lunch. They also offer draft beers and pies to order. Not only is Redford good for take-outs, they also deliver. Free Wi-Fi is available.

Address: 43 Kenessary Street Phone: 8 (7172) 32 82 36 Hours: 12:00 pm – 1:00 am Shambala Shambala has an Indian/Tibetan design, and was recently expanded to three floors with a dance floor, live music, and 30-seat VIP hall. Moderately priced, the cuisine is a mix of Kazakh, European and Tibetan. It serves a good business lunch for 900 tenge, and stays open 24-hours a day.

Address: 30 Republic Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 33 32 25 The "Rafe Coffee & Food" Coffee house This is a very friendly, intimate cafe where you can really relax and forget about work and worry. Popular with Astana residents and visitors alike, Italian designers created the interior, and all materials were imported from Italy. You can enjoy some of the most delicately and artfully prepared Italian food you will find in Kazakhstan. If you are a pasta lover, this is the place for you. The servings are not huge, but they are delicious. In the Italian tradition, they treat each dish like a work of art. You can’t go wrong with the ravioli, the tortellini, or the beautifully done risotto. The lamb chops, the red fish, and the veal are also wonderful. The pizza is one of the best in the country and the calzone is the most authentic we have found. The chefs use all fresh and natural ingredients, with no preservatives, meaning salads are made the way they are supposed to be made – with green and ultra-crisp lettuce, really flavorful plum tomatoes and real parmesan. Their coffee is also authentic and rich. A large banquet hall is available, and free Wi-Fi is provided.

Cuisine: Italian, Halal Turkish (but with a big emphasis on Italian). Rafe serves breakfast from 9am to 12pm Address: 14 Tauelsizdik Street Phone: 8 (7172) 24 49 00 Hours: 08:00 am -12:00 pm Price range: $




ile the top nightclubs of the world’s major cities are all about exclusivity, beauty and cutting-edge music, the best bars are just the opposite. They’re about easy drinking, friends and good times had by all. And though nightclubs have their place, sometimes you just want comfort over cool. So if you’re in the market for some casual good times, you’ll find plenty of places to go in Kazakhstan. One of the first things you should know about bars in Kazakhstan is that Karaoke reigns. Many, if not most, of the bars in Kazakhstan’s two major cities – Astana and Almaty – offer up at least a small portion of their space to letting amateurs belt out a tune. Other bars are devoted entirely to the activity. You don’t have to sing to have a good time, but be ready to at least incorporate listening into your evening. Another nice thing about Kazakhstan’s bars is that they are among the most English-speaking places in the country. Bars seem to be the es-

tablishments that most attract visitors and expats. And bar owners have realized it’s good for the bottom line to have a few English speakers on staff. Mad Murphy’s and the Guinness Bar are two places you can go for a bit of relaxing familiarity in Almaty. And Kega Sports Bar and Chelsea English Pub are reliable standbys in Astana. If you’re looking for dinner along with your beer, you may want to call ahead. Some bars have outstanding traditional and international dinner menus while others just feature snacks and finger food. Live music on Fridays and Saturdays is also common. And unlike nightclubs, bars get hopping earlier in the evening. If you show up around 10 p.m., you’ll soon be surrounded by friends. So if you’ve had your fill of dress codes and face control and just want to enjoy a quality pint and some tasty comfort food with friends, check out any of Kazakhstan’s better bars.

78 Little Goats

Address: 7 Respublika Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 21 77 27 Hours: 12:00 pm to last visitor

Hours: Mon – Tue 5:00 pm – 4:00 am Fri-Sat 5:00 pm – 5:00 am

Cigar Bar-Radisson Astana

This is the bar to go to if you’re a diehard sports fan and don’t want to miss your home team or any Olympic action. The bar offers six large televisions and two wall screens to make sure everyone has a good view. It’s styled like an English soccer pub and is a great place whether you’re a sports fanatic or just enjoying the exciting atmosphere.

This bar has comfortable leather chairs that give it the feel of a traditional British study. It also has numerous TVs. There are all types of cigars, including Cubans, along with great coffee and service.

Address: 4 Sary Arka Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 99 00 00 Hours: 8:00 am – 4:00 am Cinzano Bar

8 Drops music club 8 Drops is a karaoke club with two locations. The song list includes Russian, Kazakh, American and European numbers. 8 Drops holds competitions between tables. Those at the tables sing as teams, and the crowd votes for their favorite. The host eggs people on to jump in.

Address: 29 Abai Street and 6/4 Kabanbai Batyr Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 46 70 18 Hours: 8:00 pm – 4:00 am Albion This billiards bar has 12-foot pool tables or, if you’re in the mood for a challenge, Russian billiards.

are showing up as well. And you’ll want to dress casual but well. You can get away with jeans if you do it with style. Bar Boss DJs play a hip mix of modern dance, lounge and trance.

Address: 8/2 Ryskulbekov Street in the Ak Kaiyn Hotel Phone: 8 (7172) 29 00 90 Hours: Daily 4:00 pm – 4:00 am Beermac Bar (Khan Shatyr) This newly opened, modern bar is a nice place to stop for a beer or snack while shopping in Astana’s largest mall. The menu includes a range of pastries and cookies.

Address: 6 Korgalzhinsky Highway Phone: 8 (7172) 79 69 90, 8 (7172) 79 69 91 Hours: 12:00 pm to last visitor

Address: 37 Turan Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 73-47-68 (Khan Shatyr main number) Hours: 10:00 am- 11:00 pm


Boulevard Grill Bar

This recently opened venue, directly above the Che Guevera bar, offers rural Balkan cuisine. Since it’s new, only time will tell how Astana takes to it. But with its comfort and good food, we predict it will be popular in no time.

This popular grill’s menu has European, Japanese and Caucasus meals. The Boulevard is across the street from Cafestar in the Singing Fountains alley near Baiterek Tower. It has 25 types of shashlyk (shish kebabs) and steaks. Customers can watch the cooks using an open fire, which not only adds to the taste, but also to the atmosphere. The bar has two levels with large plasma TVs and quiet background music.

Address: 33A Respublika Avenue Phone: 8 (701) 517 38 86 Hours: 12:00 pm – 2:00 am Bar Boss Bar Boss is a sparkling new gathering spot in the Ak Kaiyn Hotel for Astana’s young, ambitious and upwardly mobile. It is beautifully designed with interesting colors and subdued lighting, many mirrors and comfortable furniture. Boss has three sections, each in a different dominant color. The crowd includes a lot of young local professionals, but expats

Cinzano Bar offers something for everyone. This locals hangout near the Yessil River and within walking distance to the Radisson Hotel is part pub and part restaurant. On weekends the place pulses with the sounds of a DJ mixing house and lounge music, and during the week Astana’s business class come here to share drinks after work. But Cinzano is also a top restaurant with a large sushi menu and international menu.

Address: 5 Zhenis Street Phone: 8 (7172) 39 07 89, 8 (7172) 39 08 79 Hours: 4:00pm – 4:00am Comfort Hotel Astana Bar This bar is popular partly because Kazakh celebrities often stay at the hotel. Patrons linger, hoping to run into one of them. The hotel is elegant, with a feel of old Europe.

Address: 60 Kosmonatov Street Phones: 8 (7172) 24 44 44 8 (7172) 24 54 44 Hours: Around the clock Website: Contrabass This beer bar offers great shashlyk and live music.

Address: 25/3a Ablai Khan Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 56 15 01

Fair Play Bar

Αddress: Astana, Altynsaryna 5 Πhone: 8 (7172) 38 44 16 Ηours: from 13:00 to 4:00 Graff Lounge Bar Graff is a relaxed lounge conducive to making connections and discussing deals. Part of the Astana Park Hotel, Graff is quiet and discreet. Patrons can order from the big menu of the Chalet Restaurant. The venue includes a karaoke bar, VIP zones, saunas and billiards. It has no face control, but you’ll need to dress business or business casual. Graff has a more mature crowd than many bars – upper 20s and older. Its DJs play a mix of contemporary music.

Address: 2 Turan Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 55 63 33, 8 777 11534 25 Hours: Lounge bar on Friday and Saturday Daily 7:00 pm - 4:00 am Hotel and saunas – around the clock Website: Guns n’ Roses Guns n’ Roses is an up-market Irish pub serving draft beer and ale. The house band, Silently Screaming, gets the crowd moving. Both expatriates and local professionals dig the music. You can spot any Guns n’ Roses in Kazakhstan easily because all have

Address: 14 Kunayev Street (Nursaya Residential complex) Phone: 8 (7172) 24 45 31, 8 (7172) 24 45 32 Hours: 10:00 am – 1:00 am Chelsea English Pub Chelsea offers European and Chinese cuisine. Patrons can watch live sports on one of its large TVs. Its VIP room is terrific.

(Please note: the telephone numbers listed here are for dialing in Astana from a cell phone. For more information on making telephone calls, please see the “Practical Information When in Kazakhstan” section.)

79 red British Telecom boxes outside their main entrances. Guns n’ Roses recently decided to add an on-location butcher. So its steaks should be some of the best in Astana. Guns is a bit pricey. But you can find some of the pub grub you enjoy in the West at an affordable price.

Address: 11 Samal Microdistrict Phone: 8 (7172) 59 18 09 Hours: 11:00 am – 3:00 am Han Bel This is the place for people who love Karaoke. Han Bel sits right on the Yessil River and was opened in April 2011 specifically as a Karaoke bar and restaurant. It features eight differently themed rooms were you can get your song on, including an Arabic room, a Korean room and a “glamour” room. If you like Karaoke, this is the place to go.

Khan Belle Address: 1 Sary Arka Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 51 79 79 / 8 (7172) 51 80 13 Hours: Daily noon – 4:00 am Jelsomino Karaoke This is one of, if not the, most luxurious Karaoke bars in Astana. Whether you love Karaoke or hate it, you’ll feel comfortable in Jelsomino’s ultra-chic lounge. Plush red, U-shaped booths offer intimate seating and liberally placed flat screens make sure you won’t miss your friends’ high notes. It has a small bar away from the singing action and a VIP room. But be prepared. Reservations are required on the weekends and a reserved table will run you $500 minimum per night. But if you like your off-key music mixed with luxury, it’s worth it.

Address: 26 Imanova Street, “Rakhat” Residential Complex Phone: 8 701 216 38 88 Hours: Daily 6:00pm – 6:00am Kazbar This place used to be a nightclub, but was converted to a bar because neighbors complained about the noise. It quickly became popular in its new role. One attraction is its reasonably-priced steaks. Its restaurant is at street level, with the bar on top.

Address: 18 Mirzoyan Street Phone: 8 (7172) 92 88 49 Hours: 8:00 pm – 4:30 am (Tue-Sat) Restaurant - 11:00 am – 2:00 am Kega Sports Bar This is a large venue full of bigscreen TVs showing sports from across the globe. Popular among young people, it is linked to the Kega beer brand.

Address: 11/1 Kuyshi Dina Street Phone: 8 (7172) 36 89 99 Hours: Mon- Tue 4:00 pm – 2:00 am Fri – Sat 4:00 pm – 4:00 am Sun 4:00 pm – 2:00 am Krushovitsa You can enjoy live music and various types of shows at the Krushovitsa, as well as Czech food with your beer.

Address: 8 Abai Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 40 72 52 Hours: 12:00 pm – 1:00 am Little Goats This Americana style bar will please fans of America’s famed Coyote Ugly bars. Like Coyote Ugly, this bar has beautiful “little goats” female bartenders who dance, drink and chat with customers. Customers are also encouraged to dance on the bar and enter dance contests with the beautiful Little Goats bartenders. This is the place for a high-energy good time.

Mindal Mindal is a good place for meetings. You can do business at the same time you’re relaxing. Or you can celebrate a special event.

Address: 25/1 Kuishi Dina Street Phone: 8 (7172) 41 08 11 Hours: Mon – Tue 2:00 pm – 3:00 am Fri – Sun 2:00 pm – 5:00 am Orioke In addition to having a name rhyming with karaoke, this venue is known for its huge song menu, ranging from Kazakh folk to rap. Have fun!

Address: 9 Aliyev Street Phones: 8 (7172) 34 20 59 8 (7172) 34 22 59 Hours: Mon – Tue 5:00 pm – 7 pm Fri – Sun 5:00 pm – 3:00 am Prime This is one of the newest and biggest lounges in Astana. Its classy VIP room includes karaoke and a plasma TV. It also has a cigar room, a dance floor and a water pipe lounge. This is a midrange-priced bar, not terribly expensive, but not cheap, either.

Address: 6 Kurgalzhinskiy Highway Phone: 8 (7172) 79 69 95, 8 (702) 338 21 13 Hours: Fri 6.00 pm – 4.00 am Sat 6:00 pm – 4:00 am Q Night Bar The Q Night Bar follows a Kazakhstan tradition of some bars becoming nightclubs as evening wears on. It can be a lot of fun to watch the scene evolving from subdued to people dancing like crazy. Q Night caters to the young, with loud

Little Goats Like a Kazakh Coyote Ugly If you loved the 2000 movie Coyote Ugly or the American bar on which it was based, you’ll love Astana’s Little Goats bar. This friendly place with the funny name offers up a great time in the spirit of Americana and the original Coyote Ugly bar. America’s first Coyote Ugly opened in New York City in 1993 and its hallmark quickly became beautiful bartenders who could dance on the bar, breathe fire, and beat many customers in drinking contests. Coyote Ugly became as much a place to go for a drink as for the show and eventually inspired the year 2000 movie of the same name featuring beautiful bartenders. In 2011, Little Goats brought that spirit to Astana. Although not an exact match, the term Little Goats in Russian does have a tender, beautiful meaning. And just like in America’s Coyote Ugly bars, customers at Little Goats have the opportunity from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. to dance on the establishment’s bar. And Little Goats – like Coyote Ugly – is known for its beautiful “Little Goats” female bartenders who chat and drink with the customers. The bartenders also encourage customers to keep the party going until first light at 5 a.m. and holds contests for the best dance with a Little Goat. The interior of Little Goats is pure Americana. It’s designed like an old American country garage with saddle-style chairs and a big bar. The joint also offers two VIP rooms and sofas for conversation. The bar, located on the right bank about 15 minutes from the city center, offers Mexican and European food as well as American-style steak. But this place is definitely more bar that restaurant with the emphasis on the beautiful Little Goats and good times. Their motto is even “You can do things here you can’t do in other places.” So for a truly unique bar experience and a taste of Americana, pay a visit to Astana’s “Little Goats.”

80 house music and flashing lights.

Address: 10 Sagynak Street (Nomad Residential Complex) Phone: 8 (7172) 66 14 14 Hours: 6:00 pm – 3:00 am Rixos Irish Bar

Fair Play Sports Bar The Place to Watch Your Hometown Team If you’re far from home, but don’t want to miss a match by your hometown team or any of this summer’s Olympic action, then Fair Play Sports Bar is the place to go. This Astana bar is reminiscent of an old English pub. English national team accessories are showcased in every nook and cranny, so English football fans will feel right at home. However this is a true sports bar and the staff welcomes supporters of any team or nation. The bar is large with a capacity of up to 90 people. So the place gets loud and rowdy during Champions League play and other major sporting events. Fair play Sports Bar is one of Astana’s best places to watch your favorite team because it offers six primary large screen televisions and two large wall screens offering a view of the action from anywhere in the establishment. The bar also has a state-of-the-art speaker system so you can hear the commentary. Fair Play offers an extensive list of well-known beers and an affordable food menu. In addition to nationally love dishes such as lagman, manty (large meat dumplings), and beef with mushrooms, the bar also offers unexpected specialty dishes like Mexican chicken quesadilla. Fair Play opened in 2007 and has since become known as the place fans from around the world gather and watch their favorite teams. It’s located about twenty minutes taxi ride from the city center and any decent cabdriver will know how to get you there. So on the threshold of the upcoming European Cup 2012 and the Olympic Games in London, this place is perfect for both diehard fans and those who just want to soak up the exciting atmosphere.

Rixos’ Irish Bar is spacious and has a pool table and live music. Some of Kazakhstan’s hottest bands play there. In addition to songs that everyone’s heard of, the groups perform their own originals. The Rixos is Astana’s premium hotel, so it shouldn’t be surprising that the menu is a bit expensive. There are affordable items however. The bottled beers are cheaper than draft. Depending on what brand you choose, vodka and cognac can be reasonable. The Irish Bar is a hangout for those who have attended important events in Astana, such as the Astana Energy Forum. It often is the location of a postevent cocktail party. Many event-goers end up migrating to the Rixos after other parties. This means it can be a great place to make contacts. Don’t be surprised if you see well-known faces. The food is excellent. Snacks at the cocktail parties are tastier and the presentations better than at other venues that offer this service.

