One popular nickname for Nur-Sultan is the “Dubai of Central Asia” reflecting the city’s modern architecture.
The Khan Shatyr shopping mall in Nur-Sultan is also the world’s biggest tent.
Other futuristic architectural structures in Nur-Sultan include its: Palace of Peace and Reconciliation, a 196.85-foot (60 meter) high glass pyramid; Central Concert Hall which resembles a blossoming flower; and Baiterek, a tower rising 328.1 feet (100 meters) that looks like a giant lollipop to some tourists.
Research website numbeo ranks Nur-Sultan in the bottom 37% compared to the 250 cities evaluated on its overall quality of life index at June 2020. Nur-Sultan scored poorly on index factors such as climate (worst four), purchasing power (weakest 29%) and traffic commute time (fastest 37%). On the positive side, Nur-Sultan rates in the top 32% for safety and leading 36% for property price to income ratio.
Winters in Nur-Sultan make it consistently among the three coldest capital cities on the planet along with Mongolia’s Ulaanbaatar and Canada’s Ottawa. Temperatures in Kazakhstan’s capital plunge as low as -31 degrees Fahrenheit (-35 degrees Celsius).
Nur-Sultan was recognized by the Guinness World Records as the site where numerous bench-pressing records were set at the World Para Powerlifting Championships in July 2019. One example is the 544 pound 8 ounces bench press achieved by Mongolian Sodnompiljee Enkhbayar in the under 236 pound (107 kilogram) athlete category.
Nur-Sultan is home to the headquarters for KazMunaiGas Exploration, a large oil and gas operator that ranks among the Forbes Global 2000 World’s Biggest Public Companies.
From an international trade perspective, Kazakhstan exported an estimated US$57.7 billion worth of products around the globe in 2019. Its most valuable exports include crude oil (58.1% of Kazakhstan’s global total), petroleum gas (6%), refined copper and alloys (4.3%), ferro-alloys (3.3%), radioactive chemical elements (2.7%), copper ores and concentrates (2%), refined petroleum oils (1.8%), wheat (1.7%), iron ores and concentrates (1.2%), and precious-metal ores and concentrates (1%) according to the International Trade Centre.
Capital Facts for Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan: Quick Reference
Below, you will find 10 of the most famous people born in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan.
- Konstantin Airich, heavyweight boxer (born Nov. 4, 1978)
- Anna Alyabyeva, gymnastics Olympic medalist (born Nov. 13, 1993)
- Dinara Saduakassova, chess grandmaster (born Oct. 31, 1996)
- Larisa Bergen, Olympic volleyball medalist (born Sep. 22, 1949)
- Karim Masimov, former prime minister (born Jun. 15, 1965)
- Anton Pampushnyy, actor (born May 5, 1982)
- Viktor Lakisov, visual effects director (born Jul. 23, 1976)
- Oksana Sidorenko, director (born Jul. 7, 1984)
- Dana Kaparova, model & Miss World contestant (born 1988)
- Sultan Munadi, journalist killed by friendly fire (born Nov. 22, 1976)
Note: Data for our Famous People tab was sourced from Google searches mostly targeting published Wikipedia articles specific to each person’s name.
Demonym for a Kazakhstani resident: Kazakh
Population: 1,165,983 (Nur-Sultan) at August 14, 2020
Density: 3,728 people per square mile (1,439 per square kilometer)
Population: 18,804,915 (Kazakhstan) at August 14, 2020
Density: 18 people per square mile (7 per square kilometer)
Median age for all Kazakhstan: 30.7 years old
GDP: US$537.7 billion in 2019 (Kazakhstan)
GDP per person: $28,849
Note: The above country-level GDP metrics are on a Purchasing Power Parity basis and are in U.S. dollars. Credible city GDP statistics for Nur-Sultan were unavailable.
Official currency used in Nur-Sultan: Kazakhstani tenge
Capital landmarks: Nur-Sultan Arena, Baiterek Tower, Hazret Sultan Mosque, Nur-Nur-Sultan Mosque, Kazakhstan Central Concert Hall, Museum of the First President of Kazakhstan and Palace of Peace and Reconciliation
Brookings Institution, Global Metro Monitor Report (includes GDP data).
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Central Asia: Kazakhstan.
Central Intelligence Agency, World Factbook, Field Listing: Major Urban Areas.
CityMetric, Where are largest cities in the world? 2015 edition.
CNN, Astana: The world’s weirdest capital city.
Demographia, World Urban Area, 12th Annual Edition.
Official Government Website, Mayor’s Office of Astana.
Forbes, The World’s Biggest Public Companies: #1,321 KazMunaiGas Exploration.
Guinness World Records, Heaviest Paralympic powerlift (-107 kg, male).
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Databases.
International Trade Centre, Trade Map.
Numbeo, Quality of Life Index by City.
Wikimedia Commons, City Flags.
Note: Some city flags were unavailable. If so, attribution belongs to Wikimedia Commons for pertinent country flags.
WorldOMeter, Kazakhstan Population.
World Population Review, Astana Population.
Kazakhstanis celebrate their Independence Day on December 16 each year, after breaking free from the old Soviet Union on December 16, 1991.
Nur-Sultan’s land area measures 312.8 square miles (810.2 square kilometers), with an estimated population of 1.2 million residents in August 2020.
At the country level, Kazakhstan’s population count was 18.8 million at August 14, 2020. The country’s land area equals 1,042,360 square miles (2,699,700 square kilometers).
Population density is more concentrated within Kazakhstan’s capital city Astana, with an average 3,728 residents per square mile (1,439 per square kilometer).
Zooming out to the country’s overall land boundaries, population density drops to 18 Kazakhs per square mile (7 per square kilometer).