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Fact Sheet
Travel to the Kurdistan Region in Iraq

This fact sheet refers to the three governorates under the administration of the Kurdistan Regional
Government (KRG): Dohuk, Erbil and Suleimaniah.

THE KURDISTAN REGION IN IRAQ
With a population of nearly 4 million, the three governorates of Dohuk, Erbil and Suleimaniah cover about 40,000 square kilometres – four times the area of Lebanon and larger than that of the Netherlands.
The capital of the Region is Erbil, which locally is also known as Hawler. The next largest cities are Suleimaniah and Dohuk.
Since the establishment of the no-fly zone in 1991 and even more so since the liberation of Iraq in 2003, the
Kurdistan Region has undergone rapid development. Over 65% of the villages destroyed by Saddam Hussein’s regime have been rebuilt, two new airports have been opened and new highways, schools and hospitals are being constructed.
Foreign visitors are warmly welcomed. Among the growing number of visitors are international media and business people, as well as those returning from the Kurdish Diaspora.
While Middle Eastern customs of business, dress and behaviour are closely followed, Kurdistan is also progressive, pluralistic and relatively open.
SECURITY IN THE REGION
The security situation in the Kurdistan Region in Iraq is very different from the rest of Iraq. There are fewer than 200 US soldiers stationed in Kurdistan and not a single coalition soldier has lost their life in the Region since the start of the conflict. The official Regional guard, the Peshmerga forces, are highly trained and experienced in providing security. Working in close cooperation with the Regional Guard are the Asayish (the Security Police) and the regular Police, who provide comprehensive protection against threats and help with routine police matters.
To maintain the level of peace in Kurdistan, there are checkpoints on the borders and city perimeters.
Separate advice must be sought for travel outside of the Kurdistan Region. We also recommend that visitors consult travel advice issued by their country of domicile.
VISAS
Please check with your nearest Iraqi Embassy about visa requirements and the application process. The KRG
Representations abroad do not issue Iraqi visas, but can advise travellers on requirements. For advice on
visas, please email dfr@krg.org , uk@krg.org , or us@krg.org

FLIGHTS TO THE KURDISTAN REGION IN IRAQ
The Kurdistan Region has two international airports: Erbil International Airport and Suleimaniah International
Airport. Most flights operating from Europe and the Middle East fly directly to Kurdistan, without going via Baghdad. Several IATA members scheduled carriers already fly to Erbil, and more IATA airlines are expected to start flights there. Several charter companies also operate flights to Erbil or Suleimaniah.
Here are the links to the Erbil and Suleimaniah airports, which post fairly current flight schedules on their websites:
http://www.erbilairport.net/
http://www.sul-airport.com/
Below are the contact details and websites of the main airlines and flight operators serving the Kurdistan Region.

CHECKING IN AT ERBIL AND SULEIMANIAH INTERNATIONAL AIRPORTS
Passengers are advised to arrive at Erbil International Airport at least two and a half hours before departure,
to allow sufficient time to board the shuttle bus and go through security checkpoints to the departure terminal.

AIRLINES AND ROUTES
Erbil – Abu Dhabi
Operated by Etihad Airways
Website: www.etihadairways.com
Erbil – Amman
Operated by Royal Jordanian Airlines
Website: www.rj.com
Amman:
Tel: +962 6 4453052
Tel: +962 6 5857111
Erbil:
Tel: +964 (0)750 477 9898
Tel: +964 (0)750 491 0973
E-mail: eblrj@yahoo.com; eblga2@rj.com
Stockholm
Tel: +46 8 54 52 59 52
London:
Tel: +44 (0)8719 112112
Paris:
Tel: +33 (0)1 42 65 99 91
Erbil – Amman, Baghdad, Basra, Beirut, Damascus, Dubai, Istanbul, Najaf
Operated by Iraqi Airways
Iraqi Airways in Erbil:
Tel: +964 (0)750 423 5555
Tel: +964 (0)750 466 6444
E-mail: zagros_air@yahoo.com; info@zagros.net
Website: www.iraqiairways.co.uk

FLIGHT INFORMATION IS CORRECT AT TIME OF WRITING, BUT IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE. PLEASE CONFIRM FLIGHT
DETAILS DIRECTLY WITH THE AIRLINE OR OPERATOR.