Address: 7 Kunayev Street Phone: 8 (7172) 24 50 50 Hours: Around the clock Sky Bar Perched atop Asia Park, Sky Bar offers a panoramic view of Astana. Another unique feature is large screens showing continuous departures and arrivals at the airport. The bar is spacious and offers excellent service. Lounge music plays in the background, and you can hear well enough to have a conversation.

Address: Kabanbai Batyr Avenue (Asia Park shopping center) Phone: 8 (7172) 97 87 70 Hours: 12:00 pm – 1:00 am Sligo Irish pub This is a two-level pub with an Irish and continental European menu, and Wi-Fi. You can catch live music here on Fridays and Saturdays.

Address: 45 Abai Avenue (close to the Ramada Hotel) Phone: 8 (7172) 39 01 82 Hours: Tuesday – Thursday: 1:00 pm – 3:00 am Friday-Saturday: 1:00 pm – 4:00 am Sunday – Monday: 1:00 pm – 2:00 am Staut bar Staut Beer Bar is a great place to catch live music. On Thursdays, Staut

offers an “Americano” band and on Sundays features a jazz-oriented Saxophone band. But like any good pub, Staut is also equipped to show the latest football matches on its numerous TVs and offers tasty spicy sausages and grilled steaks. The bar attracts a lot of students and is largely an under 30 crowd. But anyone who enjoys cold beer, tasty food and good company will enjoy Staut.

Address: 4 Altynsaryna Phone: 8 (7172) 97 81 37/38 Hours: Around the clock Website: Stolichny Pub Stolichny offers a wide range of ethnic food, including Italian, Russian, Uygur, Kazakh and Eastern.

Address: 47 Kenessary Street Phone: 8 (7172) 21 91 21 Hours: 12:00 pm – 1:00 am Sun 6:00 pm – 1:00 am Triumph pub A nice, quiet bar with background music. It has a VIP room and Wi-Fi.

Address: 11 Kabanbai Batyr Avenue (residential complex Triumph Astana) Phone: 8 (7172) 68 91 04 Hours: 12:00 pm – 2:00 am Why Not? Bar Why Not? is a stylish lounge bar with a slick, minimalist interior where comfortable couches coax patrons into staying late into the evening. Many local and expat business people frequent Why Not?, so it’s a good a place to make contacts and have a good time. The bar is in the same building as the well-known Zhibek Zholy restaurant and its extensive menu includes selections from Zhibek Zholy. The bar is popular with a professional, mid-20s crowd and up. It has DJs pumping out lounge and house. The second floor is a smoking bar filled with the sweet smells of tobacco.

Address: 102 Abai Avenue (on the corner with Valikhanov Street) Phone: 8 (7172) 21 05 07, 8 (7172) 21 66 56 Hours: Daily 12:00 pm - 03:00 am daily


Night Clubs


azakhstan is a country of many surprises. You’ll travel through ancient steppe to arrive at modern cities. You’ll attend performances of ancient music followed by meals of fusion cuisine prepared by internationally trained chefs. Among those surprises in this moderately Muslim country is the variety and style of its nightlife options. Kazakhstan major cities offer nightclubs that would be at home in the nightlife districts of Tokyo, London or New York City. One of the most noticeable things about Kazakhstan’s nightclubs is that they are high-end and luxurious. Partygoers dress well, expect luxurious surroundings and demand great service. The interiors include stateof-the-art sound systems, light shows and lounge areas you’d be proud to include in your living room. The clubs here are not ironic or pretend to be underground dive bars. You can take your guests and business clients and not worry about what you’ll find. Visitors are also treated exceptionally

well, often getting a pass on cover charges and dress codes. If you see an establishment advertised as a nightclub here, it likely means it has a DJ. Karaoke and live music are more the province of Kazakhstan’s bars. Nightclubs are for dancing and lounging and often import top DJs from Europe, Moscow and East Asia. Some of the most modern clubs, however, such as Astana’s Whitehall, also offer small karaoke and VIP rooms where karaoke is available. You’ll also need to make sure you are fashionably late. Unlike Kazakhstan’s bars, which begin to fill up around 9:30 or 10 pm, no one shows up at a hot nightclub before midnight. Many are open until 5 am or later and don’t really get crowded until 1:30 in the morning. Also unlike bars, nightclubs are usually only open later in the week on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. So grab your friends, gather a few business associates and explore Kazakhstan’s surprisingly progressive and inviting nightclub scene.

83 Azhur This club caters to the luxury niche, starting with its unique and stately interior design – an amalgamation of earth-tone, czarist décor with traditional nightclub neon and flash. An array of soft, spacious couches and chairs you’d want to sleep in flank the hardwood dance floor, and swooning draperies dress the padded and papered walls. Elegant chandeliers are suspended throughout, including above a ritzy, illuminated bar that features an exhaustive selection of spirits. That said, this is definitely a place you can dance and party at. The club often hosts varied theme parties, bringing in some of the top DJ talent from Russian and European, and also features full billiards facilities. Small but always popular, the club has a link with the Portofino Restaurant and is located in the same building. As you would expect given the description, don’t show up looking a slouch: Azhur is strict on dress code and face control.

Cuisine: Italian, Japanese Address: 27 Turan Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 40 20 34 Hours: 12:00 pm to last visitor Chocolate Located in the Radisson Hotel on the Right Bank of the river, Chocolate is considered one of the most upscale and hottest – some say the hottest – night clubs in the city, and is popular in particular with locals (especially Friday night). It has a large roster of regulars, and practices strict face control. It has lots of smart, beautiful people, who tend to come in groups. Chocolate is more like a lounge during the week and Sundays, with live jazz. But the party is on Friday and Saturday nights, with guest DJs from Russia, Europe or Almaty. You can sit at the bar, but to grab a table with its cozy furniture, be warned: it will set you back at least $500 per table. Guests at the Radisson should have no trouble getting in. The club is not very big and was recently renovated. Dress code is smart casual.

Cuisine: Japanese Address: 2 Sary Arka Avenue Phone: 8 (701) 550 0017 EL Karnak

El Karnak is not just a nightclub. It’s also a Karaoke lounge, live music joint and good all around place to share food and drinks with friends. In fact, the new owner prefers the name, “Entertainment Complex El Karnak.” The owner bought the

complex a year and a half ago and renovated nearly the entire multilevel building. Now revelers can spend time in the Egyptian inspired nightclub, sing Karaoke in front of a state-of-the-art screen or just chill out in the top floor lounge. No matter what your preference, El Karnak will have a vibe you enjoy.

Address: 52 Imanova Street Phone: 8 (7172) 37 62 24, 8 (7172) 37 62 24 Hours: Daily 8:00pm – 8:00am Fashion Fashion is one of Astana’s top nightclubs. With its big and bold dance floor, the club caters to the under-30 crowd via a number of rotating, big-name DJs. High-profile international DJs mostly come from Russia, with a few from Western Europe. The club is also known for throwing inventive theme parties, and also hosts fashion shows and parties with well-choreographed stage shows. The club is connected with Fusion, one of the top restaurants in Astana (see our review in restaurant listings), so you can eat at Fusion, and party your way into the night downstairs at Fashion – but it will definitely cost you. Fashion is considered an expensive club, so those on a budget beware. It has its own food menu, but portions are on the small side, and pricey.

Cuisine: Italian, American, Japanese Address: 4 Mailin Street Phone: 8 (7172) 22 27 77 Hours: Fri. & Sat. 10:00 pm to last visitor Website: Imperial Nightclub This nightclub was renovated in 2007 and given a Romanesque flair with an interior that is now upscale and exotic, but comfortable. Visitors are given four nightlife options. They can head to the club’s main dance floor, visit its karaoke room, enjoy quiet conversation in the intimately lit lounge or hang out in imperials front room smoking hookah on puffy couches. This is a comfortable, laidback nightclub which offers a little something for everyone.

Cuisine: European Address: 38 Kenesary Street Phone: 8 (7172) 32 69 32; 8 (7172) 32 21 21 Hours: Daily 7:00am-5:00pm Website: Jimmy’z Jimmy’z, located on the 12th floor of the Astanalyk building across from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is part of an international showcase that

(Please note: the telephone numbers listed here are for dialing in Astana from a cell phone. For more information on making telephone calls, please see the “Practical Information When in Kazakhstan” section.)


Kazbar Beautiful People, Quality Music and Great Food It’s not hard to find a good nightclub in Astana. And a quality steak can be had at most of the city’s better restaurants. But finding a place where you can start the evening with a well-cut rib eye and end the morning dancing to a top DJ in one place is a rare find. But Kazbar manages to do both extremely well. Kazbar opened in 2009 and has developed a reputation for being extremely upscale in both its nightclub and restaurant. On weekends after 1 a.m., you’ll find the city’s top DJs mixing and keeping Kazbar’s dance floor pulsing. If you want to be part of this scene, make sure you dress your best as the club is famous for its strict face control and dress code. This is the place where the beautiful people go. But once inside, pretension is replaced by a friendly staff and club activities that get the crowd involved. And from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m., you’ll find live guitar, violin and saxophone music. The nightclub’s interior offers plenty of intimate tables for two, sofas, dim lighting and large high-end flat screens. It also offers a top shelf liquor menu used to mix a broad range of the most popular cocktails. On the first floor of the two-story complex is Kazbar’s steak house. The Russian and English language menu offers 16 kinds of steak dishes including traditional shashlyk and European style meals. Fish and poultry are also cooked over the restaurant’s open fire grill. The dining area’s interior is as upscale as the nightclub’s with wooden furniture, stone touches and ornate chandeliers. The steakhouse is open noon to 3 a.m. So shine your shoes and iron your best going-out shirt because at Kazbar you’re in for a long night of good food, great music and beautiful people.


includes 20 capital cities. The place oozes exclusivity when you walk through the door, offering a truly elegant, high-class atmosphere that is not as loud as many clubs. With its brand of interior and existential class, Jimmy’z attracts an affluent and slightly older clientele, often including celebrities and politicians. The club features a cigar bar, karaoke lounge and dance hall, all supported by a phenomenal set of wine, liquor and fine cuisine. It used to be membersonly, but is now open to the public. We need not warn you to dress for the place.

the capital’s young and beautiful with hot music and packed dance floors. Its value is in its music and its highenergy vibe. The club, which opened in February 2011, is spread out over two levels and three VIP rooms. The main dance floor is surrounded by comfortable couches where you can watch some of the hottest go-go dancers in the city do their thing. There’s also plenty of room to dance for the rest of us with two bar areas to ensure quick service. The club’s house DJs usually mix club, house and techno music. Club Oscar is open on weekends until 5 a.m.

Cuisine: European, Kazakh, French Address: Astanalyk Business centre Phone: 8 (7172) 50 20 33 8 (7172) 50 21 33 Hours: Around the clock

Cuisine: European snacks Address: 2a Kurgalzhinsk highway Table reserve by phone number: 8 (7172) 79 15 67 Website: E-mail:

Kazbar If you want an upscale evening of the best food, good times and beautiful people, this is the place to go. Kazbar is spread over two levels. The first level offers one of Astana’s best steakhouses with 16 styles of steak. The second level offers a high-end nightclub with a strict dress code and discerning face control. It’s there that you’ll find some of the city’s best music and prettiest people.

White Hall


When the owner of White Hall decided to open an upscale nightclub in Astana he determined it had to have one thing: light. One of the first things you notice when you walk into White Hall is that it is not some dark, smoke-filled club packed with sweaty bodies. It is light and airy with big white comfortable couches and plenty of room to move around. It also has a large central bar so service is quick. Sure it has DJs and go-go dancers and is filled with Astana’s pretty people. But more than a lot of other clubs, it’s a placed to spread out, relax and enjoy the night.

Oscar’s nightclub might be located in the luxury Duman Hotel, but this is no hotel lounge bar. This new addition to the Astana nightclub scene attracts

Address: 12 Mirzoyana Street Phone: 8 (7172) 46 46 16, 8 (7018) 71 81 99 Hours: Thurs-Sat 8 pm – 7 am

Cuisine: European Address: 18 Mirzoyana Street Phone: 8 (7172) 92 88 49, 8 701 828 36 40 Hours: Restaurant: Daily 12:00am-2:00am Lounge bar: Thur-Sun: 8:00pm-3:00am

DJ Ospanoff Old School Respect for all Music By Alex Lee Talented people have different ways to express their relationship with the world. Some write poems, some excel in athletics, while others are drawn to the visual arts. But one of Kazakhstan’s rising talents, Rustam Ospanov, aka “DJ Ospanoff”, expresses his love by creating and sharing music with others. DJ Ospanoff fell in love with music when he was only 15 years old after moving from Aktau to Almaty and beginning work as a radio DJ. This gave him a chance to break into the music scene at a young age and with little experience. But DJ Ospanoff took that opportunity to continue to hone his craft and today has an overwhelming schedule of gigs, appearances and participation in such major events as the annual jazz festival in Almaty “Jazzystan”, which he himself initiated, and the traditional international musical minifestival “Sunsplash” in Antalya. He has been interviewed by top Japanese radio station J-Wave during a recent two-week gig in Tokyo and Kyoto. “Like an archeologist I have to study, travel and search for what would be played on my radio or in the clubs,” DJ Ospanoff told EdgeKz. In his mid-thirties and living in Almaty, Rustam is one of the country’s most seasoned DJ’s and works hard to promote the form in Kazakhstan and to inspire beginners to develop their DJ talents. He has started offering master-classes in DJing in Almaty and so far the classes have been overflowing with students. “Music in Kazakhstan like anywhere else in the world is undergoing a transformation. I think today we have a lot of talented people. That is why I’ve opened special musical master-classes, to find and support more young talented musicians. I hope together we will make this world better,” he said, adding that he also hopes to organize an international music festival. DJ Ospanoff stresses, however, that being a good DJ is not just about technical skills. Good DJ’s must be musically intelligent. He says the older school DJ’s often pull from a broader musical base. “I admire DJ’s like Gilles Peterson, ShuyaOkino, Louie Vega, Danny Krivit (and others),” he said. “All these people, in their quest for freedom, created their own reality… As for the modern DJ’s, most of them don’t even bother understanding the music.” This year Rustam decided to start composing his own music, which will air soon on the 24-hour internet radio outlet, His programs will be called “Gravitatsiya” (Gravity) and “Nevesomost” (Zero Gravity). Just like talented people who express themselves through business, journalism or creative endeavors, DJ Ospanoff says he is happy he has chosen music.“I often watch how it can transform the inner world and reality… This is the way I share my love with the world; through music.”


Imperial Nightclub Options and Ambience Fit for a King The definition of Imperial is relating to an empire or emperor. And Astana’s Imperial Nightclub lives up to that definition. Visitors are treated to a host of options fit for a king in surroundings that are truly Romanesque. The club was fully renovated in 2007 in an ancient Roman style which gives the place an opulent feel. Lianas hanging from the ceiling and a colorful fountain also add exotic flair. Guests have four nightlight options immediately upon entering the club. You can go left and enter the club’s intimate lounge space where you’ll often find well-known Astana DJ Nikita Filatov. You can also turn right to head into Imperial’s fun and laid back karaoke room or continue straight into the heart of the club where you’ll find Imperial’s dance floor and ’80s and ’90s retro music. Or you can stay in the front lobby area and smoke hookah on puffy sofas. And if all of those good times wear you out, you can take a mini elevator to a quiet intimate space on the second floor. Imperial also offers a full Russian, English and Kazakh food menu and top shelf liquors. And it features hard-to-find draft beers, such as Germany’s Stammgast and the Czech Republic’s Zlatoprazske which can only be found in Astana at Imperial. The club also has an over-25-only policy so you won’t have to party with the youngsters. It’s also easy to get to being located just off the well-known Respublika Avenue. So if you like opulent surroundings, lots of nightlife choices and a crowd that’s not still in college, Imperial Nightclub is your first stop.

Arts & Culture


amous painter Pablo Picasso once said that, “The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” It gives us the opportunity to step out of our daily routines and to see and experience things we might not otherwise encounter. For many, visiting Kazakhstan for the first time is just such an experience. And for those who appreciate art, there is plenty to see. Conveniently, some of Kazakhstan’s most impressive art is not hanging in galleries or emanating from its stages, but lining the streets of its capital city. Astana has had the rare opportunity to be built nearly from scratch over the last decade and a half by some of the world’s most prominent architects including Lord Norman Foster and Italy’s Manfredi Nicoletti. Among the city’s most artistically conceived buildings you’ll want to see are the Khan Shatyr Entertainment Center, which is often called the

world’s largest tent; the Baiterek Monument, which is the physical manifestation of an ancient Kazakh parable; and the Kazakhstan Central Concert Hall. The concert hall, which also includes a massive interior courtyard, restaurants and shops, is one of the more unique buildings you’ll encounter with its curving, blue walls reminiscent of a flower petals. For more traditional arts, you can also visit Astana’s National Theater of Opera and Ballet Named after Kulyash Baiseitova or the city’s Modern Art Gallery located in the unique Pyramid of Peace and Harmony. In Almaty, you can check out the cutting edge Art and Shock Theatre or the equally avant-garde Arvest Art Gallery. So if you are ready to shake the dust from your daily life and experience a unique culture and its art, make sure to take in some of Kazakhstan’ many arts offerings.

