The following article was contributed by the Embassy of Uzbekistan in Seoul for publication by The Korea Post media, publisher of 3 English and 2 Korean-language news publications since 1985.—Ed.
On August 23, the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev arrived in Samarkand to attend the opening ceremony of the Great Silk Road International Tourist Center.
A conversation took place with elders and the intelligentsia of Samarkand, in the Eternal City Complex. A dua was recited with the wish that the new structures would serve for the benefit of our people for a long time.
The solemn opening ceremony of the Great Silk Road International Tourist Center took place.
Shavkat Mirziyoyev delivered a speech and congratulated everyone on this joyful event.
– This complex, created thanks to the intellectual potential and selfless work of our people, has become another striking achievement on the path of building New Uzbekistan. I congratulate all of you on such a modern, magnificent architectural complex, erected in the ancient and eternally young Samarkand. May it serve our people for many centuries!
Samarkand is a city that is the foundation of our national statehood and played an important role in forming and developing two Renaissances in our history. Tourists came here mainly to see the ancient monuments and visit the shrines. There were no modern complexes for other areas of tourism.
In 2019, at the initiative of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, a very ambitious project began – the construction of a huge complex on an area of 212 hectares along the rowing canal in Samarkand region. An international team of experienced architects and engineers was involved, and a deeply thought-out project was developed. The Head of the state visited this place several times and gave recommendations on finalizing the project, taking into account the traditions of national architecture and terms of increasing comfort. Together with domestic qualified builders, experienced specialists from Turkey, the UK, and Italy took part in these activities.
Thus, in a short time, despite the difficulties of the pandemic, this huge complex was completed.
The multidisciplinary center includes 8 modern hotels, a congress hall, the Eternal City Complex, an amphitheater, and many other facilities. It can serve 2 million tourists a year.
“This wonderful center is a continuation of the architectural traditions founded by our great ancestors. I am sure that it will become a symbolic bridge between our glorious history and the Third Renaissance, the foundation of which we are currently forming”, the President noted.
There is a deep meaning in the fact that this complex was given the name “Great Silk Road”. The buildings of the complex reflect historical paintings of the era of the Great Silk Road. Thus, when designing the Eternal City ensemble, the plot of the fresco, preserved on the wall of ancient Afrasiab depicting the ceremony of receiving ambassadors from Korea, China, India and other countries by the Sogdian ruler, was used.
There is an old bazaar, 40 craft workshops in the traditions of all regions of the country. Artisans will conduct master classes for tourists in wood carving, pottery, silk paper, jewelry, and carpet weaving.
This is only a part of a large-scale work to develop the tourism industry in Uzbekistan. The new tourist center will play an important role in increasing the number of foreign tourists coming to Samarkand to more than 1.5 million people in the coming years. In general, the goal is to increase the number of tourists coming to Uzbekistan from the current 2 million to 9 million in the next five years. Most importantly, the number of people employed in the tourism sector will exceed 500,000 people.
In addition, modern hotels and a congress hall have all conditions for holding large-scale events. International events will soon be held here, such as the Summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the Meeting of the Leaders of the Member States of the Organization of Turkic States. Next year, the ancient city will host the annual meeting of the Board of Governors of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the General Assembly of the World Tourism Organization.
“The Saga of the Eternal City” musical program has become an embodiment of the new center. The show, which united the art of Uzbekistan people and the world, gave the ceremony a special atmosphere.