In the Message addressed to the nation of Kazakhstan, the President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, set a goal to involve 30% of the Kazakh population in sports by 2020. It is no coincidence, then, that Almaty is going to host the 28th Winter Universiade in 2017. Once again, this proves that the nation’s sportsmanship has excelled international levels.

History of Almaty

Almaty is the largest city of Kazakhstan and is located in the mountainous area of c4070ae41a73e92ccd61f10c4d1436ecSouthern Kazakhstan in the foothills of the Trans-Ili Alatau.

In 1854  Fort “Verniy” was built on the riverbank of Malaya Almatinka. On 5 February, 1921, Verniy was renamed “Alma-Ata.” During the same year, Alma-Ata was chosen as the capital of the Kazakh SSR. In 1997, the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, approved the decree to establish Almaty’s special status as the country’s capital.

In 2016, Almaty celebrates 1000-year anniversary. The millennial anniversary of Almaty was included into the list of the special dates of UNESCO, as it was announced at the 38th session of UNESCO’s General Conference. During the current year, more than 100 events will be held in Almaty.


Almaty is a cultural, financial and industrial centre of Kazakhstan. Growth of the nation’s GRP has reached 8 trillion tenge, which is 20% of Kazakhstan’s entire GDP. The main drivers of the city’s economy are industry, the service sector, and agriculture. Food processing and light industries are also prevalent in the city’s economy and form 70% of all industrial enterprises. Moreover, the employment rate of the city is 92.2%.


Population of the city is around 1.5 million. According to the Health Department, the average age of the city’s population is between 33 and 34 years of age. Significantly, there are more than 100 nationalities living in Almaty.


The city is divided into 8 administrative districts: Alatau, Almaly, Medeu, Bostandyk, Tursib, Auezov, Jetisu, and Nauryzbay. There are extensive networks of metro stations, bus stations, trolleybuses, taxis, and two railway stations (Almaty 1, Almaty 2).
The Almaty airport is the largest one in Kazakhstan. Indeed, it also takes first place in domestic and international airfreight. In one year, Almaty’s airport can serve 4500000 passengers. The intensity of flights can reach 220 take-off and landing operations in a span of simply 24 hours.
Also, there are more than 250 hotels in Almaty. There, you will be able to experience true Kazakh hospitality.


There is a high concentration of business centres, theatres, museums, art galleries, showrooms and modern entertainment complexes. Residents and guests of Almaty can visit 5 sports stadiums, the hippodrome, the High-Mountain Sports Complex “Medeu,” the “Shymbulak” Ski Resort, the Butakovka gorges, the Big Almaty Lake and Mynzhylky.
Almaty has a rich history and is home to 126 architectural and art monuments of national and local significance. The most ancient buildings of the city are: the Abay Opera House (1936-1941), the Kazakh National Academy of Arts (1930), the Government House (1951-1957), Verniy’s Orphanage, a monument of wooden architecture (1892), St. Nicholas Cathedral (1908) and the Museum House of A. Baitursynov.

One more significant fact about the city is that Almaty is the hometown of a famous variety of apples called “Aport.” One apple weighs around 350 grams, although sometimes they can even reach weights of 400-900 grams. Aport has become the symbol of the city, with the Aport apple orchards of Almaty being famous in many different countries.

Almaty – the Host City of the 2017 Winter Universiade

Almaty is actively preparing to host the 2017 Winter Universiade. Construction of three new sports venues has already begun. By the time the Universiade is opened, the city will have constructed an Athletes’ Village for 5000 people, an Ice Palace with 12,000 seats, and an Ice Arena with 3,000 seats. The Athletes’ Village and the Ice Palace will be located in the Alatau district, whereas the Ice Arena will be located in the Medeu district.

It is not the first time Almaty has hosted this kind of event. In 2011, Almaty hosted the 7th Asian Winter Games. For this event, the International Ski-Jump Complex “Sunkar” and the Cross Country, Skiing, and Biathlon Stadium “Alatau” were built. Moreover, the High-Mountain Sports Complex “Medeu,” the “Shymbulak” Ski Resortand the Baluan Sholak Sports Palace were modernized at that time as well. All these sports venues are essential elements of the sports infrastructure of Kazakhstan.