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«CONTENT WE LCO ME MESSAGES 4 AZERBAIJAN CONVENTION BUREAU 8 WE ARE AT YOUR SERVICE 10 WE LCO ME TO AZ ER BA IJ A N 12 10 GREAT REASONS TO CHOOSE ...»

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AZERBAIJAN MEETING

PLANNER`S GUIDE

CONTENT

WE LCO ME MESSAGES 4

AZERBAIJAN CONVENTION BUREAU 8

WE ARE AT YOUR SERVICE 10

WE LCO ME TO AZ ER BA IJ A N 12

10 GREAT REASONS TO CHOOSE AZERBAIJAN 14

AZERBAIJAN IN BRIEF 20

AZERBAIJAN MEETING A L L IA N CE 24

AZERBAIJAN MEETING ALLIANCE 26

AZERBAIJAN AIRLINES 27

HOTELS 28

PROFESSIONAL CONGRESS ORGANISERS &

DESTINATION MANAGEMENT COMPANIES 54

AFFILIATE MEMBERS 66

V E NUES 70

WELCOME MESSAGES

The tourism industry of Azerbaijan has been experiencing a significant growth making a substantial contribution to the country`s economy with an increasing number of international arrivals.

Azerbaijan’s unique location at the crossroads of East and West and its rich historical and cultural heritage, combined with modern infrastructure and heartfelt hospitality all positively contribute to its appeal as a destination. Along with excellent air accessibility, world class conference facilities and high quality hotels to accommodate events of different sizes and scales, unique dining venues and authentic on-site activities, all work together to make Azerbaijan visible to the World of Meetings.

The Azerbaijan Convention Bureau, a leading innovator within the industry, has the mandate from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism to implement the strategy for Meetings Industry development in our country. The Bureau acts as a national umbrella organization, which aims to strengthen the image of Azerbaijan as a world class Meeting Destination, by providing valuable information and support services and presenting the interests of local Meetings Industry partners.

We are looking forward to welcoming you and your delegates to Azerbaijan!

Respectfully Yours, Dr. Abulfas Garayev, Minister of Culture and Tourism Republic of Azerbaijan Welcome to Azerbaijan and welcome to the world of meetings, conferences and incentives in our country.

Events and gatherings are becoming increasingly important to Azerbaijan and I am extremely pleased with the development of the Azerbaijan Convention Bureau, which is an integral par

–  –  –

We appreciate the trust placed in us and I am confident that the team of the Azerbaijan Convention Bureau will work diligently and enthusiastically to provide first-class service as a valuable complement to your event in Azerbaijan.

Yours Sincerely, Dr. Nazim Samadov, Deputy Minister of Culture and Tourism

–  –  –

Identifying Accommodations and Facilities

• Assisting with offers and availability for meeting facilities

• Assisting with offers and availability for accommodations

• Offering transportation suggestions

• Coordinating site inspections and scheduling appointments Advice and Welcome Services

• Suggestions for pre- and post- convention tours or trips

• Suggestions for social programme and evening functions

• Suggestions for incentive programmes

• Calendar of local events

• Official welcome letters

–  –  –

• Maps and promotional materials

• List of dining, nightlife and shopping facilities

• Images and videos Meeting Planner’s Guide

• Guide to meeting and convention facilities in Azerbaijan

–  –  –

Azerbaijan Convention Bureau is a not-for-profit public-private partnership, part-funded by Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism so our over-arching aim is to market Azerbaijan as a premier business events destination. As such, AzCB experts are always happy to share their wealth of knowledge and contacts with you. Providing free and impartial advice and assistance is our raison d’etre. After all, your success is our success.

We are looking forward to working with you – please get in touch!

