Ashgabat - Post Report Question and Answers

What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?

All housing is comprised of apartments in two primary neighborhoods. Every apartment had its own quirk, but overall were nice, spacious and modern. The building heat/AC is centrally controlled by the building and Turkmen do not like to be cold so heat is often switched on earlier than most Americans would want in the fall and left on through the spring. One day, the Embassy compound will be finished and 60% of residences will be on compound. The compound apartments will be smaller, but nice and modern. They will also have the convenience of controlling their own temperature, will be next to the school, and will have a gym and pool. - Dec 2020

Large three bedroom apartment with beautiful views of either the city or the mountains. Commute time to the International School is 10 minutes by foot. Commute to the US Embassy is about 15 minutes. - Mar 2019

We live is a very spacious apartment in Arcibil with chandeliers and 20 foot ceilings. The commute time is 20 minutes to work. - Jun 2018

Expats either live in homes in the city center or in apartment buildings about 15 minutes away. If you have a choice - go with the homes/apartments in the city! The other apartment buildings do not have reliable water, electricity or A/C. The commute time from the city is only about 5-10 minutes but the apartments out further is still only 15 minutes. - Feb 2016

There is no private land ownership in Turkmenistan, and the government continues to relocate occupants of single family homes around Ashgabat into apartment complexes on the outskirts of the city in order to raze the structures and build its showpiece capital city of white marble buildings. Locals and expats alike therefore tend to live in multi-story (9-10 floor) apartment buildings. Expats tend to live in the so called 'elite' apartments on the south side of town. These structures are the most newly built, and are large 3-bedroom flats. Occupants reported few problems, though the underground parking structures sometimes had flooding and icing issues now and again due to a lack of drainage. The U.S. Embassy has its own residential compound, which consisted of several USG-owned town houses. The compound will be a construction zone for the next several years, however, as it will become home to the new embassy compound. Currently, commute times from the residential compound or apartments to the embassy is about 20 minutes, mostly because Ashgabat's roads have a tightly enforced 60 kph (36-37 mph) speed limit. Once the new embassy compound is completed, all commutes for official Americans will be by foot and under 2 minutes. - Jul 2014

If you work at the U.S. Embassy, you are located either on the housing compound, in a 1970’s style townhouse, or you are in town in a white marble apartment building. I can’t speak for the townhouses, but the apartment buildings are horrible. The central air conditioning is only turned on after June 1st (and by this time it’s over 100 degrees outside), and the heat is turned on starting November 1st. You cannot control the heat or air conditioning. The apartments are literally leaning, as they were not build to support the heavy marble that the president ordered to be placed on every apartment building. Traffic is terrible unless you want to leave your apartment before 6:30 a.m. God forbid that the president is driving anywhere in the city at the same time you are, because the police will literally close every road and leave you sitting in traffic for an hour or more. If not for the traffic, it would only take you approximately 10 minutes to get to the embassy. - Oct 2012

There are only two choices for housing. Really nice apartments with high ceilings or townhouses located on the residential compound. Both have pluses and minuses, but either way you can't go wrong. Commute time is negligible, except when there are road closures for Presidential travel. - Mar 2012

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