88 American Corners and Cultural Centres in Kazakhstan The long-awaited “American Corner” has been launched at the National Academic Library in Astana, and it’s a gold mine for anyone, of any age, who is interested in practicing English and learning about the United States. You’ll find English-language collections of American fiction, and reference books on U.S. government, history, and culture. Visitors also can learn more via Internet access, audio recordings, and American films and documentaries. For English teachers, extensive materials and Englishteaching curriculums are on hand. The centre also hosts myriad events and clubs for children and adults. Among them are a discussion & debate club, music club, reading club, movie viewing club, and Kids’ Hour. Also featured are local and U.S. guest lecturers dedicated to certain events. Regular Saturday events are: “Movienights” at 17.00; “Discussion Club” at 15.00; and “Reading club” at 16.00. Open to the public.

Address: The National Academic Library (near Baiterek) Phone: 8(7172) 44 62 54 Hours: Tuesday-Friday 11:00 am – 08:00 pm; Saturday & Sunday 10:00 am – 06:00 pm; closed on Mondays and the last Friday of every month. Website:

Alzhir Memorial Museum of Victims of Political Repressions and Totalitarianism On May the 31st, 2007, the Alzhir Museum opened at the location of the former Akmolinsky camp of “Wives of the Traitors of the Motherland.” It memorializes the tragic events of Soviet rule, including the dark times of the 1930s – 1950s. The year 2007 was chosen as the museum’s opening date for its meaning to Kazakhstan and former Soviet countries. It was the 90th anniversary of the October Revolution and the 70th anniversary of the beginnings of the “mass political terror.” During this period 100,000 innocent civilians lost their lives. In Kazakhstan, every May 31st is a day of remembrance for the victims. The memorial complex is a moving experience with many exhibits. English language tours and translations are provided.

Address: Kurgalzhin Highway, 37 km from Astana in village Malinovka Phone: 8 (7172) 49 94 55, 8 (7172) 54 26 69 Hours: 10:00 am – 06:00 pm Website: Alzhir memorial museum at the reconstruction until the new year. Atameken: A Walking Map of Kazakhstan Don’t have time to travel through all of Kazakhstan? Then stroll through the “Atameken,” a 1.7 hectare, out-

door map you can walk through that essentially is an outdoor museum feting the country’s history, culture and development. See miniaturizations of every Kazakh city, including famous buildings, cultural icons, markets, and mountains – even the famous Cosmodrome in Baikonur. Beautifully landscaped, this unique “ethnopark” reportedly is one of only 20 such exhibitions in the world.

Address: 6 Kabanbai Batyr Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 24 04 97, 8 (7172) 24 52 72 Hours: 8:00 am – 10:00 pm Opened from the May till November Atameken: a walking map of Kazakhstan works during the summer time.

Has Sanat Gallery The Has Sanat Gallery has works of well known artists and emerging talent. The core of its collection is paintings by local Kazakh artists, including A. Sadykhanov, A. Akanayev and E. Tolepbay. The gallery also hosts traveling exhibits of work from Kazakhstan and abroad.

Address: 47 Abai Avenue and 14 Kunaev Street (Nursaya-1 residential complex) Phone: 8 (7172) 39 12 68, 8 (7172) 50 84 65 Website: Kulanshi Modern Art Center Description: The Kulanshi Center has a collection that includes European masters such as Albrecht Durer, Rembrandt, Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso.

Address: 57 Tauelsizdik Street, Palace of Peace and Harmony (6th floor) Phone: 8 (7172) 74 47 17 Hours: Mon. – Fri. : 10:00 am - 6:00 pm Sat.: 11:00 am - 5:00 pm Modern Art Gallery This gallery of art, located in the Palace of Peace and Harmony, is the place to see the work of modern Kazakh painters. It is divided into several galleries of different colors. The main gallery is yellow and has 100 paintings and 19 sculptures. Here you can see works of modern Kazakh painters, such as K. V. Mullashev, Akanaev and Begalin.

Address: 57 Tauelsizdik Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 70 03 83 Hours: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm (Closed Mondays) Shezhyre Gallery This gallery exhibits the work of local and foreign artists.

Address: 57 Tauelsizdik Street, Palace of Peace and Harmony Phone: 8 (7172) 74 47 27 (Please note: the telephone numbers listed here are for dialing in Astana from a cell phone. For more information on making telephone calls, please see the “Practical Information When in Kazakhstan” section.)

89 The Kazakhstan Central Concert Hall The Kazakhstan Concert Hall has two main auditoriums, one for film and another for the performing arts, such as concerts and ballet performances. The film theater can seat up to 3500 people. The concert hall has a wide orchestra pit, and back stage for theater, ballet and modern or classical concerts.

Address: 10/1 Orynbor Street Phones: 8 (7172) 70 53 02 The Museum of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan This museum is located in the president’s former residence and offers a unique insight into the birth of a nation and its progress through time. The exhibits reveal the most important stages in the formation of an independent Kazakhstan and talks about the life and work of President Nursultan Nazarbayev. The interiors are intact and the museum collection of over 60,000 items includes souvenirs, books, archival manuscripts, printed materials, film and documentary photographs, works of fine and decorative arts, weapons, personal belongings and documents offered by the president.

Address: 11 Beibitshilik Street Phones: 8 (7172) 75 12 14/92 The Museum of Modern Art in Astana Originally named the Museum of Fine Arts, the Museum of Modern Art was established in 1980. It started with a collection of 500 works of art, which has grown over the last 30 years to 3,000 pieces. Currently, the collection includes works by artists from Kazakhstan, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Georgia, Armenia, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Tajikistan and other CIS countries.

Address: 3 Respublika Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 44 02 61 Website: The National Theater of Opera and Ballet Named after Kulyash Baiseitova Located near the railway station, this theater is an example late 19th Century architecture. It has gone through a major renovation, and now holds large and small concert halls, a restaurant and practice rooms. The theater focuses on producing a repertoire of Kazakh musical and

Kazakhstan Central Concert Hall Way More Than Music It’s not easy for a building to stand out in Astana. The new Kazakh capital was constructed over the last 14 years and has become internationally renowned for its architecture. Buildings such as the Pyramid of Peace and Harmony, the majestic Ak Orda and the Baiterek Monument have come to symbolize the city’s unique character. But among all of those, Astana’s most unique structure might very well be the Kazakhstan Central Concert Hall. The concert hall is one of the largest classic music halls in the world and is located in the city center along an axis that includes some of Astana’s must-see buildings. Many architects have tried to characterize this unique structure with its angled turquoise walls, geometric shapes and curving exterior. But the main metaphor has been that the building is reminiscent of flower petals. The hall was designed by renowned Italian architect Manfredi Nicoletti following an international design competition and was opened in 2009 during a ceremony featuring Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev. The Central Concert Hall is one of the few music venues in the world worth visiting even if you aren’t going to see a performance. The building’s interior offers numerous piazzas including a 30-meter tall foyer covering 3,000 square feet meant to serve as an interior urban square. You can also wonder the space taking in its unique angles for a series of interior balconies. It also offers restaurants, shops and exhibition halls. But at its root it was designed for music. In addition to its two intimate music halls of 400 and 200 seats, the building’s primary attraction is its main 3,500-seat hall designed specifically for classical music. The main hall, however, also features a unique set of false ceilings, tents and acoustic panels that allows it to adapt to all kind of performances, according to the Nicoletti Studio. So as you are wondering Astana’s open plazas and snapping photos of its iconic structures, don’t forget about the Kazakhstan Central Concert Hall. Its attraction is way more than music.

90 cultural performances. World-class talent has been invited to perform classic opera classics, including “The Wedding of Figaro,” “Chio-chio-san,” “La Traviata” and “Eugene Onegin” among others. The National Theater of Opera and Ballet has received recognition for its quality productions in Kazakhstan and abroad. The concert hall is small, but has good acoustics and seats approximately 300 people.

Address: 10 Akzhaiyk Street Phones: 8 (7172) 39 27 60/61 Website: The Palace of Independence The Palace of Independence is used for official state functions, including forums, meetings and conventions. It includes the Gallery of applied art and ethnography, archeology and anthropology, a modern art Gallery, the Museum of City History of Astana. It also has two theaters; one is a 4D Cinema and the other a theater in 360 degrees. The Palace also includes an electronic library and a model gallery.

Address: 52 Manas Street Phones: 8 (7172) 70 03 80/95/89 Hours: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm (Closed Mondays) Website: The Nazarbayev Center The Nazarbayev Center is conveniently located at the edge of the Right Bank and is easily accessible from the Left Bank. Its museum boasts 143,000 artifacts related to Kazakh archeology, ethnography, history, culture and arts. The “Kazakh Ethnography” collection captures the traditional lifestyles of the Kazakh people and gives visitors a closer understanding of Kazakhstan’s past and present. History comes alive in displays such as a Kazakh yurt, furniture, tableware, clothing, jewelry and many more items. The most striking and valuable exhibit is a bride’s headpiece (saukele) made in the beginning of the 19th century. One

Upcoming Events J u ly 1 - 3 Astana International Action Film Festival Palace of Peace and Harmony Address: 57 Tauelsyzdyk Ave. +7 (7172) 74 46 50 Hours: Call for hours and programs July 5-6 Shangshar Humor and Satire Theatre Zhastar Palace Address: 28 Respublika Ave. +7 (7172) 32 67 76 Hours: 7 pm

J uly 6-7 Echo of Asia Festival Astana Circus Address: 2/1 Korgalzhinskoe Highway +7 (7172) 24 40 60 Hours: 12 pm and 4 pm

August 20-22 International Exhibition “Le Show. Kazakhstan” Almaty: Atakent Expo +7(495) 663 32 20 (Moscow) Hours: 9 am-6 pm (call to confirm)

J uly 7 Five wives of Hodja Nasreddin Russian Drama Theatre for Gorky Address: 11 Zheltoksan Str. +7 (7172) 32 82 23 Hours: 6:30 pm (call to confirm) J u ly 5 - 8 Askak Rukhty Astana Exhibition Seifulin Museum Address: 20 Auezov Str. +7 (7172) 32 15 90 / +7 (7172) 32 20 81 Hours: 10 am - 6 pm of the most interesting collections is of 135 musical instruments on loan from B.A. Sarybaev. The center also has a library with a collection of more than 700,000 items stored in various media, and a collection of rare books dated between the 17th and the 20th centuries.

Address: 2 Respublika Avenue Phones: 8 (7172) 44 32 33/76 The Russian Drama Theater named after Maxim Gorky Although Astana is a young capital, it is also old enough to have a theater founded in 1899. Today it is one of

J uly 17-19 Dog exhibition 2012 Exhibition Center “Korme” Address: Dostik 3 +7 (7172) 52 43 21 Hours: Call for hours the largest and most popular drama theaters, not only in Astana, but in all of Central Asia. It puts on an amazing number of performances for adults and children, including classic works of Shakespeare, Chekhov, Gogol, Mrozhek and others.

Address: 11 Jeltoksan Street Phones: 8 (7172) 32 40 53 8 (7172) 32 05 70, 8 (7172) 32 24 49 The Saken Seifullin Museum Saken Seifullin was a pioneer of modern Kazakh literature, poet and writer, and national activist. He penned controversial literature calling for greater independence of Kazakhs from Soviet and Russian power, and paid for it with his life. Deemed a “threat to the society” and a “nationalist,” Seifullin was executed in Almaty, in 1939. Today he is considered one of the most influential Kazakh thinkers of the 21st century, a major

contributor to Kazakh culture and literature, and a martyr for freedom. The fascinating museum memorializes his works, but also serves as a research center. Opened in 1988, it’s now called one of the “historical and spiritual centres of Kazakhstan.”

Address: 20A Ayezov Street Phone: 8 (7172)323563 Fax: 8 (7172) 32 84 67 Hours: 10am-6pm The Zhastar Palace This is a popular place for leisure activities – a concentration of the social and entertaining life of the city – and the building is a historical and architectural monument. The four-story structure building was designed to meld into one, such large complexes as an auditorium and gymnasium. After the reconstruction in 2001, the facades were redecorated with modern materials. Visually stunning, presently more than 1,000 children and adolescents are engaged in creative work here.

Address: 34 Republic Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 32 80 91

Fitness & Banya


ummer, for all its charms, is a time of little clothing. It’s the season of short sleeves and short skirts. So you need to stay in shape. Luckily, Kazakhstan offers plenty of options for staying healthy and looking good. If you prefer your exercise to take place outside, you’ll want to try the promenade that runs alongside the right bank of the Yessil River through the heart of Astana. This wide, brick walkway is filled with joggers and cyclists most days and is a perfect way to see the city while staying in shape. Almaty’s shady, tree-lined sidewalks also offer excellent opportunities for summer jogs with plenty to look at along the way. For more hardcore fitness buffs, Kazakhstan’s two main cities offer plenty of high-end, well-equipped health clubs. In Astana, you’ll find Fitnation which offers a gym, swimming pool, sparring room and studios for

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martial arts and fitness classes. In Almaty, try the Samal Fitness Center. Samal is a large, three-level fitness facility with a well-stocked weight room, as well as a sauna and swimming pool. Massage and peeling services are also available. Both cities, as well as smaller communities throughout Kazakhstan, also offer the traditional way to stay healthy known as banya. Banya is a mix of Russian, Turkish and Scandinavian sauna and steam rooms along with hot and cold pools. Public and private banyas are located throughout the country and residents spend leisurely afternoons relaxing with friends in these spa-like environments. If you’re visiting Kazakhstan, spending some time in a local banya is a great way to get a taste of the local culture. So whether you like to jog in the sun, bench press in a weight room or relax to hot steam, you can do it in Kazakhstan.

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Esil Fitness Center Healthy Lifestyle, Soothing Environment Opening a health club immediately upstairs from one of Astana’s most popular bars could be a blessing or a curse. But if you have the willpower to bypass the live music and draft beer of the Guns n’ Roses bar and to reach the Esil Fitness Center, you’ll find a modern, well-equipped health club. Esil opened in 2002 and offers a wide range of fitness opportunities including yoga and aerobics classes, massage and aqua shaping classes, ping pong tables, a swimming pool and a modern, fullyequipped gym. The club’s internationally trained instructors are also at the ready to assist with workouts or provide recommendations. Esil’s pool is also unique because it is separated by glass walls that keep in the noise and splash and allow a more serene poolside lounging experience. Calming music is even piped in to enhance relaxation. Esil also offers a vitamin bar with freshly squeezed juices and two terraces overlooking the Yessil River where guests can tan their newly toned bodies. And one of the best aspects of the Esil Fitness Center for visitors is that no membership is required. You can simply pay a small access fee whenever you want to work out. “Esil Fitness Center is for those who appreciate a healthy life style, who understand that beauty and good physical fitness help achieve better things in life. It is for those who want to elevate the quality of their life and look good,” club representative Gulnaz Sansebayeva told EdgeKz. You just have to make sure not to stop at the bar until after you finish your workout.

Daulet Type: Sports complex and tennis courts The Daulet centre is the premier tennis complex in Kazakhstan. The training complex includes locker rooms, showers and three cafes, as well as a small hotel and sauna facilities. It boasts three stadium courts, which can seat 583, 1,201 and 2,686 spectators for tournaments. Six training courts, three of clay and three hard, are scheduled to open in December 2011.

Address: 6/3 Kabanbai Batyr Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 44-56-24 Hours: 8:00 am-11:00 pm Emir Type: Banya This banya is located in the Astana Park hotel. Services include a pool, a Jacuzzi and showers. The facilities also include a dining-room and a billiards room.

Address: 2 Sary Arka Avenue (Left Bank) Phone: 8 (7172) 55 63 33 Hours: Around the clock URL: Esil Fitness Center Type: Fitness centre This unique health club is located above one of Astana’s most popular bars, Guns n’ Roses. But if you have the will power to bypass the draught beer and live music, you’ll find a wellequipped fitness center. Esil offers a pool, multiple styles of sauna, two terraces overlooking the Yessil River and modern workout machines. It also features a juice bar and internationally trained fitness instructors. Day passes are available.w

Address: 8 Beibitshilik Street Phone: 8 (7172) 59 19 01 Website: Fitnation Network Type: Fitness centre

modern fitness facilities in the country and is divided into various zones of training such as cardiac health, power training, and personal training. The cardio zone is among the most extensive with a running track, elliptical trainers and step machines.