Erbil – Athens, Gothenburg/Malmo, London Gatwick – via Stockholm, Manchester – via Athens
Operated by Viking Airlines
Website: www.miranaviation.com
Miran Aviation in Erbil:
Tel: +964 (0)66 2252772
Tel: +964 (0)750 725 9999 / Tel: +964 (0)750 720 5555
Mob: +964 (0)750 423 3511
Mob: +964 (0)750 423 3512
E-mail: info@miranaviation.com ; miranaviation@hotmail.com
Aerolympic in Stockholm:
Tel: +46 8 24 28 85
Fax: +46 8 21 43 43
Email: info@aerolympic.se
Contact Aerolympic in London:
Tel: +44 (0)207 100 1023
Erbil – Bahrain
Operated by Gulf Air
Website: www.gulfair.com
Gulf Air in Erbil:
Tel: +964 (0)750 401 7333
Tel: +964 (0)750 401 8333
Erbil – Beirut
Operated MEA (Middle East Airlines)
Website: www.mea.com.lb
MEA in Erbil:
Tel: +964 (0) 750 601 2933
Tel: +964 (0) 750 330.9715
E-mail: elias.awad@mea.com.lb
Erbil – Cairo
Operated by Egypt Air
Tel: + 002 (02) 22677010
Tel: + 002 (02) 22671804
Website: www.egyptair.com
Erbil – Dubai
Offered by Flydubai
Website: www.flydubai.com
Tel: +971 4 301 0800
Bookings in Erbil:
Zozik Air, Tel. +964 (0)750 425 5445
Laru Travel, Tel. +964 (0)770 745 8888
Erbil – Düsseldorf
Operated by Air Berlin
Website: www.airberlin.com
Tel. +964 (0)750 739 2585
Email: alazawi_saad57@yahoo.com
Erbil – Frankfurt
Operated by Lufthansa
Website: www.lufthansa.com
Lufthansa in Erbil:
Tel: + 964 (0)66 224 5470 to 5473
Email: office.ebl@austrian.com

Erbil – Gothenburg and Malmo, Stockholm
Operated by Tor Air
Website: www.torair.com
Erbil – Istanbul
Operated by two airlines, Turkish Airlines and Atlas Jet
Turkish Airlines
Website: www.turkishairlines.com
Erbil sales office:
Gulan Street Tower, Erbil
Tel. +964 (0)66 22 46 236
Email: mahmoud@stergroup.com
Atlas Jet
Website: www.atlasjet.com
Atlas Jet in Turkey:
Tel: +90 212 444 3387
Contact Atlas Jet in Erbil
Tel: +964 (0)750 – 418 4444/ 420 4444/ 420 5555
E-mail: info@zagros-group.net
Erbil – Munich
Operated by Germania Airline
Website: www.flygermania.de
Germania Airline in Erbil
Tel. +964-770-157 19 06
Erbil – Stockholm
Operated by Air Sweden
Website: www.flyswedish.se
Air Sweden in Sweden:
Tel: +46 73 740 0010
Air Sweden in Erbil:
+964 750 718 6262
E-mail: info@flyswedish.se
Erbil – Vienna
Operated by Austrian Airlines
Website: www.austrian.com
Austrian Airlines sales office in Erbil:
Shaqlawa Street, Brayan Bldg
Tel: + 964 (0)66 224 5470 to 5473
Office hours: Open to the public Sunday to Thursday, 10.00 to 15.00
Suleimaniah – Amman
Operated by Royal Jordanian Airlines
Website: www.rj.com
Amman:
Tel: +962 6 4453052
Tel: +962 6 5857111

Erbil:
Tel: +964 (0)750 477 9898
Tel: +964 (0)750 491 0973
E-mail: eblrj@yahoo.com; eblga2@rj.com

Stockholm
Tel: +46 8 54 52 59 52
Suleimaniah – Amman cont…

London:
Tel: +44 (0)8719 112112
Paris:
Tel: +33 (0)1 42 65 99 91

Suleimaniah – Amman, Baghdad, Basra, Beirut, Cairo, Damascus, Najaf
Operated by Iraqi Airways in Suleimaniah:
Sarchnar St. Hotel Parezh building
Tel +964 770 763 6568
Tel +964 770 763 6569
Tel +964 53 319 5345
E-mail: Iraqairwayssul@yahoo.com
Suleimaniah – Dubai, Istanbul, Munich, Tehran
Operated by Azmar Air
Contact Azmar Air in Suleimaniah
Tel: +964 770 157 19 06
Tel: +964 53 319 43 01
Tel: +964 53 319 43 02
Contact Azmar Air in Dubai
Tel: +971 4 266 8993
Fax: +971 4 266 8233
Mobile: +971 50 551 4161
Contact Azmar Air in Istanbul
Tel: +90 212 6633 718
Fax: +90 212 6633 513
Contact Azmar Air in Tehran
Tel: +982 1 8880 4467
Fax: +982 1 8894 0361

