The idea of
creation of a new, modern capital of Kazakhstan belongs to President Nursultan
On July 6,
1994, the Supreme Council of the Republic of Kazakhstan decided to move the
capital from Almaty to Akmola.
10, 1997, the capital was officially transferred to Akmola. In line with the
Presidential Decree signed on May 6, 1998 Akmola was renamed into Astana. The
new capital was unveiled internationally on June 10, 1998.
Astana was awarded the title of the City of Peace by UNESCO. Since 2000, the
capital city of Kazakhstan has been a member of the International Assembly of
Capitals and Major Cities.
the northernmost capital city in Asia. At present, the territory of Astana
makes up more than 722 square kilometres, its population size amounts to nearly
853,000 people. The city consists of three districts - Almaty, Saryarka and
located in the centre of Kazakhstan in the dry steppe zone and in the grass
steppe subzone. The area of the city stands above the flood plain. The Yessil
River is a major waterway of the capital. The city has an extreme continental
climate with cold winter and hot dry summer.
favourable location in the centre of the Eurasian continent makes it an
economically advantageous transport, communication and logistics centre, and a
natural bridge between Europe and Asia.
transfer of the capital to Astana gave a powerful impetus to its economic
development. The city’s high economic growth rates attract numerous investors.
The share of Astana in the overall volume of investments attracted to
Kazakhstan accounts for 10 percent, while the Gross Regional Product of the
city amounts to 10.2 percent.
economy is based on trade, industrial production, transport, communication and
production is mainly focused on producing construction materials, food and
mechanical engineering. Astana holds the leading position in Kazakhstan in the
field of production of metal goods, ready-mix concrete and concrete
enterprises of the city include Tselinograd railway car repair plant,
Tsesna-Astyk group corporation, Talgo passenger car assembly plant, Eurocopter Kazakhstan Engineering helicopter
assembly plant and others.
has become one of the largest business centres in Kazakhstan. Entrepreneurship
is rapidly developing in Astana. Today there are more than 128,000 small and
medium enterprises in the city. The average monthly salary of the residents of
Astana accounts for 154,000 tenge.
among the leading cities of the country in terms of the volume of construction.
After the city became the capital of Kazakhstan, 10 million square metres of
housing facilities have been built. Hundreds of companies from Kazakhstan and
abroad took part in the construction of Astana.
architectural concept of Astana was based on the idea of Nursultan Nazarbayev
implying a special Eurasian style of Astana should harmoniously combine the
cultural traditions of both the East and the West. A well-known Japanese
architect Kisho Kurokawa became the author of the general layout of the capital
symbol and a brand of Astana is the Baiterek monument. Among other unique
buildings of the capital are the Palace of Peace and Accord designed by a
renowned British architect Norman Foster, the Khan Shatyr shopping mall built
in the shape of a tent and Duman, the farthest oceanarium from the sea in the
also Astana Opera theatre, the largest Central Asian mosque Hazret Sultan,
Cathedral of the Assumption, Roman Catholic Cathedral of the Archdiocese of the
Blessed Virgin Mary, synagogue Bate Rachel - Habad Lubavitch, as well as the
Kazakhstan Central Concert Hall, the Kazakh Yeli monument, the Museum of Modern
Art and the Presidential Cultural Center.
construction of the highest in Kazakhstan and Central Asia 88-storey skyscraper
Abu Dhabi Plaza is scheduled for 2016.
sports facilities of Astana include the 30,000-seat closed stadium Astana-Arena
and a unique 10,000-seat SaryArka National Cycling Centre acknowledged as the
best cycling facility in the world in 2011. Another major sports facility is
the Alau ice palace, which corresponds to the highest international standards.
of Kazakhstan became the center of attention for students from across the
country. In Astana, the country’s leading universities are located, involving
Nazarbayev University, Gumilev Eurasian National University, Kazakh National
University of Arts, Seifullin Kazakh Agro Technical University, as well as
Kazakh branch of the Lomonosov Moscow State University and Astana Medical
Green Belt project envisaging the forests are planted around Astana turned the
city into a green oasis in the steppe.
Astana, located in the heart of Eurasia, is a venue for numerous international
forums, congresses and large scale international events. The Congress of
Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, the Astana Economic Forum and other
forums are held regularly in the city. In December, 2010, the historical Summit
of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe took place in the
capital city of Kazakhstan, after which it hosted the anniversary summits of
the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.
In early 2011, the city welcomed the participants and guests of the 7th Asian
Winter Games. In 2017, Astana will host the international specialized
few years, due to the political will of President Nursultan Nazarbayev Astana
transformed into the Kazakhstani national idea and became a symbol of
independence and global success of the young state.
keynote speech, dedicated to Astana’s 10th anniversary Nursultan Nazarbayev
mentioned the significance of development of the new capital city:
not simply the ancient earth of Saryarka, where the new capital was born. It is
the cradle of the country’s future. The history of Astana and the future of the
people of Kazakhstan are inseparable from each other. Astana embodies power,
dynamical development and stability of our country. It has become a strong and
prospering city that unites all residents of Kazakhstan and paves its path into
the future. The capital city is the heart of our motherland, the symbol of
people’s confidence in their own strength and great mission. Nowadays
representatives of more than 100 nationalities live in Astana. Both Kazakhstan
and its capital city are built on the basis of people’s friendship, mutual
understanding and trust,” he concluded.