Address: Kabanbai Batyra Street, Asia Park mall, 2 floor Phone: 8 (7172) 97 87 77 Hours: 09:00am – 11:00pm Website: Highvill Cultural and Community Centre Type: Fitness centre The Highvill Cultural and Community Center includes a sports complex with a gym, running track and free weights, as well as a variety of exercise machines. Instructors are available for individual training, and clients can participate in a variety of exercise classes. The Center provides towels and slippers, and there are locker rooms and showers.

Address: 1, 23-21 Street Phone: 8 (7172) 51 32 69 Hours: 9:00 am – 10:00 pm Zhety Kazyna Type: Sauna complex This sauna complex offers three styles of saunas: Coral, Egyptian and Japanese. They also offer massage services, a spa and a VIP cottage.

Address: 18 Bogenbai Batyr Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 23 65 09 Hours: Around the clock Website: Keremet Type: Banya complex This is the largest banya complex in Astana. It has separate areas for men and women with their own pools. The complex includes a Finnish

The Fitnation club in Astana includes a gym, swimming pool, sparring room and studios for martial arts and fitness classes. Group classes include dancing, cycling, yoga and aerobics, among others. Finnish, Russian and Turkish saunas are available, and the spa offers massage, a sun deck and the services of a manicurist and cosmetician. Fitness programs for children are also available.

Address: 4/1 Turan Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 23 05 95 Hours: 7:00 am-11:00 pm URL: Fitness first Type: Fitness centre Fitness First is one of the most (Please note: the telephone numbers listed here are for dialing in Astana from a cell phone. For more information on making telephone calls, please see the “Practical Information When in Kazakhstan” section.)

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sauna, massage rooms and a hydro-massage area. For those seeking more privacy, there are seven VIP saunas with their own pools. For other types of relaxation, the complex also offers a café with European and Asian dishes, a billiards room and a gym.

Address: 19 Turan Avenue (Left Bank, opposite Mega Centre) Phones: 8 (7172) 79 18 00, 8 (7172) 79 18 03 Hours: 10:00 am-10:00 pm Life Fitness Astana Type: Fitness centre Life Fitness offers all the services of a well equipped fitness centre, including a gym with a variety of exercise machines, a lap pool, personal trainers, group classes and a children’s programme. For post-workout relaxation, the centre also offers two Russian baths with bathhouse services and an attendant masseur.

Address: 2 Turkestan Street Phone: 8 (7172) 79 73 73 Hours: Weekdays 7:00 am-12:00 am Weekends 9:00 am-12:00 am Website: Republican Bicycle Track Sary-Arka Type: Fitness / Aquatic The Republican Bicycle Track Sary-

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Arka is one of Astana’s most unique buildings. It’s shaped like a bicycle helmet and includes a state-ofthe-art cycling track. It has hosted world cup level events and has been praised by the cycling community. But it’s also a fitness center open to the public with two pools, cardio training center and state of the art muscle training equipment. The complex also offers Turkish and Finnish saunas. Day passes are $15 dollars and three-months passes cost $136 dollars.

Address: 5 Kabanbay Batyr Ave., kilometer 5. Phone: 8 (7172) 707 179 Hours: Tues-Sun 9:00 am – 11:00 pm Rixos President Type: Banya/Spa The Rixos is one of the finest hotels in Astana and its spa and fitness facilities follow suit. A large and luxurious swimming pool helps loosen the muscles and a state of the art sauna will help you achieve ultimate relaxation. The Rixos also offers the full complement of spa services including facials, massage and other body treatments. And if you prefer more vigorous exercise, the Rixos also offers the latest in fitness equipment.

Address: 7 B Kunayev Street Phone: 8 (717) 241 38 38 Hours: 7am – midnight” Sharoban Type: Entertainment centre Sharoban is a largescale, modern entertainment center. It is listed here because it includes 20 bowling lanes. It also has a small café, a billiards room and karaoke club for corporate parties.

Address: 38 Seifullin Street Phone: 8 (7172) 32 67 70, 8 (7172)32 67 68 Hours: 3:00 pm – 3:00 am Soluxe Hotel Astana Spa center Type: Fitness center and spa The Soluxe is one of the few places in the city where a professional Chinese masseuse applies his trade. The hotel is also planning to add stone massage services. Your massage can then be followed by the ultimate relaxation of the spa’s Finnish and traditional steam saunas. The Soluxe also offers one of the city’s largest indoor hotel pools.

World Class Type: Fitness centre and spa World Class is the most high-class fitness centre in Astana. It is the number one network of clubs out of Russia, in the premium/luxury market. It is the only Russian company to be considered one of the top 25 clubs in the world. It has a fully equipped gym, swimming pool and spa. It offers group fitness classes, including yoga and pilates, as well as personal training. The centre also has a café.

Address: 1 Pobeda Avenue (Next to the Radisson Hotel) Phone: 8 (7172) 39 13 69, 8 (701) 222 90 90 Hours: Weekdays: 7:00 am - 12:00 am Weekends 9:00 am - 12:00 am URL:

Address: 27 Syganak, “Beijing Soluxe Hotel Astana” Phone: 8 (7172) 70 15 15 Hours: 10:00am – 10:00 pm Website:

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he yurt is an iconic part of Kazakh culture. The simple, round structures for centuries provided shelter and community for Kazakhstan’s ancient nomadic peoples. They remain part of Kazakh history and are reflected in its modern architecture. But this is 2012 and there’s no reason to sleep in a tent anymore. Kazakhstan’s lodging options are as modern and upscale as you’ll find anywhere in the world. In Astana, you may want to try the five-star Beijing Soluxe Hotel. This luxury hotel soars above the city’s skyline and reflects the Asian influence on Kazakh culture. It even offers a rotating restaurant near the top of the building with stunning views of Astana and the steppe beyond. For a different type of luxury, you can try Astana’s Jelsomino Hotel. The Jel-

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somino is an ultra-new and ultra-hip boutique hotel with an emphasis on individualized service, cool art and individually designed rooms. Boutique hotel fans in Almaty can try the Ambassador Hotel. The Ambassador bills itself as Almaty’s first boutique hotel and its attention to design detail lets you know you’re not in a big corporate accommodation. Another unique hotel option in Almaty is the Grand Tien Shan. The Grand Tien Shan is located in the city center across from the beautiful Kunaev Park. It’s also housed inside the grand neo-classically designed building that once served as Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Geology. So though yurts remain a beloved part of Kazakh culture and you may want to step inside one while you’re here, the accommodations you’ll find in today’s Kazakhstan are international, modern and luxurious.

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95 Abay Hotel H H H Address: 33,Republic Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 33 01 00 Email:

Imperia G Hotel H H H H Address: 63 Abay Street Phone: 8 (7172) 40 55 01 Website:

Akku Hotel H H H Address: 22,Ryskulova Street Phone: 8 (7172) 32 41 99 E-mail:

Jelsomino Hotel H H H H H Address: 26 Imanova Street, “Rakhat” Residential Complex Phone: 8 (7172) 73-13-38 / 39, 8 (7011) 00 02 01 Website:

Altyn Dala Hotel H H H H Address: 6 Bigeldinova Street Phone: 8(7172) 32 33 11, 8(7172) 32 77 49 E-mail: Astana Art Hotel H H H H Address: 42,Zheltoksan Street Phone: 8(7172) 30 20 20 E-mail:, Astana Park Hotel H H H H Address: 2 Saryarka Street Phone: 8 (7172) 55 63 33 Website: Beijing Palace Soluxe Hotel Astana H H H H H Address: 27 Sagynak Street Phone: 8 (7172) 70 15 15 Website:

Jumbaktas Hotel H H H H Address: 65 Karasakal Erymbet Street Phone: 8 (7172) 67 77 37 Website: Kaspiy Astana Hotel H H H Address: 9 Takha Husien Street Phone: 8 (7172) 22 43 54 Website: Katon-Karagay Hotel H H Address: 18 Kuyshi Dina Street Phone: 8 (7172) 40 06 33 King Hotel Astana H H H H Address: 7 Valikhanova Street Phone: 8 (7172) 70 57 05 Website:

Comfort Hotel Astana H H H Address: 60 Kosmonavtov Street Phone: 8 (7172) 24 44 44 Website: Daniyar Hotel H H H Address: 11 Tauelsizdik Phone: 8 (7172) 35 02 15 Diplomat Hotel H H H H Address: 29/1, D. Kunaev Street Phone: 8 (7172) 55 00 01 Website: Duman Hotel H H H H Address: 2A Kurgalzhin Road Phone: 8 (7172) 79 15 00

Jumbaktas Hotel

Grand Park Esil Hotel Comfortable and Convenient Located in the heart of Astana’s business center among major government and municipal buildings, shopping malls and restaurants, the Grand Park Esil Hotel is as comfortable as you’ll find in Astana. Once known as the Ishim Hotel, the Grand Park Esil underwent a complete renovation in 2004 and reopened under new management. It is now run by the same successful management company that maintains the renowned InterContinental Almaty. The Grand Park Esil has established a solid reputation in the business community for hosting representatives of top local and foreign companies, embassies and international organizations. And its convenient location provides easy access to Astana’s important business and governmental offices. The hotel’s rooms are filled with all the amenities you would expect of an international luxury hotel. They are individually climate controlled with satellite televisions, mini bars and Wi-Fi Internet access. The hotel also offers a well-equipped health club and business meeting facilities. Guests will also enjoy Esil’s upscale restaurant and Polo Bar & Patisserie. Many members of the hotel’s staff speak English and are available for assistance 24 hours per day. The hotel also accepts all major credit cards such as Visa, Master Card and American Express. So if you’re looking for a comfortable hotel that will meet a variety of your needs and is located near much of what you came to Astana to do, the Grand Park Esil Hotel is the place.

Lakki Hotel H H H Address: 32/3,Abylay Han Avenue Phone: 8(7172) 34 49 63 Email:, Website:

Everest Hotel H H H Address: 7/1, Furmanova Street Phone: 8 (7172) 34 74 75 Email:

Lion Hotel H H H Address: 57,Moscovskaya Street Phone: 8 (7172) 39 46 20 Email:, Website:

Grand Park Esil Hotel H H H H Address: 8 Beibitshilik Street Phone: 8 (7172) 59 19 01 Website:

Manhattan Hotel H H H H Address: 5 Tauelsizdik Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 36 15 36 Website: Mukammal Hotel H H H H Address: 53/1 Pobeda Avenue Phones: 8 (7172) 30 29 06 8 (7172) 30 29 07 Website: Oasis Inn Hotel H H H Address: 12a, Momyshuly Avenue Phone: 8(7172) 51 25 51 Email:, Website:

(Please note: the telephone numbers listed here are for dialing in Astana from a cell phone. For more information on making telephone calls, please see the “Practical Information When in Kazakhstan” section.)

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Jumbaktas Hotel Capturing Kazakhstan’s Natural Beauty The Jumbaktas Hotel opened in 2011 and was named after an 18-meter-tall rock formation in Lake Borovoy known as “Jumbaktas.” The word means “riddle rock” in Kazakh. The hotel extends the nature theme to its design and interior which reflect the picturesque vistas of the Burabai Nature Area and Lake Borovoy. “Elegant classics and the uniqueness of Kazakhstan are reflected in the interior and atmosphere of the hotel. Pictures of the most beautiful places of Borovoy and the mysterious rock “Jumbaktas” can be seen throughout the hotel and its rooms,” Hotel Sales Manager Asemgul Utenova told EdgeKz. Each room includes cable television, Wi-Fi internet access, a mini-bar and safe boxes. Free parking, dry cleaning and 24-hour room service are also available. Modern fitness facilities complete with up-to-date equipment and pingpong tables offer guests a unique way to stay in shape while in Astana. And once your day is done, you can try Jumbaktas’ Eurasia restaurant which boasts both Eastern European and traditional Kazakh cuisine. The hotel’s lobby bar is open 24 hours. The hotel is also uniquely situated to host business meetings and conferences. “We will be glad to carry out any event at a high level, satisfying your requirements and wishes. We hold international forums, conferences of various formats, private banquets and official evening receptions,” said Utenova. And management hopes to soon open a spa on the hotel’s grounds, which are a 10 to 15 minute walk from shopping malls, entertainment centers and the city’s unique Baiterek Tower. So for a little slice of the beauty of Kazakhstan’s natural environment, stop in at the Jumbaktas Hotel.

Prestige Hotel H H H Address: 1 Zheltoksan Street Phone: 8 (7172) 32 51 81 Radisson SAS Hotel H H H H H Address: 4 Sary Arka Street Phone: 8 (7172) 99 00 00 Website: Ramada Plaza Hotel H H H H H Address: 47 Abay Street Phone: 8 (7172) 39 10 00 Website: Rixos President H H H H H Address: 7 B Kunayev Street Phone: 8 (7172) 24 50 50 Website: Saryarka Hotel H H H Address: 36,Sembinov Street Phone: 8(7172) 34 66 75 Email: Tengri Hotel H H H Address: 1a, Vavilov Street Phone: 8 (7172)413838 Website: Zhasamir Hotel H H H Address: 17 Kenesary Street Phones: 8 (7172) 32 30 95, 8 (7172) 32 33 97 Website:

*Hotel star rating provided by the Ministry of Tourism and Sport

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e all know the expression “shop till you drop.” But that’s a lot better in theory than in practice. It’s far better to shop until you find a few cool things to take home or what you need to make your time here more comfortable. You’ll find both in Kazakhstan and you won’t have to “shop till you drop” to do it. Shopping options in Kazakhstan run the gamut from kitschy items such as fake dombras – the national instrument – to the very latest Kenneth Cole bag. A good rule of thumb is that the larger and more modern looking the shopping outlet, the more likely it will be to have the latest international brands. For example, mega malls such as Astana’s Mega Center and Khan Shatyr are packed with items fresh off the world’s catwalks. Older outlets, however, such as Almaty’s Green Bazaar and small, local shops are more likely to offer local and regional brands at inexpen-

sive prices. The acceptance of credit cards follows a similar tiered pattern. The more modern, the more corporate and the larger the outlet, the more likely it is to accept internationally recognized credit cards. Whereas, if you’re going to shop in the country’s smaller stores, you’ll want to bring plenty of tenge - Kazakhstan’s national currency. It’s also a good idea to ask locals for their favorite specialty shops outside of the large malls. A standalone shop in the heart of Astana, for example, called Men Style has some of the hippest and most cutting-edge fashions from around Europe you’ll find in the country. But you wouldn’t know it just by looking at the shop’s standalone nondescript building. You have to have a local tell you it’s worth stopping by. So whether you prefer quirky locally-owned shops or large sleek mega malls, you’ll find what you need and what you want in Kazakhstan.

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Asia Park This mall and entertainment center is spacious (45,000 sq. meters), up to date, has a 5-theater multiplex and a fabulous entertainment center for the kids. With 168 shops in the galleria, there are plenty of shopping opportunities. It boasts a fully-equipped Fitness First club and offers convenient middle-class shopping in a safe and friendly atmosphere.

Address: 24 Kabanbay Batyr Avenue Phones: 8 (7172) 97 87 67 8 (7172) 97 86 00 Hours: 10:00 am – 11:00 pm Website: Keruen Located on the Left Bank this mall attracts the younger crowd. It includes a food court, restaurants, a full grocery store and shops. It is considered to have the best multiplex with seven movie theaters.

Address: 9 Dostyk Street Phone: 8 (7172) 79 55 20 8 (7172) 79 55 22 Hours: 10:00 am – 11:00 pm Website:

Described as an urban-scale indoor park, shopping and entertainment venue, the shopping is upscale and varied. This is one place not to miss while in Astana.

shaped like a glass doughnut with a dome in the center instead of a hole. As with most malls in Astana, Mega is family oriented and has movie theaters, a food court and restaurants.

Address: Turan Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 73 47 68 Hours: 10:00 am - 10:00 pm Website:

Address: Kurgaldzhinskoe Highway Phone: 8 (7172) 79 18 51 Hours: 10:00 am – 10:00 pm Website:

Men Style

Sary Arka

Men Style is one of Kazakhstan’s most unique, modern and international men’s clothing stores. This two-story outlet offers everything from hip, colourful shoes, to unique t-shirts, to the best designer suits. It boasts an impressive 800 square meters of showrooms and offers leading European brands such as Rene Lezard, Strellson, Lodenfrey, Jacques Britt, and Marz with about 25 brands in total. This is the place go if you want to find something stylish, unique and international.

This mall is for the shopping aficionado. It focuses on shopping more than entertainment and has a wide variety of brand name shops and independent boutiques. Of course, it also has cinemas and an extensive food court. But keep in mind that its culture is shopping.

Address: 6 Barayeva Street Phone: 8 (7172) 20 42 10 Hours: Daily 10:00 am – 9:00 pm Website:

Khan Shatyr


The Khan Shatyr is the latest addition to the Astana shopping and entertainment scene. It has a unique design, like a large transparent tent, created to manage the extreme temperature range of the Central Asian steppe.

