Aktau - the city built from scratch

Aktau was literally built from scratch. The decision to build a city on a deserted and waterless territory belongs to the administration of the former Soviet Union. The main task was to organize the country's nuclear shield, thanks to uranium deposits located in this territory. The city was created according to the design plan developed by the Leningrad( now Saint-Petersburg) Design Institute.

A plant for the extraction of uranium ore was opened for the processing and concentration of the uranium onsite. As well as plants, the city’s infrastructure was built from scratch, to provide decent living conditions in a waterless desert for the people. The city does not have natural sources of drinking water, the need for water was fully satisfied with recycled seawater.

Professionals from all over the USSR were invited for the construction of the city and staying to work in it. The best minds: engineers and young professionals came to Aktau to create a city from scratch. Most of them remained to live there.

After the collapse of the USSR, the city became a center for the development of oil and gas fields, that were discovered back in the 20th century.

Aktau is the youngest city in Kazakhstan. Until the 2000s, there was no private living sector. Today, in addition to multi-story building neighbourhoods, cottage micro districts were built.

As a matter of fact, in the city doesn’t exit the common concept of “streets”. Home addresses of people consist of numbers: For example, 1-2-4, which means 1st micro district, a second house and apartment number 4. Aktau residents are comfortable with it, but for the residents of other cities and countries, it is extremely unusual.

There are only two cities in the world where the Lighthouse is located on the roof of a residential building. One of them is Aktau. It is a landmark of the region.


Caspian Riviera Grand Palace is located in the city, and the 6th floor of this hotel is inscribed in a sheer cliff above sea level. The largest aquarium in the CIS is located in this hotel.

The city itself is located along the sea coast. Along the sea lies the modern promenade. And in 2019, in Aktau, a unique beauty path was opened, inscribed in a huge sheer rock.

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