WCO IT/TI Conference & Exhibition

About Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan is situated at the eastern side of the Transcaucasia (or South Caucasus) on the shores of the Caspian Sea. The population of Azerbaijan exceeds 9.8 million and the territory covers an area of 86.600 square kilometers. According to both of these figures, Azerbaijan is the largest country of the South Caucasus. The City of Baku is the capital and the country’s largest city. Azerbaijan shares borders with Iran (765 km), Turkey (15 km), Russia (390 km), Georgia (480 km) and Armenia (1007 km). The eastern shores of the country are washed by the waters of the Caspian Sea.

The nature of Azerbaijan – partly wild and deserted and partly covered with the remains of ancient forests, is a never-ending marvel for any traveller. The flora of Azerbaijan is exceptionally rich. It brings to mind a large national carpet, thanks to its brightness and the variety of rich colours. The terrain of Azerbaijan is densely carved by many rivers and mountain streams, some of which form noisy waterfalls, echoing deep into the mountains.


The National language here is Azerbaijani. However, Russian is also widely used and many younger residents also speak English. During the plenary sessions English and French translation will be provided.

Time Zone

Azerbaijan Time (AZT) is 4 hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). This time zone is in use during standard time in: Asia.


The climate of Azerbaijan is very diversified and 9 of the 11 existing climatic zones are present in this country. The complicated geographical location and landscape, the proximity of the Caspian Sea, the effect of sun's radiation, air masses of different origin, etc., contribute to Azerbaijan climatological diversity. The Greater Caucasus, situated in the north of the country and stretching from the northwest to the southeast, protects the country from direct influences of northern cold air masses. That leads to the formation of a subtropical climate on most of the foothills and plains of the country. Temperatures during the summer months vary between 20°C and 35°C summers in Azerbaijan are often warm and sunny with dry periods.


Azerbaijani cuisine is full of different types of greens and vegetables such as aubergine, tomato, sweet pepper, spinach, cabbage, onion, sorrel, beet, radish, cucumber, green beans. Rice and products made from flour are widely used in national cuisine. Fresh herbs, including mint, coriander, dill, basil, parsley, tarragon, leek, chive, thyme, marjoram, green onion, and watercress are very popular and often accompany main dishes. The majority of national dishes are prepared of lamb, beef and poultry meat. Dishes prepared of minced meat are more prevalent. The sea, lakes and rivers of the Republic of Azerbaijan are abundant with different fish species, particularly white sturgeon. Sturgeon fish is widely used in preparation of national dishes. The Caspian Sea is home to many edible species of fish, including the sturgeon, Caspian salmon, kutum, sardines, grey mullet, and others. Black caviar from the Caspian Sea is one of Azerbaijan’s best-known delicacies well sought after in other parts of the world.

Below is a short list of ten most delicious dishes of Azerbaijani cuisine that you absolutely have to taste at least once:

1) Plov or Pilaf (It is a classic dish of rice and meat, sometimes flavoured with herbs and condiments)

2) Kabab and Shashlik (It is made from different kinds of marinated chopped or minced meat, chicken or fish, and vegetables, such as bell pepper, onion, mushroom and tomato. All this is pinned on a skewer and is fried over fire like a barbecue.)

3) Qutab (Qutab is a sort of pancake with different stuffing. Different kinds of meat, spinach, cheese, pumpkin are among the most popular staffing.)

4) Dolma (Dolma is the traditional recipe of stuffed vegetables. Common vegetables to fill dolma include tomato, pepper and aubergine.)

5) Dovga (Dovga is a traditional Azerbaijani yoghurt soup cooked with a variety of herbs)

6) Kufta bozbash (This soup is made from meatballs, potatoes and peas boiled in broth with saffron and turmeric.)

7) Lavangi (Lavangi is a casserole of chicken stuffed with walnuts and herbs.)

8) Dushbara (Dushbara is a traditional Azerbaijani meal, a sort of dumplings of dough filled with ground meat and condiments.)

9) Shekerbura (Shekerbura is one of the most popular desserts in Azerbaijan. It is a sweet patty, filled with ground almonds, hazelnuts, or walnuts mixed with sugar or honey.)

10) Pakhlava (Pakhlava is another popular dessert. Several layers of very thin dough alternate layers of chopped nuts with honey to prepare this pastry.)


In Azerbaijan electrical outlet plugs in use are the types C, E & F. The standard voltage is 220 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz. The type of plug used is: 

Currency Exchange

The currency authorized for any transaction in Azerbaijan is Manat. Its exchange rate varies daily in relation to the US dollar and Euro. You can exchange money in banks and forex bureaus located in Baku and the airport.

1 AZN = 0,5882 USD, 1 USD= 1.700 AZN

1 AZN = 0,5037 EUR, 1 EUR= 1.9852 AZN


Credit and debit cards are accepted in commercial establishments, however, it is recommended to carry cash.

How to dial

A caller from outside Azerbaijan would dial the international access number (international call prefix) of the originating country (00 for many countries, 011 from NANP areas), then dial the country code (in this case 994), omit the trunk prefix, then dial the two-digit area code, and then the seven-digit local number.

Tourist information

Selling itself as the 'Land of Fire', Azerbaijan (Azərbaycan) is a tangle of contradictions and contrasts. Neither Europe nor Asia, it's a nexus of ancient historical empires, but also a ‘new’ nation rapidly transforming itself with a super-charged gust of petro-spending.

Azerbaijan is often referred to as the “Land of Fire”. It is known that the majority of those residing on this territory before the Common Era were fire worshippers. Since then, the country has preserved the ancient evidence of that era: cave paintings, statues of gods and ancient temples. Two of the most vivid examples of this heritage are the temple of fire-worshippers (“Ateshgah”) at Surakhani near Baku and “Yanardag”, translated as the “burning mountain”. According to legend, “Ateshgah” temple was built by Indian fire worshippers, who arrived here after learning about the eternally burning fire, emitted from the ground, and were so amazed by what they had seen, that they decided to build a temple on this very place. These lands were considered to be sacred for centuries and throughout history were worshipped by the followers of Zoroastrianism, Hinduism and Sikhism.

The cosmopolitan capital, Baku, rings a Unesco-listed ancient core with dazzling 21st-century architecture and sits on the oil-rich Caspian Sea. In the surrounding semi-desert are mud volcanoes and curious fire phenomena. Yet barely three hours’ drive away, timeless rural villages, clad in lush orchards and backed by the soaring Great Caucasus mountains are a dramatic contrast. In most such places, foreigners remain a great rarity, but in return for a degree of linguistic dexterity, you'll find a remarkable seam of hospitality. And a few rural outposts – from village homestays to glitzy ski- and golf-hotels – now have have the odd English speaker to assist travellers.

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