Mega is one of the first shopping malls in Astana and is still quite popular. (As part of a promotion, the mall received about 100,000 birthday wishes on stickers on the anniversary of its establishment.) Mega is

Address: 24 Turan Avenue Phones: 8 (7172) 51 56 06, 8 (7172) 51 55 99 Hours: 10:00 am – 10:00 pm Website: Sine Tempore This is the oldest shopping center in the city and boats the most prestigious, and expensive, stores and boutiques. This mall is singular in that it does not have a multiplex cinema or entertainment center. The Venice Pizzeria on the premises, however, is quite popular. This mall is convenient to the Right Bank.

Address: 9 Beybitshilik Street Phone: 8 (7172) 75 38 07 Hours: 10:00 am – 11:00 pm

Empire Casa Description: This is the place to get high quality souvenirs of Kazakhstan. They have an exclusive range of products with original designs. Their products are perfect as corporate gifts or for weddings and other memorable occasions.

Address: 11 Kabanbai Batyr Avenue (Triumph Building, Section 2—for corporate clients) Phone: 8 (7172) 68 88 00 (corporate clients/office) Tulpar The Tulpar shopping center is a four-level mall that bills itself as the best place for home goods in Astana. And though you may not be interested in its couches and refrigerators, it is also a great place to pick up the things you’ll need for everyday living during an extended stay in Astana. If you need a new T-shirt, a new pair of running shoes, or some cough medicine, this is the place to go.

Address: 24 Valikhanova Street Phone: 8 (7172) 54 98 88 Hours: Daily 10:00 am – 9:00 pm Website: Boutiques are also located in the Astana International Airport and the following malls: Mega, Keruen, Sine Tempore.

(Please note: the telephone numbers listed here are for dialing in Astana from a cell phone. For more information on making telephone calls, please see the “Practical Information When in Kazakhstan” section.)

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Men Style Unique and International Men’s Fashion What is fashion in Kazakhstan? And how is a young 20-year-old nation keeping up with the pace of world fashion? From the looks of the local shopping options, Kazakhstan is keeping up just fine. Like any country, fashion in Kazakhstan can vary by region. Some would consider Almaty, as Kazakhstan’s cultural capital, to have more individuality and style than fashions in Astana, which are often considered strictly business. But even people in Astana like to show a little flair. And one place where men can find hip, unique and international men’s fashions, as well as the latest European cut business suits, is in Astana’s Men Style shop. The two-level Men Style store boasts an impressive 800 square meters of showrooms. It offers leading European brands such as Rene Lezard, Strellson, Lodenfrey, Jacques Britt, and Marz with about 25 brands in total. It offers everything from modern business to every day casual and classic wear to suit even the most discriminating customer. And in September 2011, Men Style raised the city’s style bar by organizing a men’s clothing club in which members get together to discuss new fashion trends and show off new collections. Men Style Astana is situated conveniently between the left and right banks near the Samal Bridge. It is easy to spot as it has a large sign that reads “MEN STYLE” with a black and white silhouette of a man wearing a tie. The first Men Style store opened in 2005 and has since established outlets in the major Kazakh cities of Astana, Almaty, Aktobe, Karaganda and Pavlodar.

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Arts & Culture


Fitness & Banya


CafĂŠs & Coffee Houses





Restaurants Price Key (per person): $ = 3000 tenge-6500 tenge $$ = 6500 tenge-9500 tenge $$$ = 9500 tenge-13,000 tenge Teatralnoye Cuisine: International / French Address: 51A Zhambyl Street Phone: +7 (727) 272 87 77 Hours: Daily noon-12 am Price range: $$$ Schwabsky Domik Cuisine: European / German Address: 121 Abylai Khan Avenue Phone: +7 (727) 261 05 14 Hours: Daily noon-midnight Price range: $$$ Naoro Cuisine: Fusion Address: 17 Abai Avenue (corner of Pushkin Street), Medeu District Phone: +7 (727) 291 11 45 Hours: Tues-Sat 7 pm-11 pm Price range: $$$ The Grill Restaurant Cuisine: International / American Address: Hyatt Regency Hotel, 29/6 Satpaev Street, Bostandyk District Phone: +7 (727) 250 26 63 Hours: Daily noon-3 pm and 6 pmmidnight Price range: $$$ Bellagio Cuisine: Italian Address: 197 Gornaya Street, Road to Medeo Phone: +7 (727) 250 24 09 Hours: Daily noon-midnight Price range: $$$ Dali Restaurant Cuisine: Mediterranean Address: Zhailyau Golf Resort, Kargaly District Phone: +7 (727) 277 76 21 Hours: Daily 10 am-midnight Price range: $$$ Kok-Tobe Cuisine: Kazakh Address: Kok Tobe Mountain Phone: +7 (727) 295 44 44 Hours:  Daily noon-midnight Price range: $$$ Thai Cuisine: Thai Address: 50 Dostyk Avenue (corner of

Kurmangazy Street), Medeu District Phone: +7 (727) 291 01 90 Hours: Daily noon-11 pm Price range: $$$ Boudoir Cuisine: Fusion Address: 134 Bogenbai Batyr Avenue (corner of Abylai Khan Avenue), Almaly District Phone: +7 (727) 272 55 55 Hours: Daily noon-2 am Price range: $$$ Alasha Cuisine: Uzbek Address: 20 Ospanov Street, Medeu District Phone: +7 (727) 254 07 00 Hours: Daily noon-midnight Price range: $$ Sadu Concept Store Cuisine: Mediterranean Address: Mercur Town, 3/25 Samal (Furmanov Street), Samal Microdistrict Phone: +7 (727) 271 68 65 Hours: Daily noon-midnight Price range: $$

Asian Wok Cuisine: Chinese / Indian Address: 248 Dostyk Avenue (corner of Kazhymukan Street), Medeu District Phone: +7 (727) 264 4812 Hours: Daily noon-11 pm Price range: $$ Porto Maltese Cuisine: Mediterranean Address: 109 Panfilov Street (corner of Gogol Street), Almaly District Phone: +7 (727) 273 21 78 Hours: Daily noon-11 pm Price range: $$ Primavera Cuisine: European /Japanese Fusion Address: Koktem Business Centre, 180 Dostyk Avenue (corner of Zholdasbekov Street), Medeu District Phone: +7 (727) 237 5087 Hours: Daily noon-midnight Price range: $$ Avlabar Cuisine: Georgian Address: Tau Dastarkhan Family Resort, Ili Alatau National Park, Alma Arasan Gorge.

Phone: +7 (727) 270 57 29 Hours: Daily 11 am-2 am Price range: $$ Di Wang Cuisine: Japanese / Chinese Address: 75 Zhambyl Street (corner of Tchaikovskovo Street) Phone: +7 (727) 272 38 10 Hours: Daily noon-midnight Price range: $$ Bibliotheque Cuisine: European Address: 116 Dostyk Avenue (corner of Satpaev Street), Medeu District Phone: +7 (727) 262 61 22 Price range: $$ Safran Cuisine: Middle Eastern Address: 36 Dostyk Avenue (corner of Bogenbai Batyr Avenue), Medeu District Phone: +7 (727) 293 86 67 Hours: Mon-Sat noon-midnight, Sun 1 pm-midnight Price range: $$

Namedni Cuisine: Russian Address: 44 Furmanova Street (corner of Makatayev Street) Phone: +7 (727) 273 84 94 Hours: Daily noon-midnight Price range: $$ Borgo Antico Cuisine: Italian Address: 11/6 Iskendirov Street, Gornyi Gigant Phone: +7 (727) 293 51 51 Hours: Daily noon-midnight Price range: $$

(Please note: the telephone numbers listed here are for dialing in Astana from a cell phone. For more information on making telephone calls, please see the “Practical Information When in Kazakhstan” section.)

102 Zhety Kazyna Cuisine: International Address: 58a Abylai Khan Avenue (entrance on Makatayev Street), Zhetisu District Phone: +7 (727) 273 25 87 Hours: Daily noon-midnight Price range: $$ Kishlak Cuisine: Central Asian Address: Seifullin Street Phone: +7 (727) 261 56 01 Hours: Daily noon-1 am Price range: $ Sumo San Cuisine: Japanese Address: 159 Baitursynuly Street, Bostandyk District Phone: +7 (727) 292 87 38 Hours: Daily noon-midnight Price range: $ Pomodor Cuisine: Italian Address: 108 Panfilov Street (corner of Bogenbai Batyr Avenue), Almaly District Phone: +7 (727) 261 83 26 Hours: Mon-Sat noon-11:30 pm Price range: $ Korea House Cuisine: Korean Address: 2 Gogol Street, Medeu District Phone: +7 (727) 293 96 87 Hours: daily, noon-midnight Price range: $ Piano Bar Mardi Gras Cuisine: International Address: Palladium Restaurant Complex, 275 Furmanov Street (corner of Al-Farabi Avenue), Medeu District Phone: +7 (727) 260 89 00 Hours: Mon-Fri noon-3 pm Price range: $ Namaste Cuisine: Indian Address: Baitursynov Street (corner of Satpaev Street), Bostandyk District Phone: +7 (727) 292 24 84 Hours: Daily 11 am-midnight Price range: $

Zontiki Cuisine: Japanese / Korean Address: 44 Kurmangazy Street (corner of Tulebaev Street), Medeu District Phone: +7 (727) 272 6759 Hours: Daily 11 am-midnight Price range: $ Cooshy Sushi Cuisine: Sushi / Japanese Address: 41/15 Gogol Street (corner of Zenkov Street), Medeu District Phone: +7 (727) 273 84 62 Hours: Daily noon-midnight Price range: $

Arts & Culture Kasteyev State Museum of Arts Address: 30a Satpaev Street Phone: 8 (727) 2478356, 8 (727) 2478249 Hours: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm (closed on Mondays and last day of each month) Website: Central State Museum Address: 44 Samal-1 Phone: 8 (727) 2644650, 8 (727) 2642200, 8 (727) 2645577 Hours: Wed-Mon: 10:00 am-6:00 pm Abai Kazakh State Opera and Ballet Theatre Address: 110 Kabanbai Batyr Avenue Phone: 8 (727) 2727934, 8 (727) 2722042 Website: State Museum of National Musical Instruments Address: 24 Zenkov Street Phone: 8 (727) 2916326 Hours: Tue-Sun: 10:00 am-5:30 pm Art&Shock Theatre Address: 49/68 Kunayev Street Phone: 8 (727) 2735282, 8 (727) 2735282       Website: Kok-Tobe

Lermontov Russian Drama Theatre and Tengri Umay Arts Gallery Address: 43 Abai Avenue Phone: 8 (727) 2673131, 8 (727) 2673151, 8 (727) 2673145 Hours: Mon-Sat: 10:00 am-6:00 pm Website: Deutsches Theater Almaty Address: 64D, Satpayev Street Phone: 8 (727) 3920234, 8 (727) 3920233 Website: Arvest Art Gallery Address: 75/68 Bogenbay Batyr Avenue Phone: 8 (727) 2914797 Hours: Daily 10:00 am-8:00 pm Website:


Phone: 8 (727) 255 82 27 Website: Shera Hotel H H H H Address: 281 Furmanov Street Phone: 8 (727) 313 75 75 Website: Royal Palace Hotel H H H H Address: 178 Zhansugurov Street Phone: 8 (727) 380 79 12 Website: Ambassador Hotel H H H H Address: 121 Zheltoksan Street Phone: 8 (727) 250 89 89 Website: Grand Hotel Tien Shan H H H H Address: 115 Bogenbay Batyr Avenue Phone: 8 (727) 244 96 00 Website: Holiday Inn H H H H Address: 2D Temiryazev Street Phone: 8 (727) 244 02 55 Website:

Rixos Almaty H H H H H Address: 506/99 Seifullin Street Phone: 8 (727) 300 33 00 Website:

Kazakhstan Hotel H H H H Address: 52/2 Dostyk Avenue Phone: 8 (727) 291 91 01 Website:

InterContinental Hotel H H H H H Address: 181 Zheltoksan Street Phone: 8 (727) 250 50 00 Website:

Kazzhol Hotel H H H H Address: Gogol Street 127/1, Almaly Phone: 8 (727) 250 89 44 Website:

Hyatt Regency Almaty H H H H H Address: 29/6 Satpayev Street Phone: 8 (727) 250 12 34 Website:

Almaty Sapar Hotel H H H H Address: 177 Zhamakaev Street Phone: 8 (727) 246 88 66 Website:

Royal Tulip Almaty H H H H H Address: 401/2, M. Ospanov Street Phone: 8 (727) 300 01 00 Website:

Uyut Hotel H H H H Address 127/1 Gogol Street Phone: 8 (727) 279 55 11 Website:

Dostyk Hotel H H H H H Address: 26 Kurmangazy Street

Voyage Hotel H H H H Address: Furmanov Street, 97a

103 Oazis Type: Banya Address: 176 Altyn Besik, on the corner of Tole Bi Yassayu Phone: 8 (727) 226-07-77, 8 (701) 744-98-97 Hours: Daily 24 hours Caesa’r Club Type: Banya Address: 212 Raymbek Avenue Phone: 8 (702) 222 99 90; 8 (727) 269 94 84; 8 (727) 269 94 93 Hours: Daily 24 hours

Phone: 8 (727) 272 22 77 Website:

Phone: 8(727) 279 71 59 E-mail:

Grand Hotel Eurasia H H H H Address 9a Zholdasbekov Street Phone: 8 (727) 380 80 80 E-mail:

Astra Hotel H H H Address: 12 Zheltoksan Street Phone: 8 (727) 246 86 88 Website:

Parasat Hotel & Residence H H H H Address: 10 Elebekov Street, Almaty Phone: 8 (727) 263 55 88, 8 (727) 263 55 99 E-mail:

Olympic Hotel H H H Address: 14 Sanatornaya Street Phone: 8 (727) 250 03 27, 8 (727) 299 02 44 Website:

Grand Hotel Aiser H H H H Address: 1 Pozharskiy Street Phone: 8 (727) 296 99 99 E-mail: Astana Inter Hotel H H H H Address: 113 Baitursynov Street, Almaty Phone: 8 (727) 250 70 50, 8 (727) 250 10 60 E-mail: Hotel Premier Alatau H H H H Address: 105 Dostyk Avenue Phone: 8 (727) 258 11 11, 8 (727) 258 43 12 Website: Jeppesen Hotel H H H Address: 206B Gagarin Street Phone: 8 (727) 275 49 05 Website: Almaty Hotel H H H Address: 85 Kabanbay Batyr Avenue Phone: 8 (727) 272 00 47 Website: Hotel & Resort “Altyn Kargaly” H H H Address: 204 Zhandosov Street Phone: 8 (727) 250 08 28, 8 (727) 250 08 26 Website: Gold Dragon Hotel H H H Address: 402 Seifullin Avenue

Fitness & Banya World Class Fitness Center Type: Fitness Center Address: Mendygulov Street at Al-Farabi (between Furmanova and Dostyk) Phone: 8 (727) 250 6500, 8 (727) 250 91 15 Hours: Daily 7:00 am- midnight Website: Rixos Royal SPA Type: Banya / Spa Address: 506/99 Seifullina Street Phone: 8 (727) 300 33 00, 8 (727) 300 33 33 Hours: Daily 7:00 am-midnight Website: Luxor Type: Spa / Banya / Fitness Center Address: 341 Dostyk Avenue Phone: 8 (727) 2677 577 Hours: Daily 7:00 am-midnight Website: Alligator Club Type: Banya Address: 1B Kabanbay Batyr Avenue Phone: 8 (727) 261 05 22, 8 (702) 33 222 9 Hours: Daily 24 hours

Aprofit Type: Fitness Center Address: 132 Dostyk Avenue Phone: 8(727) 264 34 35, 8 (727) 264 55 48 Hours: Daily 7:00 am-11:00 pm Website:

Arasan Banya Type: Banya Address:78 Tulebayeva Street, on the corner of Aiteke Bi Avenue Phone: 8 (727) 272 46 71, 8 (727) 272 46 72 Hours: Tue-Sun: 8:00 am-10:0 pm. Closed Monday

Bella Type: Banya Address: 106A Gurileva Street Phone: 8 (727) 234-46-74, 8 (701) 335 88 38 Hours: Daily 24 hours

Fitnation Type: Fitness Center / Banya Address: 15 Respubliki Street Phone: 8 (727) 295 29 39 Hours: Daily 7:00 am-11:00 pm E-mail:

FitCurves Type: Fitness Center / Spa Address: 15 Kaldayakov Street Phone: 8 (727) 390 60 90 Hours: Daily 7:00 am-11:00 pm Website:

Samal Fitness Center Type: Fitness / Banya Address: 91A Samal 2 Phone: 8 (727) 265 39 10 Hours: Daily 24 hours Website:

