Why visit Azerbaijan?

10 Reasons to Choose Azerbaijan

A perfect blend of intriguingly old and thrillingly new

Imagine yourself climbing a fortress tower so old that historians have lost track. Stare out across an ancient citadel ringed by crenulated walls. Watch endless pink horizon of the fabled Caspian Sea at sunset.Observe a hectically mushrooming skyline sprouting fanciful 21st century architecture. Then stroll back to a pampering at one of Baku’s gamut of dazzling new luxury hotels or to a modest but hospitable family pension tucked into Baku’s medieval warren of old-city alleys. Either way, feel refreshed, inspired and ready for the next day’s conference or convention in Eurasia’s stunning new business destination.

A cosmopolitan hub for Europe and Asia

Ever better connected, Baku, the capital, is one ofEurasia’s biggest air traffic hubs and is closer to Central Europe than you might have thought. But the country is not just conveniently located – it also benefits from being a remarkable human melting pot straddling different great cultures – European, Turkish, Russian and Persian – all seamlessly integrated within a harmonious nation. There is no other location where entire service personnel will speak Turkish and Russian, along with decent English and Farsi and there is no place a meeting planner can gather delegates across the CIS, the Turkic world and Iran with a minimum of visa formalities.

Great variety of tourism possibilities

Baku, the city of wind caresses visitors with its Caspian breezes. But behind its maritime seascapes, artful water features and manicured green parks lies a semi desert hinterland. Here spontaneous flames leap magically from lonely hillsides. And the mysterious Fire Mountain of Yanar Dag still burns in own unique fashion. It is just a day trip to the Caucasus’s grandest new ski resorts and not much further to fascinating caravanserai towns like historic Sheki, idyllically set amid patchworks of bucolic fields and forested mountain foothills. Yet within its modest boundaries, Azerbaijan presents an awesome smorgasbord of climates, cultures and scenic wonders. A day trip is enough to see mud volcanoes and oaks, poppy fields and deserts, timeless villages and 21st century cities. Taste local wine in a medieval caravanserai. Sip fragrant Lankaran tea in a silk-draped cavern teahouse puffing at an apple flavored shisha pipe. Watch Caucasiandancers wafting arabesques in vibrant chiffon as their men folk high kick  ointy-toed in heavy leather boots to the blood stirring wail of the zurna flute or get lost in the magic of a Gara Garayev Ballet. Get invited for a Novruz dinner eating nutty-sweet baklava, light a lucky candle and leap across a courtyard bonfire to celebrate the nation’s ancient spring-festival. Tap your feet at the Baku Jazz Club or get mesmerized by mugham. Pump your fist at an Absheron beach DJ club and enjoy the night views of the illuminated city of great transformation. Welcome to Baku – a mélange of cultural worlds together in one city!

Proactive bid support

Azerbaijan has been a hub for regional conventions,sporting contests and trade fairs since the mid-1990s. But MICE focus has considerably ramped up since hosting the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest and the Baku 2015 First European Games. The state’s determination to becoming a major events venue is part of the Azerbaijan Vision 2020 development strategy concept, which aims at doubling the national GDP by the end of the decade and on growing visitor numbers. Given the enthusiasm to attain these ambitious goals, you can be assured of great commitment on bid support to ensure a highly advantageous solution for all stakeholders.

Safe and open minded

Bakuvians are real lovers of strolling, preening, and socializing along the balmy Caspi-anside Boulevard or in parks full of fountains. Flat capped old men, skinny-jeaned lads with front combed mop tops, scampering kids marshaled by mothers in 4- inch heels or Islamic chic scarves – all rub shoulders in a city that’s determinedly multicultural. Mosques, churches and synagogues are dotted between coffee shops and pubs, boutiques and galleries.

Easily accessible destination

Perfectly connected to the world with more than 40 direct flights to various destinations and over 20 airlines operating in the country from six international airports in Baku, Ganja, Nakhchivan, Gabala, Lenkaran, Zaqatala. Azerbaijan has a visa-free regime with 10 states for short stays, including: Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Mongolia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Visa on arrival is available for the citizens of 14 states, including: Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Japan, Indonesia, China, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Israel, United Arab Emirates and Turkey. For the nationalities requiring pre-arranged visas there are options of obtaining the document at the diplomatic missions of Azerbaijan or proceeding through official electronic visa portal (www.eviza.gov.az).

Dazzling new facilities

As though by the wave of a magic wand, Baku has suddenly unleashed one of the world’s most astonishing building booms. In less than a decade, a remarkable mixture of Parisian-styled stone palaces and breath-taking marvels of the 21st century modernist architecture have multiplied. Few architectural sights have a greater wow-factor than the Zaha Hadid-designed Heydar Aliyev Centre. Or the trio of sinuous silver Flame Towers that crown the city’s western flank. Both of the above could contain your next event! And Azerbaijan has a parallel bonanza of luxurious international standard hotels. Facilities are pieces of art as a large percentage of all conference venues are brand new. 06 /

Dynamic

For several years, since 2006, Azerbaijan’s economy has been one of the world’s best performing. The solid rise in GDP has been led by oil and gas but there is a rapid move to diversify and capitalize on the country’s potential as a regional value-added economy. Even a short term visitor can see the remarkable improvements in infrastructure, the constant beautification of cityscapes and the ever expanding range of commercial opportunities that continue daily. The nation underlines its European credentials, most visibly in sporting and cultural arenas. Welcome to the 21st century “Silk Road”.

Hospitable people

A guest is a flower of the house,we say. Certainly, the guest is sacred in Azerbaijan and this tradition of respect was passed down for centuries and is still taken very seriously. Hospitality tradition is naturally mingled with the high standard services at the convention venues, the accommodation facilities and in the streets of old quarters of the cities where visitors receive heartwarming smile and memorable welcome.

Culinary creativity

Azerbaijan offers a delicious variety of foods throughout the country. From European to Asian Fusion, and featuring a rich, ever more refined traditional Azerbaijani cuisine all of its own, Baku will delight your palate as much as your camera. Tantalizing restaurants range from minimalist works of the 21st century art to old world charmers wafting with the 19th century ambience through exotic teahouses, cozy coffee shops and genuinely ancient caravan-serais tucked into the labyrinthine streets of Baku’s Old City. In a country renowned for its sweet tooth, Sheki halva is the most sugary of confections. Only a professional pastry chef can make real Sheki halva and only a craftsman can create real Sheki shebeke. Heading to Gabala? Pass by Caspian Balig Evi, it is all about fish, fish and more delicious fish. Azerbaijan has a great variety of breads, from the thinnest to the thickest. When in Nakhchivan, do not get confused when you are offered to choose from tendir lavash, galyn, dastana or komba bread. Invited to try unfamiliar dishes like Ordubad sweet omelet or bukma for breakfast, or bozbash and gatyg ashy? Do not get too selective with the names, because any meal you try in Azerbaijan will be delicious and you will never regret tasting them.