Suleimaniah – Gothenburg/Malmo, Manchester via Athens
Operated by Viking Airlines
Website: www.miranaviation.com
Contact Miran Aviation in Erbil:
Tel: +964 66 2252772
Tel: +964 750 725 9999
Tel: +964 750 720 5555
E-mail: info@miranaviationcom ; miranaviation@hotmail.com
Contact Aerolympic in London:
Tel: +44 (0)207 100 1023
Suleimaniah – Gothenburg, London
Operated by Tor Air
Website: www.torair.com
Suleimaniah – Munich – via Dusseldorf
Operated by Zozik Air
Website: www.zozik-aviation.de
Contact Zozik Air in Suleimaniah:
Tel. +964 (0)770 2177177
Tel. +964 (0)750 1024331
E-mail: fly@zozik-aviation.com
Contact Zozik Air in Germany:
Tel. +49 69 69 59 7370
Tel. +964 (0)750 1024331
E-mail: sinan@zozik-air.com

Routes operated by Iraqi Airways
Iraqi Airways operates many flights to Erbil or Suleimaniah international airports, for example Baghdad, Basra, Najaf, Amman, Beirut, Dubai, Damascus, Cairo, Frankfurt, Malmo, Stockholm and Tehran. Some services are direct to Suleimaniah or Erbil, and others are indirect. Please contact Iraqi Airways for details ofdirect and indirect routes.
Website: www.iraqiairways.co.uk and www.iq-airways.com
Iraqi Airways in Erbil:
Tel: +964 (0)750 423 5555
Tel: +964 (0)750 466 6444
E-mail: zagros_air@yahoo.com; info@zagros.net
Other Iraqi Airways telephone numbers:
Amman: + 962 6 4638600
Damascus: + 963 11 2450301 /2
Istanbul: +90 535 379 92 05
Baghdad: +964 1 537 2002
TRAVEL AGENCIES IN THE KURDISTAN REGION
These travel agents based in Kurdistan offer flight reservations, some may also offer other services such as hotel bookings and local transport services.
Uniglobe – Iraq Tours and Travel
Services: airline bookings and ticketing, hotel bookings in Iraq and abroad, transfer and meet & greet, and
event management.
E-mail: info@uniglobeiraq.com
Mobile: +964 (0)750 429 6888 and +964 (0)7710 222 223
Offices: 1) English Village 331, Erbil, 2) Erbil Rotana Hotel, Erbil
Website: www.uniglobeiraq.com
Zagros Air
Erbil mobile:
+964 (0)750 449 5555
+964 (0)750 447 6399
+964 (0)750 446 8394
Laru Travel Services
Erbil mobile:
+964 (0)750 455 4411
+964 (0)750 446 8960
Cyprus Tel: +357 2581 4084
Amman Tel: +962 6 565 6561 and +962 6 568 9787
e-mail: lanaqassim@batelco.jo
Baban Tourism
For Royal Jordanian Airlines reservations
Erbil Tel: +964 66 220 0600
Erbil mobile: +964 (0)750 491 0973
e-mail: babantourism@yahoo.com
Atrosh Air
For Atrosh Air flights between Stockholm/Copenhagen and Erbil
Erbil Tel: +964 66 254 7474
Erbil mobile: +964 (0)750 460 0460
Suleimaniah mobile: +964 (0)730 117 3317
e-mail: erbil@atroshair.com

Azmar Air
For Azmar Air flights to Suleimaniah
e-mail: lazo@nokangroup.com
Suleimaniah mobile: +964 (0)7701 525 775
e-mail: deraw_it@yahoo.com
e-mail: deraw_it@hotmail.com
Suleimaniah mobile: +964 (0)7701 571 906

TRAVEL AGENCY IN LONDON
Booking agent for many scheduled airline routes to Erbil:
IKB Travel & Tours Limited
IKB House, 230 Edgware Road
London W2 1DW.
Tel: 020 7724 8455
Fax: 020 7724 8655
e-mail: travelinfo@ikbtravel.co.uk
Website: www.YouShouldTravel.com