Teremok Type: Banya Address: 16 Adylova Street, Taugul-3 Microdistrict. Phone: 8 (727) 309 21 21, 309 20 20, 8 (705) 999 30 30 Hours: Daily 24 hours

Nordik Fitness Club Type: Fitness Club Address: Tsum building. Entrance from Zhibek Zholy, inside the glass door on the right. Phone: 8 (727) 273 78 84. Hours: Daily, except Sundays, 9:00 am – 9:00 pm Website:

Barskye Zadvorki Type: Banya Address: Dostyk Avenue on the corner of Marat Ospanov Street Phone: 8 (727) 260 45 04, 8 (701) 369 81 56 Hours: Daily 24 hours Website:

104 Anira Silk Way City Type: Fitness Center / Spa Address: 142 Dzherzinsky Street, on the corner of Zheltoksan Street Phone: 8 (727) 328-62-46 Hours: Daily 7:00 am-11:00 pm Website: For Life Type: Banya Address: 208A Aimanov Street, on the corner of the Dzhandosov Street Phone: 8 (707) 333 88 84, 8 (705) 115 55 33 Hours: Daily 24 hours Car Banya Complex Type: Banya Address: 32 Rymzhanov Street, Kalkaman Microdistrict Phone: 8 (727) 393 90 94, 381 86 86, 8 (777) 809 88 33 Hours: Daily 24 hours Body Dance Type: Fitness Center / Spa Address: 47B Mynbayev Street on the corner of Auezov Street Phone: 8 (727) 375 39 92 Hours: Daily 7:00 am-11:00 pm Medved Type: Banya Address: 60 Makatayev Street, on the corner of Kunayev Street Phone: 8 (727) 297 00 00 Hours: Daily 24 hours

Night Clubs Da Freak Cuisine: European, East Address: 40 Gogol Street, Panfilov Park, Medeu District Phone: 8 (727) 273 1337, 8 (727) 273 1337 Hours: Fri-Sat: Midnight-6:00 am Gas Cuisine: European Address: 100 Seifullin Avenue (corner of Shevchenko), Almaly District Phone: 8 (727) 272 7474, 8 (727) 272 7474 Hours: Mon: 10:00 pm-6:00 am, Wed-Fri: 10:00 pm-7:00 am, Sat: 10:00 pm – 9:00 am. Closed Tuesdays. Petroleum Cuisine: European, East, Japanese Address: 100 Seifullin Avenue (corner of Shevchenko), Almaly District Phone: 8 (727) 272 7474, 8 (727) 272 7474 Hours: Daily 10:00 pm-6:00 am

Cuba Cuisine: European, East Address: 102 Bogenbai Batyr Avenue (corner of Dostyk Avenue), Almaly District Phone: 8 (727) 291 2932, 8 (727) 291 2932, 8 (727)291 4310 Hours: 24 hours daily, live music Thur-Sat: at 10:00 pm Most Cuisine: European, East Address: 12 Kommunalnaya Street (corner of Seifullin Street), Zhetisu District Phone: 8(727) 233 0457, 8 (727) 233 0457 Hours: Fri -Sat: Midnight-9:00 am Website: Rai Cuisine: Japanese Address: Tselini Cinema, Kabanbai Batyr Avenue (corner of Masanchi Street), Almaly Disctrict Phone: 8 (701) 687 9587 , 8 (701) 687 9587 Hours: Lounge Thur-Sat: 8:00 pm-6:00 am. Nightclub Thur - Fri: 11:00 pm-6:00 am Esperanza Cuisine: East, European, Kazkah, Turkish Address: 481 Seifullin Street (corner of Raiymbek Avenue), Zhetisu District Phone: 8 (727) 299 6699, 8 (727) 299 6699 Hours: Daily 10:00 pm-6:00 am Tornado Cuisine: European, Italian, Japanese Address: Assorti Restaurant, 106G Dostyk Avenue (corner of Abai Avenue), Medeu District Phone: 8 (727) 263 3266, 8 (727) 263 3266 Hours: Fri -Sat: 11:00 am-5:00 pm

Metro Cuisine: European, Russian, Japanese Address: 2b Zhandosov Street (corner of Baizakov Street), Central District Phone: 8 (727) 247 8166, 8 (727) 247 8166 Hours: Daily noon-5:00 am, Fri -Sat: until 7:00 am Website:

Shopping Mega Center Address: 247A Rozybakiyev Street Phone: 8(727) 232 25 01 Hours: Daily 10:00 am-10:00 pm Website:

Ramstore Trade Center Address: 226 Furmanov Street Phone: 8 (717) 258 75 80, 8 (727) 258 75 81 Hours: Daily 9:00 am-11:00 pm Website: Zangar, also known as Tsum Address: 62 Abylay Khan Street Phone: 8 (727) 273 29 51, 8 (727) 273 06 30 Hours: Daily 10:00 am-9:00 pm Barakholka and Adem Address: Take a ‘Barakholka’ bus headed down Rozybakiyev Street from Raimbek Street Phone: Adem: 8 (727) 270 66 66, 8 (727) 270 66 22 Hours: Daily 10:00 am-6:00 pm. Closed Mondays. Zelyony Bazar, also known as Green Bazaar Address: Intersection of Zhibek Zholy Street and Zenkov Street – one street down from the St. Ascension Cathedral (also known as Zenkov Cathedral) Hours: Daily 10:00 am-6:00 pm. Closed Sundays. Stolichny Address: 121 Abylay Khan Avenue Phone: 8 (727) 266 55 05, 8 (266) 55 15 Hours: Daily 24 hours


Bars Cinzano Address: 109b Dostyk Avenue (corner of Kazhymukan Street), Medeu District Phone: 8 (727) 253 13 45 Hours: Daily, noon-8:00 am Di Wang Lounge Bar Address: 75 Jambyl Street (corner of Tschaikovskovo Street) Phone: 8 (727) 272 38 10 Hours: Sun-Wed: 11:00 am-last customer, Thur-Sat: 9:00 pm-last customer Website: Dublin Pub Address: 45 Bayseyitova Street Phone: 8 (727) 272 14 75 Hours: Daily 11:00 am-1:00 am Euphoria Address: 29/6 Satpayev Street, Hyatt Regency Hotel Phone: 8 (727) 226 18 08 Hours: Mon-Wed: 5:00 pm-2:00 am, Thur-Sun: 5:00 pm-5:00 am Guinness Pub Address: 71 E Dostyk Avenue, near Hotel Kazakhstan Phone: 8 (727) 291 55 85 Hours: 11:00 am-2:00 am GQ Asia bar Address: 248 Dostyk Avenue Phone: 8 (727) 387 04 03 Hours: Mon-Wed: 5:00 pm-2:00 am, ThurSat: 5:00 pm-4:00 am

La Fete Address: 44 Kurmangazy Street (corner of Furmanov Street, downstairs in the Hall of Receptions building), Medeu District Phone: 8 (727) 272 78 37 Hours: Daily 6:00 pm-2:00 am Line Brew Address: 187 Furmanov Street (corner of Abai Avenue), Bostandyk District Phone: 8 (727) 250 79 85 Hours: Daily 12:00 am-last customer Mad Murphy’s Address: 12 Tole Bi Avenue Phone: 8 (727) 291 28 56 Hours: Daily 11:30 am-1:00 am Members Bar Address: 181 Zheltoksan Street, InterContinental Almaty Phone: 8 (727) 250 50 00 Hours: Mon-Sat: 9:00 pm-2:00 am Nice Bar Address: 29 Volodarskogo Street Phone: 8 (727) 292 38 25 Hours: Daily, 12:00 am-2:00 am

Farabi (corner of Furmanov Street), Samal Microdistrict Phone: 8 (727) 266 39 96 Hours: Daily 9:00 am-last customer San Siro Address: 117 Bogenbay Batyr Avenue Phone: 8 (727) 272 05 94 Hours: Daily 24 hours Shtab Phone: 8 (727) 272 24 40 Hours: Daily 10:00 am-midnight Soho Address: 65 Kazybek Bi Avenue (corner of Furmanov Street) Phone: 8(727) 267 03 67 Hours: Daily 9:00 am-3:00 am Website: Stylish Dog Address: Café Max Internet-Center, 1A Timiryazev Street, Bostandyk District Phone: 8 (727) 260 98 88 Hours: Daily noon-midnight Website:

Nirvana Bar Address: Building 2, Dostyk Avenue (Satpaev), Samal Microdistrict Phone: 8 (727) 264 74 50 Hours: Daily noon-midnight

Tinkoff Address: 27a Satpaev Street (corner of Masanchi Street), Bostandyk District Phone: 8 (727) 292 49 00 Hours: Daily noon-2:00 am Website:

OXO Lounge Bar Address: 67a Gabdullin St (Auezov), Bostandyk Phone: 8 (727) 275 62 53 Hours: Daily 6:00 pm-5:00 am

Vitalita Address: 63 Tole Bi Avenue (corner of Zheltoksan Street) Phone: 8 (727) 272 74 61 Hours: Daily 10:00 am-last customer

Posh Bar Address: Mercur Town, 3/25 Al-

Cafés & Coffee Houses 4A Coffee Address: 81 Zhibek Zholy Street Phone: 8 (727) 271 82 37 Hours: Daily 8:00 am-9:00 pm Website: L’Affiche Address: 83 Kabanbai Batyr Avenue Phone: 8 (727) 272 10 92 Hours: Daily 11:00 am-1:00 am Coffeedelia Address: 79 Kabanbai Batyr Avenue Phone: 8 (727) 273 23 94 Hours: Daily 8:00 am-12:00 pm Marrone Rosso Address: 149 Furmanov Street Phone: 8 (727) 261 39 54 Hours: 8:00 am – midnight Website: “Segafredo Zanetti” cafe Address: 46 Dostyk Avenue (corner of

Zhambul Street) Phone: 8 (727) 291 02 27 Hours: Daily 9:00 am-midnight Website: Cafe Coffee and Toffee Address: 44 Shevchenko Street Phone: 8 (727) 261 74 16 Hours: Daily 9:00 am-11:30 pm Madlen Address: 115 Ablay Khan Avenue (at the corner of Karasay Batyr Street) Phone: 8 (727) 272 23 86 Hours: Daily 9:00 am-1:00 am Website: Cafemax Address: 176 Zhibek Zholy Street (between Kunayev and Furmanov Streets) Phone: 8 (727) 273 95 53 Hours: Daily 10:00 am-9:00 pm Website: “Lounge Bar 29” Phone: 8 (727) 291 97 37 Hours: Daily 9:00 am-2:00 am Gloria Jeans Address: 133 Abylay Khan Avenue (at the corner of Bogenbay Batyr Avenue) Phone: 8 (727) 321 04 88 Hours: Daily 10:00 am-midnight Website:



Eurasia & World

Society Your monthly English language newspaper in Kazakhstan

Culture Business Business People Tourism Sports Editorials Country People Society Economy


106_Astana_Times.indd 26

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Useful Information i








Climate Kazakhstan’s distance from the ocean and its vast territory affect the country’s climate. The weather and temperature can vary dramatically based on geography and time of year. Also beware of the wind from the steppe, which can make a huge difference in how the temperature feels. Average temperatures for the two main cities are:

Astana January, -17°C (1°F) July, 20°C (68°F)

Almaty January, -6°C (21°F) July, 24°C (75°F)


Making Telephone Calls in Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan cell phone companies operate on a prepaid system. A SIM card can be purchased (GSM network) providing a local cell number. As credit runs out, it can be replenished easily by purchasing more via electronic dispensers throughout the city. They are located mainly in supermarkets, convenience stores and major shopping centers. Credit can also be purchased on scratch cards and loaded onto a cell phone by entering the code. No monthly billing plans exist in Kazakhstan at this time.

Local Calls If you are calling locally how you dial will depend on whether you are using a land line or a cellular phone.

Cellular Communications Companies

Making telephone calls in Kazakhstan can be a little confusing for the new visitor. Here are some instructions that will, hopefully, make it a little easier.

If you are calling a land line from a land line, it is easy. Simply dial the local number (last six digits). If you are calling a land line from a cell phone, you must dial the prefix: 8 + the city code (7172 for Astana) and then the local number. If you are calling a cell phone from a land line or another cell phone, you must also dial the prefix: 8 + the cell company code + the number International calls If you are calling abroad from Kazakhstan: Dial for international access (810) + the country code + the regional code (if any) + the local telephone number. To call Kazakhstan from abroad: Dial the code for international access + Kazakhstan’s country code (7) + the Kazakhstan city code + the Kazakhstan local telephone number. Kazakhstan Dialing Codes: Almaty region: 727, 728 Astana city dial code: 717


6/15/12 10:34:01 AM




PRACTICAL INFORMATION WHEN IN KAZAKHSTAN 109 News About Kazakhstan and the region

There are a variety of websites in Kazakh, Russian and English with information on Kazakhstan. We have listed many of the websites that include an English language version here. If the site does not immediately open into an English language version, look for the “Eng” button. Not all the websites will have everything translated into English, but most have sufficient information to make the sites useful. (ENG) Leading English language newswire covering Central Asia

General Information: Edge Magazine International Information Center of the Republic of Kazakhstan Official Tourism website of the Committee of Tourism Industry Kazakh Government Websites: (ENG) Official site of the President of the Republic Official site of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

http : / / w w w.

Useful Websites (ENG) Official site of the Agency for Sport and Physical Culture (ENG) Official site of Parliament (ENG) Official site of the government (ENG) Official site of the city of Almaty (ENG) Official site of the city of Astana (ENG) Official site of the Astana-Almaty 2011 Asia Winter Games

Tourism and Leisure: (ENG) Restaurant information for Astana and Almaty (ENG) Cities, hotels, restaurants in Kazakhstan (RUS) Kazakhstan Tourist Association (ENG) Central Asia Travel guide (ENG) Kazakhstan Ecotourism

108-109_PRACTICAL_INFO_KAZAKHSTAN.indd 109 (ENG) Official site of KazInform Information agency Official site of Khabar News Agency (ENG) Official site of the “KazPravda” daily newspaper Official site of the Englishlanguage monthly newspaper The Astana Times out of Astana, updated regularly.


TENGE 147,94 188,9 4,77 146,59 236,5 0,2 0,64 25,31 40,28 146,45 23,40 529,30 3,14 269,77 54,50 12,48 24,65 43,10 39,45 226,81 116,62 31,9 80,93 0,8 18,38 7,34 20,62 156,63 12,48 17,73 12,67 1,84

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Weather Essentials

Transport Company Riksha Address: 25 Bogenbay Street, office 29 Phone: 8 (7172) 62 72 60 8 (701) 441 75 57

ASTANA Month Low Jan 1°F / -17°C Feb -1F° / -18°C Mar 10°F / -12°C Apr 32°F / 0°C May 46°F / 8°C Jun 56F° / 13°C Jul 59°F / 15°C Aug 55°F / 13°C Sept 45°F / 7°C Oct 33°F / 0°C Nov 16°F / -9°C Dec 5°F / -15°C

High 13°F / -11°C 14°F / -10°C 26°F / -4°C 50°F / 10°C 67°F / 20°C 78°F / 25°C 80°F / 27°C 76°F / 25°C 65°F / 18°C 49°F / 9°C 18°F / -12°C 16°F / -9°C

Hertz Caspian Project Supply Company Address: 6/1 Kabanbay Street Phone: 8 (7172) 58 00 56 8 (7172) 58 04 84



Astana International Airport Address: Airport 14 OS Phone: 8 (7172) 70 29 99 Website:

Lufthansa Phone: 8 (7172) 28 64 92 8 (7172) 28 64 93 Hours: Mon-Wed-Sat 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm Tue-Thurs-Sun 11:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Train Station Address: Privokzalnaya square Phone: 8 (7172) 105 8 (7172) 38 07 07 8 (7172) 38 33 33 Bus Station Address: Privokzalnaya square Phone: 8 (7172) 39 85 04 8 (7172) 30 35 49

Taxis Arba taxi Phone: 8 (7172) 31 57 13 Hours: Around the clock Green Eyed Taxi Phone: 8 (7172) 34 44 94 Hours: Around the clock Pegasus XXI taxi Phone: 8 (7172) 37 24 24, 8 (7172) 37 18 18 Hours: Around the clock Samal taxi Phone: 8 (7172) 22 22 22, 8 (7172) 22 18 82 Hours: Around the clock Metropolitan taxi LLP Phone: 8 (7172) 32 02 20, 8 (701) 785 57 37 Hours: Around the clock Transport company Riksha VIP taxi Phone: 8 (7172) 62 72 60 8 (701) 441 75 57 Hours: Around the clock Elite taxi Phone: 8 (7172) 34 10 10 8 (701) 610 23 23