Yours Sincerely, Florian Sengstschmid and the team of the Azerbaijan Convention Bureau

WELCOME TO AZERBAIJAN

10 GREAT REASONS TO CHOOSE AZERBAIJAN

1. Intriguingly old, thrillingly new Imagine yourself climbing a fortress tower so old that historians have lost track. Stare out across an ancient citadel ringed by crenulated walls. Watch yachts bobbing across an azure vista of the fabled Caspian Sea. Observe a hectically mushrooming skyline sprouting fanciful 21st century architecture. Then stroll back to a pampering at one of Baku’s gamut of dazzling new five star hotels or to a modest but hospitable family pension tucked into Baku’s medieval warren of old-city alleys. Either way, feel refreshed, inspired and ready for the next day’s conference or convention in Eurasia’s stunning new business destination.





2. A Cosmopolitan Hub for Eurasia

Ever better connected, Baku is one of Eurasia’s biggest air traffic hubs and is closer to Central Europe than you might have thought. But Azerbaijan is not just conveniently located – it also benefits from being a remarkable human melting pot that straddles four great cultures – European, Turkic, Russian and Persian – all seamlessly integrated within a harmonious nation.

Where else can you find a hospitality industry where virtually all staff will speak Turkish and Russian along with decent English and a smattering of Farsi? Where else can you gather delegates across the CIS, the Turkic world and Iran with a minimum of visa formalities?

3. Dazzling New Facilities

As though by the wave of a magic wand, Baku has suddenly unleashed one of the world’s most astonishing building booms. In less than a decade a remarkable mixture of Parisian-styled stone palaces and breathtaking marvels of 21st century modernist architecture have multiplied. Few architectural sights have a greater wow-factor than the Zaha Hadid-designed Heydar Aliyev Center. Or the trio of sinuous silver Flame Towers that crown the city’s western flank. Both of the above could contain your next event! And Azerbaijan has a parallel bonanza of luxurious international-standard hotels. Facilities are state of the art as a large percentage of all conference venues is brand new.

4. Cultural Riches

You’re drinking local wine in a medieval caravanserai. You’re sipping fragrant Lankaran tea in a silk-draped cavern teahouse puffing at an apple flavoured hubble bubble. You’re watching Caucasian dancers wafting arabesques in vibrant chiffon as their menfolk high kick pointy-toed in heavy leather boots to the bloodstirring wail of the Zurna flute. You’re invited for Novruz dinner eating nutty-sweet baklava, lighting a lucky candle and leaping across a courtyard bonfire to celebrate the nation’s ancient spring-festival. You’re tapping feet at the Baku Jazz Club. You’re mesmerised by mugham. You’re pumping your fist at an Absheron beach DJ club. You’re lost in the magic of a Gara Garayev ballet.

And you’ve only just arrived. Let’s hope the conference ends early! Welcome to Baku – a mélange of cultural worlds together in one city.

5. Proactive Bid Support

Azerbaijan means business. The country has been a hub for regional conventions, sporting contests and trade fairs since the mid 1990s.

But we have ramped up our Meetings Industry focus considerably since hosting the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest and being awarded the 2015 European Olympic Games. Azerbaijan’s determination to be recognized as a major events venue is part of the Vision 2020 national strategy which aims at doubling the national GDP by the end of the decade and on growing visitor numbers. Given the enthusiasm to attain these ambitious goals, you can be assured of great commitment on bid support to ensure a highly advantageous solution for all stakeholders.

6. Experiences Wind surfers plough the sparkling turquoise waters of the fabled Caspian Sea. Adrenaline junkies scale the heights of Europe’s highest mountain range or plough down the pistes from two dazzling new ski resorts. In the mirage-prone semi desert, are those really wild antelope bounding across the steppe? Did we see flamingos on that lagoon? Are there really leopards amid the ironwoods of the Hirkan forest? Yes, you could speed across this compact country in just a few hours. Yet within its modest boundaries, Azerbaijan presents an awesome smorgasbord of climates, cultures and scenic wonders. A day trip is enough to see mud volcanoes and oaks, poppy fields and deserts, timeless villages and 21st-century cities. So go on, give yourself an extra day or two once you’re here. You won’t regret it.

7. Safe and open-minded

Bakuvians compete on a global stage as peacocks of passeggiata.