SPECIALIST BUSINESS AND GROUP TRAVEL AGENCY
CT Travel
CT Travel specialises in business, corporate, and group travel. For the past several years, it has been
arranging travel to the Kurdistan Region in Iraq from any part of the world, for individual and group business
travellers. Based in the UK, CT Travel is now partners with Uniglobe, which has a branch in Erbil.
Tel. +44 (0)1892 673 427
Online email contact form: http://www.ctbusinesstravel.co.uk/contact-details/

OVERLAND ROUTE TO THE KURDISTAN REGION
Overland entry into the Kurdistan Region is possible through Turkey. The suggested route is to fly to Istanbul
Ataturk Airport and then take a two-hour domestic flight to Diyarbakir. (Turkish visas can be obtained on
arrival at Istanbul Airport. Baggage may have to be retrieved from the International Terminal and checked in
at the Domestic Terminal.)
At Diyarbakir Airport taxis can be hired to drive to the Ibrahim Khalil/Habur border crossing point, Turkey’s
border with the Kurdistan Region in Iraq. Many drivers do this journey frequently and are familiar with the
route. It is advisable to settle the price beforehand, a guide price is USD 150, and to check that the driver has
the necessary paper work to take passengers over the border. Because of the journey time it is advisable to
start the overland journey in the early morning, staying overnight in Diyarbakir if necessary.
After crossing the border at Ibrahim Khalil, another taxi can take you to your destination in the Kurdistan
Region. The approximate journey time from Diyarbakir to the border is 4 hours; then from the border to Dohuk
is 1.5 hours; to Erbil 4 hours; and to Suleimaniah 6 hours. There are alternative routes via Iran and Syria but
these are less frequently travelled.

ASSISTANCE FOR JOURNALISTS AND BUSINESS TRAVELLERS
Journalists, delegations and travellers visiting for official or business purposes can contact the KRG for advice
on arranging meetings and hiring drivers, fixers, interpreters and security. Please contact:
The KRG Department of Foreign Relations, Erbil: dfr@krg.org
KRG Representation to the UK, London: uk@krg.org
KRG Representation to the US, Washington DC: us@krg.org

SPECIALIST ADVENTURE AND CULTURE TRAVEL COMPANIES
Several specialist travel companies offer cultural sightseeing holidays in the Kurdistan Region
Kurdistan Adventures
Kurdistan Adventures is an Australian/Kurdish local company that specialises in small group adventure travel
and operates escorted tours, day trips and custom itineraries. Please see www.kurdistan-adventures.com
Hinterland Travel
Hinterland Travel is a UK-based travel company operating tours to the Kurdistan Region in Iraq since 2007.
Details are available on its website: http://www.hinterlandtravel.com/
Distant Horizons
Distant Horizons is a US-based travel company operating tours to the Kurdistan Region in Iraq since June
2008. Details are available on its website: http://www.distant-horizons.com/

Terre Entière
Terre Entière, a French travel company, added the Kurdistan Region in Iraq to its list of destinations in late
2008. Details are available on its website: http://www.terreentiere.com/
The Other Iraq Tours
The Other Iraq Tours is a local tour company based in the Kurdistan Region, operated by expatriates and
specialising in custom and luxury tours. Details are available on its website: www.theotheriraqtours.com
Spiekermann Travel
Based in Michigan USA, specialist tour operator Spiekermann Travel is offering guided tours of the Kurdistan
Region, see www.mideasttrvl.com
Babel Tours
Babel Tours is a recently established tour operator based in the Kurdistan Region. See http://www.babeltours.
com/

HOTELS
HOTELS IN ERBIL
Erbil Rotana Hotel
Gulan Street, Erbil – Kurdistan, Iraq
Tel: +964 66 210 55 55
Fax: +964 66 210 55 56
Website: http://www.rotana.com/rotanahotelandresorts/iraq/erbil/erbilrotana