110-111_PRACTICAL_INFO_ASTANA.indd 110

Turkish Airlines Phone: 8 (7172) 77 70 20 8 (7172) 77 70 21 Hours: 11:00 pm-7:00 am Transaero Phone: 8 (7172) 31 70 40 8 (7172) 31 83 50 Hours: 9:00 am – 9:00 pm Pulkovo Phone: 8 (7172) 21 69 17 8 (7172) 21 69 18 Hours: 9:00 am – 7:00 pm Weekend 10:00 am – 6:00 pm Aerosvit Phone: 8 (7172) 50 82 74 Hours: Round the clock Belavia Phone: 8 (7172) 23 98 48 8 (7172) 23 98 25 Hours: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm Air Astana Phone: 8 (7172) 59 14 21 8 (7172) 59 14 22 Hours: 9:00 am – 8:30pm Austrian Airlines Phone: 8 (7172) 28 64 82 8 (7172) 39 00 00 Hours: Round the clock Address: 166 Omarov Street Phone: 8 (7172) 34 70 70 8 (7172) 34 70 68 8 (7172) 54 49 63 TANDAU ST Address: 16/1 Maylin Street Phone: 8 (7172) 34 46 65 8 (7172) 34 46 65 VIPCAR KZ Address: 13 Auezov Street Phone: 8 (7172) 47 81 87 8 701 777 93 53 DanZamir Address: 7 Seifullin Street, office 27 Phone: 8 (701) 918 69 17 8 (7172) 23 61 05 KazGPS Address: 19 Imanov Street, office 406B Phone: 8 (7172) 78 74 17 8 (7172) 78 74 18 8 (702) 46 74 538 OKAN Intercontinental Astana Address: 47 Abay Street Phone: 8 (7172) 39 10 00 Rent a Car Astana Address: 40 Auezov Street, office 211 Phone: 8 (7172) 77 96 90 8 (701) 933 26 80 Zhas Kala Address: 1A Mozhayskiy Street Phone: 8 (7172) 54 18 19 Green Spedition International Transport Company Phone: 8 (705) 118 49 18 OKAN Intercontinental Address: 113 Abay Street Phone: 8 (7172) 39 10 00

Berkut Phone: 8 (7172) 75 21 05 Hours: 9:00 am-6:00 pm Zhetyssu Phone: 8 (7172) 94 63 22 8 (7172) 94 62 96 Hours: 9:00 am – 7:00 pm Saturday: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm Sunday: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

6/15/12 1:07:27 PM






Courier Services BaidEx Address: 12 Momushuly Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 45 79 16, 8 (700) 459 87 47, 8 (707) 323 50 25

Astana Cellular Communications Companies Active Locations: 2 Pervaya Street and 21 Barayeva Street Phone: 8 (727) 258 80 00, for mobile 7070 (free of charge) URL: Hours: 24 Beeline Phone: 8 (727) 350 05 00 URL: Dalacom Address: 5 Republic Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 59 17 00 URL: Hours: Mon-Fri 9:00 am – 6:00 pm Sat 10:00 am-2:00 pm Kcell Location: Astana, Kabanbai-Batyr ave., 10 Phone: 8 (7172) 24 40 07 ext. 5007 URL: Hours: Mon-Fri 9:00 am-8:00 pm Sat - 9:00 am-6:00 pm Sun - 11:00 am-6:00 pm Pathword Location: 30 Republic Avenue Phone 8 (7172) 59 17 00, 8(7172) 21 77 77 URL: Hours: Mon-Fri 9:00 am-6:00 pm Sat 10:00 am-6:00 pm Tele 2 Location: 12 Republic Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 59-19-24, 8-800-0-800-707 Mobile: 611 URL: http:// Hours: Mon-Fr: 09:00 - 19:00 Sat-Sun: 10:00 - 18:00

ASTANA Emergency Services Police Landline: 102 Mobile: 102 Rescue Service Landline: 112 Mobile: 112 Astana firefighting and accident rescue operations service Landline: 101 Mobile: 101 Astana City Medical Emergency Service Landline: 103 Mobile: 103

Direct Delivery Address: 12a Kazhymukan Street 9th floor Phone: 8 (7172) 55 62 62 Mobile: 8 (707) 782 22 18 URL: FedEx Address: 38 Tulebaev Street Phone: 8 (7273) 56 38 00 URL: Garant Post Service Address: 9 Lomonosov Street, # 203 Phone: 8 (7172) 215-458 URL: Pony Express Tel.: 8 (727) 258 33 33, 8 (727) 317 26 26 URL:

General Information for Astana Landline: 109 Mobile: 109 Service “051” (Directory Assistance) Landline: 051 Mobile: 109 Department for Emergency Situations (Astana) Landline: 32 31 98 Mobile: 8 (7172) 32 31 98 Fire Department of Astana City Landline: 37 41 74 Mobile: 8 (7172) 37 41 74 Astana City Telecommunication Center (Astanatelecom) Landline: 58 07 61 Mobile: 8 (7172) 58 0761 Astana City International Airport (information) Landline: 77 70 50 Mobile: 8 (7172) 77 70 50 Railway Station (information) Landline: 93 39 26 Mobile: 8 (7172) 93 39 26 Bus Station (information) Landline: 38 11 35, 39 85 04 Mobile: 8 (7172) 38 11 35

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(Please note: the telephone numbers listed here are for dialing in Astana from a cell phone. For more information on making telephone calls, please see the “Practical Information When in Kazakhstan” section.)

Consulate of Afghanistan

Consulate of Germany

Consulate of Lithuania

Consulate of Spain

Address: 2 Sholnik microdistrict, Almaty Phone: 8 (727) 227 23 90

Address: 62 Kosmonavtov Street Phone: 8 (727) 262 83 41 46/49 E-mail:

Address: 15 Iskanderovo Street, Gorny Gygant Phone: 8 (727) 263 10 40

Address: 20A Kazybek bi Street, Almaty Phone: 8 (727) 293 02 40, 8 (727) 293 02 66 E-mail:

Embassy of Malaysia

Consulate of Tajikistan

Consulate of Hungary

Address: 9A Rubinshtein Street, Almaty Phone: 8 (727) 333 44 83/4/5

Address: 16 Sanatornaya Str eet, Almaty Phone: 8 (727) 269 70 59 E-mail:

Consulate of Netherlands

Address: 29 Tole bi Street, Almaty Phone: 8 (727) 278 41 65/77 E-mail:

Consulate of Australia Address: 174B Furmanov Street, 3rd Floor, Almaty Phone: 8 (727) 261 51 60 E-mail:

Consulate Belgium Address: 117/86 Kazybek Bi Street, Almaty Phone: 8 (727) 260 68 63 E-mail:

Consulate of Britain Address: Samal-2 microdistrict, 97 Zholdasbekov Street , building 2A, Almaty Phone: 8 (727) 250 61 91/92 e-mail:

Consulate of China Address: 12 Baitasov Street, Almaty Phone: 8 (727) 270 02 21

Consulate of Czech Republic Address: 5 Al-Fara bi Avenue, Almaty Phone: 8 (727) 277 70 93 e-mail:

Address: 4 Musabayev Street, Almaty Phone: 8 (727) 255 13 08, 8 (727) 258 18 36 E-mail:

Consulate of India Address: 71 Maulenov Street, 3rd floor, Almaty Phone: 8 (727) 278 44 55/65 Email:

Consulate of Italy Address: 41 Kazybek bi Street, Almaty Phone: 8 (727) 266 36 09

Consulate of Japan Address: 41 Kazybek bi Street, Almaty Phone: 8 (727) 298 06 00

Consulate of Korea

Address: 15 Teplichnaya Street Phone: 8 (727) 263 96 95

Address: 52a Ivanilov Street, Gornyi Gigant, Almaty Phone: 8 (727) 263 26 60/91, 8 (727) 263 29 89, 8 (727) 263 62 28/29 E-mail:

Consulate of France

Consulate of Kyrgyzstan

Address: 173Furmanov Street, Almaty Phone: 8 (727) 258 25 04/08, 8 (727) 258 21 81 E-mail:

Address: 30A Lugansky Street, Almaty Phone: 8 (727) 264 22 12 E-mail:

Consulate of Egypt

Address: 103 Nauryzbay batyr Street, Almaty Phone: 8 (727) 250 37 73 E-mail:

Consulate of Poland Address: 9 Jarkentskaya Street, Gornyi Gigant Phone: 8 (727) 258 16 17; 8 (727) 258 15 51 E-mail:,

Consulate of the Russian Federation Address: 4 Jandosov Street, Almaty Phone: 8 (727) 274 50 87, 8 (727) 274 61 22 E-mail:

Consulate of Singapore Address: 21 Koktem-3, Almaty Phone: 8 (727) 270 45 61 E-mail:

Consulate of Slovakia Address: Almaty region, Energetic village, 1A Tikhii, Phone: 8 (727) 297 74 43 E-mail:

Consulate of Turkey

Consulate of Turkmenistan Address: 137 Furmanov Street, Almaty Phone: 8 (727) 272 69 44

Consulate of Ukraine Address: 13a Makatayev Street, Almaty Phone: 8 (727) 230 16 00

Consulate of United States of America Address: 97 Zholdasbekov Street, Samal-2b district, Almaty Phone: 8 (727) 250 76 12

Embassy of Uzbekistan Address: 36 Baribayev Street Phone: 8 (727) 291 78 86 Consulate phone: 8 (727) 291 02 35 E-mail:

Consulate of Yemen Address: 20B Begalin Street Phone: 8 (727) 291 99 72 E-mail:


Weather Essentials ALMATY Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec

Low 17°F / -8°C 19°F / -7°C 29°F / -2°C 43°F / 6°C 52°F / 11°C 60°F / 16°C 65°F / 18°C 62°F / 17°C 53°F / 11°C 40°F / 5°C 30°F / -1°C 22°F / -6°C

High 33°F / 0°C 35°F / 2°C 46°F / 8°C 62°F / 17°C 71°F / 22°C 81°F / 27°C 86°F / 30°C 85°F / 29°C 75°F / 24°C 61°F / 16°C 46°F / 8°C 36°F / 2°C







Almaty International Airport Address: 2 Beimbet Mailin Street, Almaty 050039 Phone: 8 (727) 270 33 33

Air Astana Phone: 8( 727) 258 41 35, 258 41 36, 244 44 77, 259 87 03 Hours: 9 am-8:30 pm

Almaty - 2 Train Station Address: 1 Abilai Khana Prospekt Phone: +7 (727) 296 15 44

Air Travel System Phone: 8 (727) 272 27 02, 272 26 99 Hours: 9 am-7 pm

Almaty - 1 Train Station Address: 1 Seifullin Street Phone: +7 (727) 296 33 92 Almaty Bus Station Address: 73 Mate Salki Street Phone: 8 (727) 226 26 44, 226 14 91, 225 08 87 Almaty Sayran Bus Station Address: 294 Tole bi Phone: 8 (727) 276 26 44, 276 26 77

Taxis AZIA Taxi Phone: +7 (727) 299 49 49 Hours: 24 hours Garage Taxi Phone: +7 (727) 276 29 07, 299 90 00 Hours: 24 hours Hertz Taxi and Car Rental Phone: +7 (727) 245 88 03 Hours: 24 hours Mega Taxi Phone: +7 (727) 233 31 11 Hours: 24 hours Almaty Taxi Phone: +7 (727) 255 53 33 Hours: 24 hours Service-Taxi Phone: +7 (727) 230 22 03 Hours: Around the clock Taxi Profi Phone: +7 (727) 270 70 70 Hours: 24 hours Ekipazh Plus Phone: +7 (727) 270 08 88 Hours: 24 Hours Express Taxi Phone: +7 (727) 260 06 00 Hours: 24 hours Elit Taxi Phone: +7 (727) 278 03 33 Hours: 24 hours

114-115_PRACTICAL_INFO_ALMATY.indd 114


Air Control Phone: 8 (727) 244 15 90 Hours: 9 am-7 pm Asiana Airlines Phone: 8 (727) 270 32 34, 270 32 35 Hours: 9 am-7 pm Brauch Office of Lufthansa Cargo Ag in Kz Phone: 8 (727) 388 89 32 Hours: 9 am- 8 pm

BMI Phone: 8 (727) 25 050 52, 272 40 40 Hours: 9 am-6 pm East Wing Phone: 8(727) 250 55 42 Hours: 9am- 6pm

CAR RENTAL COMPANIES Dimal Car Rental – Almaty Address: 6 Rozybakiev street 125/1 office 15, Pushkin street 23 office 6 Phone: 8 (727) 275 11 73 Dixie Travel Address: 29 Zheltoksan Street, office 3 Phone: 8 (727) 279 28 08, 327 10 10

British Midland Airways Phone: 8 (727) 272 40 40 Hours: 3am-8 pm

ASAP Car Address: 92 Panfilov, office 60 Phone: 8 (727) 234 78 39, 8 (777) 270 91 87

Carlson Wagonlit Travel Kazakhstan Phone: 8 (727) 377 88 77 Hours: 9 am-7 pm

Autodom Address: 273A Furmanova Phone: 8 (727) 244 34 81

China Southern Airlines Phone: 8 (727) 250 94 85 Hours: 9 am-7 pm Clintondale Aviation Phone: 8 (727) 257 45 14, 383 83 96 Hours: 9 am-6 pm Etihad Airways Phone: 8 (727) 330 30 00 Hours: 9 am-7 pm KlM Royal Dutch Airlines Phone: 8 (727) 250 77 47, 330 21 42 Hours: 9 am-7 pm Branch Office of Lufthansa Cargo Ag in Kz Phone: 8 (727) 388 89 32 Hours: 9 am-8 pm Turkish Airlines Phone: 8(727) 250 62 20, 333 38 49, 250 62 19 Hours: 9am-8pm

Dilizhans Address: 185 Baizakova Phone: 8 (327) 268 37 22, 8 (333) 216 55 26 Almaty International Airport Address: 2 Beimbet Mailin Street, the 1st level Phone: 8 (727) 270 33 33 ARD Kazkhstan Address: 208 Zharokova Phone: 8 (727) 329 43 49 Prestige Taxi Address: 262 Kazybayeva Street, Kulager district Phone: 8 (727) 270 70 70 Hertz Address: 42 Timiryazeva, 15/3B office Phone: 8 (727) 245 88 03, 245 88 51, 8 (777) 355 66 55 Exotic Limo Address: 53 Dostyk Street Phone: 8 (727) 291 62 90

6/15/12 10:40:30 AM




Almaty cellular Communications Companies

Fire prevention - 101 Police - 102 Ambulance - 103 Gas service - 104 Rescue - 112 or 051

Kcell Address: Samal-2, 100 - K’cell Main Office Hours: Mon-Fri 9 am-8 pm, Sat 9 am-6 pm

Referral Services Almaty International Airport 006 or 155 Railroad Station Almaty one 105, 8 (727) 296 33 92 Railroad Station Almaty two 8 (727)296 15 44 Bus station Sayran 8 (727) 276 26 44 Bus station Sayakhat 8 (727) 230 25 29 Evacuator ( 8 (727) 233 13 42 Free phone referral service 8 (727) 327 00 98 Free phone referral service - 080 Address bureau - 8 (727) 254 46 96 Lost-property office 8 (727) 292 14 39, 8 (727) 328 22 33 Chargeable phone referral service 088 or 177

Activ Address: 2G Timiryazev Street Phone: 8 (727) 258-80-00 Hours: 24 hours Mobile: 3030 Dalacom Address: 115/105 Kunayeva Street Phone: 8 (727) 259 77 00 Hours: Mon-Fri 9 am-7 pm Beeline Address: 55 Tole bi Street Phone: 8 (727) 350 05 00, 8 (727) 350 06 00 Hours: Daily 9 am-8 pm Mobile: 0611




Courier Services BaidEx Address: 12 Momushuly Avenue Phone: 8 (7172) 45 79 16, 8 (700) 459 87 47, 8 (707) 323 50 25 Direct Delivery Address: 12a Kazhymukan Street 9th floor Phone: 8 (7172) 55 62 62 Mobile: 8 (707) 782 22 18 URL: FedEx Address: 38 Tulebaev Street Phone: 8 (7273) 56 38 00 URL: Garant Post Service Address: 9 Lomonosov Street, # 203 Phone: 8 (7172) 215-458 URL: Pony Express Tel.: 8 (727) 258 33 33, 8 (727) 317 26 26 URL:

Pathword Address: 115/105 Kunayeva Phone: 8 (727) 259 77 00, 8(727) 258 17 77 Hours: Mon-Fri 9am-7 pm Tele2 Adress: Microdistrict 11, 3D Altynsarina street Phone: 8 (727) 3-550-707, 8-800-0-800-707 Mobile: 611 Hours: Mon-Fr: 09:00 - 19:00, Sat-Sun: 10:00 - 18:00 http://

114-115_PRACTICAL_INFO_ALMATY.indd 115

6/15/12 10:40:32 AM






(Please note: the telephone numbers listed here are for dialing in Astana from a cell phone. For more information on making telephone calls, please see the “Practical Information When in Kazakhstan� section.)

