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Uzbekistan Travel Information

The Basics

Time

Local time is GMT +5.

Electricity

Electrical current is 220 volts, 50Hz. Round, two-pin plugs, as well as oblique flat-blade plugs with ground are in use.

Language

Uzbek is the official state language, but Russian is used in much day-to-day official and international communication.

Travel Health

No vaccinations are required by visitors to Uzbekistan. However, outbreaks of Hepatitis A, meningitis and diphtheria occur, and there is a risk of malaria in the south. Visitors should only drink bottled water. Hospitals offer adequate basic medical care, but serious cases will usually be treated outside of the country. Visitors should ensure that they have comprehensive medical insurance.

Tipping

Tipping is common in restaurants and bars, and is usually 5-10%. Some tourist hotels and restaurants, and upmarket institutions will usually include service charge in the bill.

Safety Information

Travel to Uzbekistan is generally problem-free, but foreigners should avoid unnecessary displays of wealth and walking alone after dark, as occasional muggings do occur. A general threat of terrorism exists particularly in places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers. Planned demonstrations should be avoided as they have become violent in the past.

Local Customs

Elderly people are greatly respected and should be treated with deference by foreigners. Most Uzbek people are Muslim and visitors should dress modestly and be sensitive to religious customs, particularly during the holy month of Ramadan when eating, drinking and smoking in public is forbidden by the Muslim culture. Homosexuality is illegal and public displays of affection are frowned upon. Police will often ask to see proof of identity, and foreigners are recommended to carry a photocopy of their passport with them at all times.

Business

Office hours are generally Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm. Men greet each other with handshakes. Women are not traditionally involved in business.

Communications

The international dialling code for Uzbekistan is +998. The outgoing code is 8-10 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 8-10 44 for the UK). City codes are in use, e.g. (71) for Tashkent. International taxophones, using phone cards, are the cheapest way to make calls. A GSM mobile network covers the cities, and Internet usage is growing in the major cities, despite the tight controls enforced by the government.

Duty Free

Travellers to Uzbekhistan 16 years and older can bring in goods to the value of US$10,000 without incurring customs duty. They are also entitled to import 1,000 cigarettes or 1kg of tobacco products; 1.5 litres of alcohol and 2 litres of wine, plus perfume for personal use. The export of antiques or antiquities requires a special permit. It is forbidden to import photographs and printed matter critical of the country or its government; any live animals; fruit or vegetables; weapons; or narcotics.

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