Erbil International Hotel
30 Metre Street
Tel: +964 (0)66 223 4460 – 70
Fax: +44 (0)7069 410 005
email: info@erbilinthotel.com
Website: www.erbilinthotel.com
Divan Hotel
Gulan Street, Erbil – Kurdistan, Iraq
Tel: +964 66 2105000 or +964 750 6423125
email: reservations.divanerbil@divan.com.tr
Website: http://www.divan.com.tr/ENG/Hotel-Destinations/
Hawler Plaza Hotel
Kirkuk Road, near Erbil Stadium
Tel: +964 (0)66 222 8890 / (0)66 2519740 / (0)66 254 0050
email: hawler_plaza@yahoo.com
Website: http://www.hoojoozat.com/HotelDetailSearch.aspx?Hotel-Iraq-Hawler-Plaza-Hotel
Khanzad Hotel
Salahaddin Road, about 25 minutes outside Erbil city centre
Tel: +964 (0)66 2245273 / 74 / 76 / 77, and +964 (0)66 2505226
email: info@khanzadresort.com
Website: http://www.khanzadresort.com
Chwar Chra Hotel
Abdul Salam Al-Barzani Street
Tel: +964 (0)66 223 1508 / 9 and+964 (0)66 222 2650
email: info@chwarchrahotel.com
Website: http://www.chwarchrahotel.com/default.asp
Noble Hotel
Peshawa Qazi Street (100 Meter Street), Ankawa, Erbil
Tel. +964 – (0)66 225 26 30 / (0)66 225 26 20
Mob: +964 (0)750 431 22 44 / (0)771 193 63 00
Website: http://www.noble-hotel.com/
Ankawa Palace Hotel
Shlama Street, Ankawa, Erbil (near Residency Office)
Tel: +964 (0)66 225 3030
Mob: +964 (0)750 486 3030
Fax: +964 (0)66 255 3232
E-mail: info@ankawapalace-hotel.com
Website: http://www.ankawapalace-hotel.com/
Royal Palace Hotel
60 Metre Street
Opposite Ankawa bridge (overpass), near Mahhar Restaurant
Tel: +964 (0)66 2562981/ (0)66 256 2982/ (0)750.423.7426/ (0)750.423.7326
email: royalpalace_h@yahoo.com
Arbil Tawer Hotel
Tel: +964 (0)66 222 6600 / 223 0094
Shereen Palace Hotel
Tel: +964 (0)66 222 6240 / 222 0915
10
HOTELS IN DOHUK
Dilshad Palace Hotel
Dohuk main street, opposite Mazi Supermarket
Tel: +964 0)62 722 7601 – 9
Fax: +964 (0)62 722 7610
email: info@dilshad-palace.com
Website: www.dilshad-palace.com
Slivan Hotel
14 Athar Street
Local tel: +964 (0)62 722 5683
Sulav Hotel
Tel. +964 (0)62 722 1955 / 722 1956
Mobile: +964 (0)750 445 7004
Email: sulavhotel@sulavco.com; sulavhotel@yahoo.com
Jiyan Hotel
Tel.+964 (0)62 722 24 00
Mobile: +964 (0)750 442 7711
Mobile: +964 (0)770 051 7711
E-fax: +1 631 982 7711
email: info@jiyanhotel.com
Website: http://www.jiyanhotel.com
Mazi Motel
Zakho St. Mazi Mall Area
Tel : +964 62 760 9900
Mobil: +964 750 427 7723 / +964 750 482 7944
Website: http://www.alaminest.com/?page=mazi_motel
HOTELS IN SULEIMANIAH
Lalezar Hotel
Sarchinar Hill
Tel: +964 (0)53 319 2601
Fax: +964 (0)53 319 2602
email: info@lale-zar.com
Website: www.lale-zar.com
Copthorne Hotel Baranan (a Millenium Copthorne Hotel)
Sarchinar Main Street
email: info@mill-sulaimani.com
Sulaimani Palace Hotel
+964 (0)53 3134141 – 47
Azmir Palace Hotel
+964 (0)748 012 3513
Ashti Hotel
Salim Street
Tel: +964 (0)53 312 7999
Parezh Hotel
Tel: +964 (0)53 210 7185
Mobile +964 (0)770 366 8888; and +964 (0)730 154 6525

CURRENCY
The local currency is the Iraqi Dinar. US Dollars are also widely used. Exchange rates as of 3 May 2011:
1 US Dollar = 1,166 Iraqi Dinars
1 Euro = 1,724 Iraqi Dinars
1 British Pound = 1,922 Iraqi Dinars
(For up-to-date exchange rates please visit www.xe.com or www.oanda.com)
Please be aware that there are currently very few ATM machines or credit card facilities. Cash is the only
method of payment in the vast majority of shops, hotels and restaurants. Ensure you take enough
with you in US dollars or Iraqi dinars for all your expenses including the hotel bill. Exchange facilities
are available at the airport, international hotels and exchange shops in the bazaars.