Embassy of Afghanistan 2,3 Karaotkel Microdistrict, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 57 14 42/43/44 Fax: +7 (7172) 24 04 54 E-mail: Website: Consular section: 21 Dubok, 2nd Microdistrict, Almaty Phone: +7 (7272) 255 6324 Fax: +7 (7272) 255 5663


Embassy of Armenia 19 Kyz Zhibek Street Komsomolski Microdistrict, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 40 20 15/17 Fax: +7 (7172) 40 19 70 E-mail:

Embassy of Canada 34 Karasay Batyr Street, Almaty Phone: +7 (7272) 250 11 51 Fax: +7 (7272) 258 24 93 E-mail: Office in Astana: 6 Sary Arka Street Phone: +7 (7172) 79 30 64 Fax: +7 (7172) 79 30 69

Embassy of Austria 62 Kosmonavtov Street, 9th floor Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 97 78 69/78/79 Fax: +7 (7172) 97 78 50 E-mail: Diplomatic Town, B-6, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 24 15 81 +7 (7172) 24 10 97 Fax: +7 (7172) 24 15 32 E-mail: General Consulate: 12, 4th Microdistrict, Aktau Phone: +7 (7292) 33 67 06/07

62 Kosmonavtov Street, 3rd Floor Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 97 44 85/86 Fax: +7 (7172) 97 78 49 E-mail: Trade-economic department: 5th floor office 501 2A 5 Al-Faraby Avenue, Almaty E-mail:

Embassy of Brazil 6/1 Kabanbai Batyr Street, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 24 46 82/84 Fax: +7 (7172) 24 47 43 Website:

Astana Tower 17th floor 12 Samal, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 44 21 21 Fax: +7 (7172) 44 21 16



C-4 Diplomatic town, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 24 32 58 Tel/Fax: +7 (7172) 24 34 26 E-mail:


19 Konayev Street, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 28 60 92/93 E-mail: Embassy of Israel 8 Auezov Street, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 68 87 39 Fax: +7 (7172) 68 87 35 E-mail:

Embassy of Italy


62 Kosmonavtov Street, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 79 12 00 +7 (7172) 79 12 80 Fax: +7 (7172) 79 12 13 E-mail: General Consulate: 2 Ivanilova Street, Almaty Phone: +7 (7272) 262 83 41/46/49 Fax: +7 (7272) 50 62 76 E-mail:

62 Kosmonavtov Street, Chubary, 5th Floor, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 97 78 43 Fax: +7 (7172) 97 78 42 Office in Almaty: 41 Kazybek Bi Street, Almaty Phone: +7 (7272) 98 06 00 Fax: +7 (7272) 98 06 01

109 Karaotkel, 2nd Microdistrict Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 56 37 14 +7 (7172) 56 37 55 +7 (7172) 56 37 84 Fax: +7 (7172) 56 38 26 E-mail:

Embassy of Czech Republic Arman Business Centre 6 Sary Arka Street, 13th Floor, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 66 04 72 Fax: +7 (7172) 66 01 42 E-mail: Office in Almaty: 2A Nurly Tau Business Centre 5 Al-Farabi Avenue 8th Floor Phone: +7 (7272) 77 70 93 Fax: +7 (7272) 77 70 92 E-mail:

Embassy of Hungary


62 Kosmonavtov Street, 9th Floor Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 55 03 23 Fax: +7 (7172) 55 03 24 E-mail: General consulate: 4 Musabayev Street, Almaty Phone: +7 (7272) 255 1308 +7 (7272) 258 1836 Fax: +7 (7272) 258 1837 E-mail:

Embassy of India 5th floor, Kaskad Business Centre 6/1 Kabanbai Batyr Street, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 92 57 00/03 Fax: +7 (7172) 92 57 15 E-mail:

62 Kosmonavtov Street Chubary Microdistrict, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 24 33 90 +7 (7172) 24 38 68 Fax: +7 (7172) 24 36 86 Email: Email: Consular Section: Tel/Fax: +7 (7172) 91 03 08 E-mail: Honorary Consulate: 40 Kazybek Bi Street, Almaty Phone/Fax: +7 (7272) 266 36 09

Embassy of Japan

Embassy of Greece

18 Kabanbay Batyr Avenue, Office 2 Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 24 24 67 +7 (7172) 44 94 59 E-mail: Website:

B-7 Diplomatic town, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 24 25 11/12 Fax: +7 (7172) 24 15 37 E-mail:

Embassy of Iraq

Embassy of Germany

Embassy of Cuba

30 Sarayshyk Street, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 28 60 67 +7 (7172) 24 18 30 Fax: +7 (7172) 28 60 50 E-mail: Cultural Centre: 15 Teplichnaya Street, Almaty

Embassy of Iran

62 Kosmonavtov Street, 4th Floor Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 79 51 00 Fax: +7 (7172) 79 51 01 Office in Almaty: 173 Furmanov Street, Almaty Phone: +7 (7273) 96 98 00 Fax: +7 (7273) 96 98 20 E-mail:

Embassy of Georgia

28 Kabanbai Batyr Street, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 79 35 61 +7 (7172) 79 35 83 (consular section) Fax: +7 (7172) 79 35 65 Trade-Economic Department: B-2 Diplomatic town Phone: +7 (7172) 24 25 10 Fax: +7 (7172) 24 13 81 General Consulate: 12 Baitasov Street, Almaty Phone: +7 (7272) 270 02 21

Embassy of Egypt

Office in Almaty: 71 Maulenov Street, 3rd Floor, Almaty Phone: +7 (7272) 278 44 55/65 Fax: +7 (7272) 278 46 85 E-mail:

Embassy of France

Embassy of China

Embassy of Azerbaijan

Embassy of Belgium

Embassy of Finland

Isker Business Centre 15 Sary Arka Street, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 90 15 15 Fax: +7 (7172) 90 18 19 E-mail:

174B Furmanov Street, 3rd Floor Almaty 050013, Kazakhstan Phone: +7 (727) 2615160 E-mail: Website:

35 Kenesary Street, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 32 48 29 +7 (7172) 32 06 65 +7 (7172) 32 00 34 +7 (7172) 32 48 49 Fax: +7 (7172) 32 18 70 Consular section: Phone: +7 (7172) 32 48 49 E-mail: Diplomatic Mission in Almaty: 115/157 Zheltoksan Street Tel/Fax: +7 (7272) 272 9787 E-mail:

Phone: +7 (7272) 63 96 95 Fax: +7 (7272) 56 98 02 Trade department: 51 Kaldayakov Street, Office 33 Almaty Phone: +7 (7272) 291 8997 Fax: +7 (7272) 293 0391 E-mail:

62, Kosmonavtov Street, 6th Floor Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 55 62 00/19 Fax: +7 (7172) 55 62 12 E-mail: Website: Office in Almaty: 97-2A Zholdasbekov Street Samal-2nd Microdistrict, Almaty Phone: +7 (7272) 250 61 91/92 Fax: +7 (7272) 250 71 12 E-mail:

Embassy of Bulgaria

Consulate of Australia

Embassy of Belarus

Embassy of Britain


Embassy of Jordan 8/2 Novostroitelnaya Street, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 24 52 54/55 Fax: +7 (7172) 24 52 53 E-mail:

Embassy of Korea


6/1 Kabanbai Batyr Street, 9th Floor Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 92 55 91/92/93 Fax: +7 (7172) 92 55 96 Office in Almaty: 52a Ivanilov Street, Gornyi Gigant Phone: +7 (727) 263 26 60/91 +7 (727) 263 29 89 +7 (727) 263 62 28/29 Fax: +7 (727) 264 33 51 E-mail:

Embassy of Kyrgyzstan


B-5 Diplomatic Town, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 24 20 24 Fax: +7 (7172) 24 24 14 Consular Section: Phone: +7 (7172) 24 20 40 E-mail:


i Phone: +7 (7172) 55 11 00 Fax: +7 (7172) 55 11 99 E-mail:

General Consulate: 30A Lugansky Street, Almaty Phone: +7 (727) 264 22 12 Fax: +7 (7272) 64 22 11 E-mail:

Embassy of Latvia 6/1 Kabanbai Batyr Street, Office 122 Astana Phone/fax: +7 (7172) 92 53 17 Fax: +7 (7172) 92 53 19 E-mail: Email:

Embassy of Oman


3 Novostroitelnaya Street, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 24 18 61/62/64 Fax: +7 (7172) 24 18 63

Embassy of Pakistan Beijing Palace Business Centre 27 Syganak, Astana E-mail:

2 Tauelsizdik Street, 13th Floor, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 79 35 15 Fax: +7 (7172) 79 35 16 E-mail:

37 Kabanbay Batyr Street, Block 4 Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 28 75 57/62 Fax: +7 (7172) 28 75 55 E-mail:

Embassy of Libya

Embassy of Poland

6, 36-8 Street, Karaotkel, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 56 37 64/5/6 Fax: +7 (7172) 56 37 23

Isker Business Centre, 15 Sary Arka Street, 6th Floor Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 90 10 11/14 Fax: +7 (7172) 90 10 12 Email: General Consulate: 9 Jarkentskaya Street, Gornyi Gigant Almaty Phone: +7 (7272) 58 16 17 +7 (7272) 58 15 51 Fax: +7 (7272) 58 15 50 E-mail: E-mail: Trade Mission: 72 Zatayevich Street Phone/Fax: +7 (7272) 64 79 11 +7 (7272) 63 44 27 E-mail:

Embassy of Lithuania 6/1, Kabanbay Batyr ave. BC Kaskad, office 103 010000 Astana Tel.: +7 7172 925 850 Fax: +7 7172 925 853 Office in Almaty: Gornyj Gigant, 15, Iskanderov Str. 050059 Almaty Tel.: +7727 263 1040, +7727 263 2505 Fax: +7727 263 1975 E-mail is common: Website: 9A Rubinshtein Street, Almaty Phone: +7 (7273) 33 44 83/4/5 Fax: +7 (7273) 87 28 25


Embassy of Norway 17th floor, Astana Tower, 12 Samal Astana

20A Saraishyk Street, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 28 61 23 Fax: +7 (7172) 28 61 33 E-mail: 28 Sarayshyk Street, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 28 62 03 Fax: +7 (7172) 28 62 03 E-mail:

1 Musabayev Street, Almaty Phone: +7 (7272) 69 35 36 Fax: +7 (7272) 58 17 27 Consulate: +7 (7272) 229 37 90 E-mail: 62 Kosmonavtov Street, Office 801 Astana Phone: +7 (7272) 55 54 50 Fax: +7 (7272) 55 54 74 E-mail: E-mail: Office in Almaty: 103 Nauryzbay Batyr Street, Almaty Phone: +7 (7272) 50 37 73 Fax: +7 (7272) 50 37 72 E-mail:

Embassy of Qatar

Embassy of Romania

Embassy of Mongolia

Embassy of Netherlands


Embassy of Palestine

Embassy of Lebanon

Embassy of Malaysia




DIPLOMATIC MISSIONS 117 Embassy of Turkey

Consulate: 78 Mukhit Street, Uralsk Phone: 8 (7112) 51 16 26 Fax: 8 (7112) 24 24 86 Trade Missions: 39 Kenesary Street, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 32 77 89 Fax: +7 (7172) 32 81 51

6/1 Kabanbay Batyr Street, Office 23, 101, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 92 58 70/73 Fax: +7 (7172) 92 58 74 E-mail: Office in Almaty: 29 Tole Bi Street, Almaty Phone: +7 (7272) 78 41 65/77 Fax: +7 (7272) 78 41 68 E-mail:

4 Jandosov Street, Almaty Phone: +7 (7272) 75 49 55 Fax: +7 (7272) 75 46 06 E-mail:

Embassy of Saudi Arabia 19 Akyn Sara Street, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 92 57 52/53/54/55 Fax: +7 (7172) 92 57 62 E-mail:

Embassy of Turkmenistan


Embassy of Slovakia 5 Karaotkel – 2nd Microdistrict, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 56 37 90 Fax: +7 (7172) 24 20 48 Defense Attaché: Phone: +7 (7172) 24 40 55 E-mail: Trade Mission: 1A Tikhii, Energetic vil. Almatinskaya Oblast Phone/Fax: +7 (7272) 97 74 43 E-mail:

Embassy of South Africa 6/1 Kabanbay Batyr Street, 17th Floor Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 92 53 27/28/29 Fax: +7 (7172) 92 53 29 E-mail: Email:

Embassy of Spain



Embassy of the Russian Federation 4 Barayev Street, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 44 08 06 +7 (7172) 44 07 93/83/86/92/89 +7 (7172) 44 08 01 Fax: +7 (7172) 44 08 07 +7 (7172) 32 22 09 E-mail: Website: Consular section: Phone: +7 (7172) 44 07 83 +7 (7172) 44 04 80 Fax: +7 (7172) 44 07 84 General Consulate: 4 Jandosov Street Almaty Phone: +7 (7272) 74 50 87, 274 61 22 Fax: +7 (7272) 74 71 68/72 E-mail:


47-25 Kenesary Street, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 20 15 35/6/7/8/9/0 Fax: +7 (7172) 20 03 17 +7 (7172) 20 02 24 (consular section) E-mail: Trade-Economic Department: 20 A, Kazybek Bi Street, Almaty Phone: +7 (7272) 93 02 40 +7 (7172) 293 02 66 Fax: +7 (7272) 93 02 59 E-mail:

8/1 Otyrar Street, Astana Phone/Fax: +7 (7172) 21 08 82 +7 (7172) 21-08-23 Military Attaché: +7 7172 20-12-95 E-mail: Consular section: 6/109, Abay Street, Almaty Phone/Fax: +7 (7272) 50 96 04

Embassy of Ukraine 41 Kenesary Street, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 32 60 42 Fax: +7 (7172) 32 68 11 Consulate: Phone/Fax: +7 (7172) 32 43 25 E-mail: General Consulate 13a Makatayev Street , Almaty Phone: +7 (7272) 30 16 00 Fax: +7 (7272) 30 26 01 E-mail: Trade Mission: Phone/Fax: +7 (7272) 32 74 80 E-mail:

Embassy of the United Arab Emirates C-15 Diplomatic Town, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 24 36 75 +7 (7172) 28 60 47 +7 (7172) 28 60 75 Fax: +7 (7172) 24 36 76 E-mail:

Embassy of the United States

12 Samal District, 17th Floor, Astana

3, 22-23 Street, Ak Bulak 4, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 70 21 00 Fax: +7 (7172) 34 08 90 Consular Section: Phone: 70 21 00 Fax: +7 (7172) 70 22 80 E-mail:

Embassy of Switzerland

Embassy of Uzbekistan

8th floor Kosmonavtov Street, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 97 98 92/93 Fax: +7 (7172) 97 98 94 Visa section: Phone: +7 (7172) 97 98 95 Fax: +7 (7172) 97 98 96

36 Baribayev Street, Almaty Phone: +7 (7272) 91 78 86 Fax: +7 (7272) 91 10 55 Consulate Phone: +7 (7272) 91 02 35 E-mail:

Embassy of the Vatican

Embassy of Tajikistan

20 Zelenaya Alleya Street Chubary Microdistrict, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 24 16 03, +7 (7172) 24 12 69 Fax: +7 (7172) 24 16 04 E-mail:

Embassy of Sweden

15 Marsovaya Street, T Chubary Aicrodistrict, Astana Phone/Fax: +7 (7172) 24 09 29 E-mail: Office in Almaty: 16 Sanatornaya Street, Baganashyl vil. Phone/Fax: +7 (7272) 69 70 59 E-mail:


Embassy of Vietnam 6 Sary Arka Avenue, Astana Phone: +7 (7172) 66 03 75 Fax: +7 (7172) 66 03 79



118_Map Astana.indd 118

6/15/12 10:43:03 AM

Kazakhstan The Future Is Wide Open

Since its independence just 20 years ago, Kazakhstan has grown to be the success story of Central Asia. A country of awesome steppes, grand canyons and majestic mountains, Kazakhstan is becoming known as much for its progress, as it is for its wide open spaces. As the powerhouse of Central Asia, Kazakhstan’s economy is thriving thanks to industries such as oil, clean energy, minerals, agriculture, finance and more. In Kazakhstan, the ninth largest country in the world, ethnic and religious harmony rule the land – a land once marred by nuclear disaster. Now a leader in nuclear responsibility, Kazakhstan has hosted many highly-productive international summits on the issue in its glittering new capital city, Astana.

A nation reborn, Kazakhstan is a place of open hearts and open minds. It’s a country open for business and investment. It’s a place where big ideas have room to grow – and the future is wide open.

The Nazarbayev Center 2, Respublika Avenue Astana, Kazakhstan 010000


July 2012

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