The General Secretariat of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), in coordination with the Republic of Azerbaijan and the OIC institutions, announced Qabala (Gabala) as the OIC City of Tourism 2020.

The Capital of Islamic Tourism is selected annually by the OIC in consultation with the Member States.

The OIC, in coordination with the Republic of Azerbaijan, is developing a comprehensive program to enhance tourism, showcase culture and arts, and host Islamic tourism exhibitions to the city and region. 2020 is set to be a hectic year for Qabala as the city is also playing host to the eleventh ministerial OIC conference in 2020.

“This is a significant honor for Qabala. The OIC is a powerful voice globally representing 57 states and a population of over 1.8 billion. This designation will afford Qabala with a unique opportunity to increase global awareness of the city as well as boost tourism and the local economy. Azerbaijan is already known globally for its ancient history, fascinating culture, and long-standing traditions. However, the regions and cities outside Baku are yet to be truly discovered and put on the map. I hope that 2020 marks a tourism watershed moment for my spiritual home and this 4th century ancient capital of Caucasian Albania. I would encourage all tourists, not just those in the Islamic world, to discover this ancient and all-season cultural city,” said Mr. Tale Heydarov, the founder of the European Azerbaijan School.

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“The city of Qabala offers a bouquet of activities for every season and tourists across all ages. Qabala annually hosts an International Classic Music Festival while also being home to the Tufan Ski Complex, one of the largest ski resorts in the entire Caucasus region.”