Strolling, preening, socialising along the balmy Caspian-side Boulevard or in parks full of fountains. Flat capped old men, skinny-jeaned lads with front combed mop tops, scampering kids marshalled by mothers in 4-inch heels or Islamic chic scarfs – all rub shoulders in a city that’s determinedly multicultural. Mosques, churches, and synagogues are dotted between with coffee shops and pubs, boutiques and galleries. Single women walk home alone without a worry. And there’s so little petty crime that you could leave a bulging wallet in your back pocket as you wander.

8. Dynamic For several years since 2006, Azerbaijan’s economy has been one of the world’s best performing. The solid rise in GDP has been led by oil and gas but there is a rapid move to diversify and capitalise on the country’s potential as a regional value-added economy.

Even a short term visitor can see the remarkable improvements in infrastructure, the constant beautification of cityscapes and the ever expanding range of commercial opportunities that continue daily. The nation underlines its European credentials, most visibly in sporting and cultural arenas. Welcome to the 21st Century ‘Silk Road’.

9. Culinary Creativity

From German to Georgian, French to Asian Fusion, and featuring a rich, ever more refined Azerbaijani cuisine all of its own, Baku will delight your palate as much as your camera. Tantalising restaurants range from minimalist works of 21st-century art to olde worlde charmers wafting with 19th-century ambience through jewelled exotic teahouses, cosy coffee shops and genuinely ancient caravanserais tucked into the labyrinthine streets of Baku’s Old City. You’ll wish you had longer to sample them all.

10. Variety Distilled

The city of wind caresses visitors with its Caspian breezes.

But behind its maritime seascapes, artful water features and manicured green parks lies a semi desert hinterland. Here mud volcanoes burp and bubble. Spontaneous flames leap magically from lonely hillsides. And the antique fire temple of Surakhany still burns in own its unique fashion. Drive two hours on recently upgraded highways and the towering peaks of Europe’s tallest mountain range raise their snowy heads. Yes, it’s just a day trip to the Caucasus’s grandest new ski resorts and not much further to fascinating caravanserai towns like historic Sheki, idyllically set amid patchworks of bucolic fields and forested mountain foothills.

LOCATION OF AZERBAIJAN

MAP OF BAKU

ICHERI SHEHER (HISTORIC CENTRE)

AZERBAIJAN IN BRIEF

SO MUCH TO SEE, NO TIME TO WASTE

Azerbaijan`s plethora of attractions could keep you busy for days. Even if you have only an hour or two between meetings Baku has a whole series of inspirational places to snap the perfect photograph. Medieval alleyways and caravanserais beckon. Alluring cafes, exotic tea caverns, suave restaurants, great jazz clubs, carpet peddlers, fine museums, cutting edge galleries and sweet little curio shops are all a short stroll away. If you have a little longer there’s a hop-on, hop-off city bus tour. Or a series of intriguing excursions to mud volcanoes, petroglyphs, castles, archaeology sites and even a still-burning fire temple.

See two or three of those in an afternoon. If you’ve got all day you could see them all. Or head off into rural Azerbaijan and discover just how beautiful the countryside can be – deserts and mountains, canyons and beaches, forests and ski resorts – any accessible in under four hours.

HOW TO GET THERE

By Air You might be surprised just how well connected we are. Baku’s Heydar Aliyev International Airport (GYD), 20 km east of the capital, is the main gateway to Azerbaijan. It has direct links to nine EU cities, over 20 in Russia & CIS countries plus several destinations in Turkey, Gulf and Middle East Areas. Options are greatly increased thanks to seamless connections with global networks via Istanbul, London, Frankfurt, Vienna, Paris, Doha, Dubai, Tehran, Moscow, Riga or Kiev. There are also direct flights to China and long-haul routes to New York started from 24th of September 2014.The newly opened passenger terminal at Heydar Aliyev International Airport is one of the most beautiful and comfortable terminals in the world. Its appearance, design, and the infrastructure have been made at the highest level. The terminal has the capacity for up to 6 million passengers annually.

The total area of the complex is 65,000 sqm. The terminal has 30 escalators and 20 passenger elevators. The new facility is based on the latest scientific and technological achievements in the field of international aviation, including the so-called smart airport model.

By Rail



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