Booming Almaty { 8 images } Created 7 Jul 2010

Almaty, the former capital of Central Asian country Kazakhstan, is booming with wealth from money flowing into the country from the discovery and exploration of oil and natural gas. While new high-end fashion boutiques open and European sports cars prowl the streets, modern skyscrapers rise into the sky and the choice of fine-dining restaurants grows.

New wealth allows many Almaty residents to purchase everything from Hummer SUVs to six-figure limousines, expensive jewelry and designer clothing. The city boasts restaurants serving high-end European, Chinese, Mexican, Indian, Russian, and Central Asian cuisines. Top fashion design companies including Lagerfeld, Gucci, Versace, Boss, Gaultier and others sell products in the city. Popular bars, restaurants and nightclubs have adopted themes from Europe and the United States while the media industry steadily grows with new glossy magazines and providers of satellite television channels.

But while a small minority can enjoy these luxuries and pleasures, many people - primarily those who have moved from the countryside - are still unemployed and live in poverty.
View: 25 | All