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Living in Dushanbe

Living in Dushanbe is a colorful and exciting experience: the city has a particular charm, and even if it doesn’t boast of a cosmopolitan, frenetic vibe, it is still possible to discover its different and intriguing aspects. Find out more with the InterNations Expat Guides!

Culture and Leisure

Tajik has a proud and eccentric culture, largely influenced by its colorful past. For example, the sport of Buzkashi is said to have originated here, and while historically it was banned, in recent years it has experienced something of resurgence, and is well worth watching if you get the chance. Unpredictable, exhilarating, and uniquely Tajik, there is nothing quite as dramatic as being part of a watching crowd seeing a stampede of horses running towards you.

In terms of art and aesthetics, you will also find much to please you in Dushanbe. With an abundance of regional artisans, you will find creativity in numerous forms, from handicrafts and traditional artwork to meticulously designed garments such as Pamiri socks and Panjikent suzanis. Such wares are not only arresting to the eye, but also serve as a unique token of a rich cultural history. You could even send some of these gifts home as a once in a lifetime souvenir. 

Healthcare in Dushanbe

Medical and healthcare centers, facilities, ambulances and equipment in Tajikistan are not necessarily as abundant as one may hope. As a result, it is highly recommended that expats take out an international travel insurance policy. This is the only way to ensure the best access to Dushanbe’s best medical professionals.

This is because Dushanbe essentially operates a two-tiered healthcare system for foreigners seeking medical treatment: the public and private sector. While there are many public hospitals and ambulances, the medical staff, medicine, and equipment do not live up to the same vigorous standards we uphold in Europe. As a result, taking out a travel insurance policy will ensure access to the private centers of Dushanbe where the quality of service, equipment, medicines, and other supplies is significantly higher.

As Tajikistan has no nationalized medicine plan, cash payments for medical treatments are the norm. Public sector treatments are considerably cheap by western standards, but this comes with a significant dip in quality. For all western expatriates moving to Dushanbe, we cannot recommend international medical insurance enough.

Education in Dushanbe

Tajikistan provides an education system fully supported by state funding, and run by the Ministry of Education. However, the graduation rate compared to the private, typically international schools is far lower, so families may wish to consider the many private sector education options available. 

As for higher education, Tajikistan possesses a variety of internationally acclaimed institutions, which is impressive for such a recently formed country. For example, Khujand State University, established in 1932, has 76 departments in 15 faculties, including but not limited to: mathematics, physics and engineering, art and graphics, cybernetics, foreign languages, the Management and Computer Technology Institute, and many more.

Edmund Taylor

"Tajikstan's economic recovery and growth are truly striking, and expat contacts to navigate its booming business are invaluable. "

Raquel Santos

"Dujanbe really merits its reputation as the 'jewel of Central Asia', and finding fellow expats to go out with was a true delight. "

Global Expat Guide