About the city
Atyrau, known as Guryev until 1991, is a city in Kazakhstan, and the capital of Atyrau Region. It is located at the mouth of the Ural River on the Caspian Sea, 2,700 kilometres west of Almaty and 351 kilometres east of the Russian city of Astrakhan. 20 meters below sea level. Atyrau is divided by the Ural, which is part of the border between Europe and Asia making Atyrau one of two cities in the world to be located on two different continents. It is a major hub for the oil industry, serving both the Tengiz and Kashagan oilfields. About 80% of the city's population is ethnic Kazakh. The population is just under 500,000 but note that this is representative as there are many Ex-PATs in the city who work or pass through.
The university is located very centrally in the city.
Recently the city has seen rapid growth in new housing and in the development of better shopping centres, much of the older housing is being reclaimed for the future development. Climatically Atyrau can be rather dramatic with temperatures over 40 degrees in the summer and below -30 in winter. Wind is an important feature with many days of winds sweeping in off the steppe. Not much rainfall during the year but when it does rain it does cause some issues with mud and general getting around. Many days in the year see blue sky and sunshine.