During my recent survey, I visited two small cities in Kazakhstan near the Caspian Sea. Oil is the main industry in this region, and these cities are no exception. The first of these cities I visited was Aktau, which directly overlooks the Caspian Sea. The city was originally built as an oil camp decades ago, and even now the city feels rural. The air in the city is dry and roads are not particularly walkable.
During my recent survey, I visited a number of cities in Kazakhstan, including Almaty, the country’s largest city and former capital, and Nur-Sultan, the capital since 1997 and known as Astana until March 2019. Nur-Sultan was a city planned under the direction of former president Nursultan Nazarbayev and was once called “the space station in the steppes” by the Guardian newspaper.
Rents in Almaty are now surveyed in the local currency, KZT. Asking rents are down in KZT and USD for six and 12 months. The KZT has devalued due to a drop in gas and oil prices, a major source of income for Kazakhstan’s economy.