Turkmenistan opens US$2.25 billion airport with 1,100sq m of duty free and retail space

Operation of food & beverage areas

Before passport control:
A) Gul Zaman restaurant chain – cafeteria at International arrivals area
B) Gul Zaman restaurant chain – cafeteria at International departures area

After passport control:
C) Lachin Hotel`s – catering department of State Civil Agency Turkmenhovayollary
D) Ahal – public food enterprise of Ministry of Trade of Turkmenistan

TURKMENISTAN. A US$2.25 billion airport with 1,100sq m of duty free and retail space opened last month in Turkmenistan’s capital city Ashgabat.

Ashgabat International Airport also features a 3,900sq m food & beverage zone.

The duty free and retail areas are operated by Ashgabat State Trading company of Trade Ministry of Turkmenistan; state association Turkmenhaly (Turkmen Carpet); Ashgabat Textile Complex of Ministry of Textile Industry of Turkmenistan; State service company Turkmenpochta (Turkmen Post); and Pharmacy of Healthcare Ministry of Turkmenistan.

As well as traditional product categories, Ashgabat Duty Free offers locally produced juices, and hand-made garments, accessories, souvenirs and gift items from the country. A separate store sells carpets made in Turkmenistan [the export of local carpets is generally prohibited but carpets with a sealed certificate purchased from this store are exempted].



The architecturally-impressive airport takes the shape of a falcon, one of the national symbols of Turkmenistan.

It has the capacity to handle 14 million passengers per year. However, strict visa requirements mean that international tourist numbers in Turkmenistan are limited. Government figures show that just 105,000 tourists visited the country in 2015. All international visitors require visas and visits longer than five days require a state-endorsed tour and official guides.

Turkmenistan has a rich cultural heritage and features UNESCO World Heritage-listed sites and the Darvaza Crater, which has been nicknamed the ‘Door to Hell’.


The airport complex is built on a 12 million sq m site, and features 266 different buildings. It was constructed by Turkish company Polimeks.

The main terminal building covers 166,000sq m and features duty free shops, cafes and restaurants, business and VIP lounges, and a 5-star hotel.

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