WEATHER
Summer months (May-September) are very hot and dry, especially on the Erbil Plain, often reaching
temperatures as high as 50 degrees Celsius. It is slightly cooler in the evenings and in the mountainous
regions around Dohuk and Suleimaniah. The winter months can be cool with rain and some snowfall.

ELECTRICAL APPLIANCES
Note: Voltage is 220v. Both UK three-pronged and European two-pronged plugs are in use. Visitors are
advised to take a universal adapter with them. However, adapters can be purchased in small electrical shops
in the bazaars of towns and cities.

MOBILE PHONES
Asiacell, Korek, the Kurdistan Region’s largest mobile phone service operators, have roaming agreements
with several foreign operators, including European, US and UK companies. If you wish to use your mobile
locally please check with your mobile phone service operator whether it has a roaming agreement with
Asiacell or Korek. Roaming agreements can also be checked on the GSM Association website’s Iraq roaming
partners section: http://www.gsmworld.com/roaming/gsminfo/cou_iq.shtml
Rather than using your home mobile SIM card, it may be cheaper to buy a local SIM card which can be
purchased in some hotels and shops—especially in the bazaars. Top-up payment cards for local SIMs are
widely available in hotels and shops.

INTERNET CONNECTIONS
Internet connections are available in many hotels and some private internet cafes. Not all connections are
broadband speed.

POSTAL AND FREIGHT SERVICES
Letters and packages can be sent by normal post from the Kurdistan Region abroad, but at present they
cannot be sent from abroad to the Kurdistan Region. Fedex and DHL offer air freight services to and from
Kurdistan, please contact them for details.
The post office in Erbil is near the Citadel, close to the old court building. Please ask for directions. The Arabic
word for post, which is also used in Kurdish, is ‘bareed’.

TRANSPORTATION
Travel by car in the Kurdistan Region is very simple and generally safe. Private cars and drivers are
available, but they can often be quite expensive. Taxis are a far more economical option, and they are
readily available on most major roads in all the cities. A ride to or from almost anywhere in the cities normally
costs somewhere between 3-5,000 ID, and you can catch a seat in a shared taxi between any of the major
cities for 10-25,000 ID depending on the distance—just ask a city taxi driver “garajee + the name of city/town
where you want to go”.2
There are generally two types of taxis in the cities. Some are painted orange and white, while others are
painted a light tan colour. The light tan taxis are driven by government vetted drivers, and they are
considered to be safest—these cars are usually newer and cleaner also.

TRAVEL & DISTANCE BETWEEN CITIES
Erbil to Suleimaniah – 170 km, approx. three hours drive
Erbil to Dohuk – 245 km, approx. three hours drive

Dohuk to Suleimaniah – 340 km, approx. five hours drive

TIME DIFFERENCE

The Kurdistan Region and the rest of Iraq are +3 hours ahead of Greenwich Meantime (GMT).

NATIONAL HOLIDAYS
A list of national holidays and important dates is available here:
http://www.krg.org/articles/detail.asp?rnr=139&lngnr=12&smap=03010200&anr=18627

INTERNATIONAL NEWS
Satellite television with CNN and BBC World is available in most hotels. The main regional English-language
newspapers are the Kurdish Globe and AK News.

FOOD AND DRINK
Kurdish cuisine is based on lamb, chicken, rice and bread, and the use of many fresh herbs and vegetables.
Fish served in restaurants is often barbecued over an open fire to make a traditional Iraqi dish called
mazgouf. Fresh fruit or paklava, a Middle Eastern flaky pastry and nut dessert, is usually served after the
main course. While many types of fruit and vegetables are available throughout the year, seasonal and local
products, such as wild asparagus, native rhubarb, green almonds and buffalo yoghurt, are highly prized and
enjoyed. Black tea with sugar is the most popular beverage both inside and outside the home. Drinking
alcohol in moderation is acceptable in some restaurants and hotels. Drunken and loud behaviour is frowned
upon.
For example: if you are in Suleimaniah and you want to go to Erbil (Hawler), say “Garajee Hawler.” For the reverse
trip you would say, “Garajee Suleimaniah.”

KURDISH PHRASES
There are two dialects of Kurdish spoken in the Kurdistan Region in Iraq: Kurmanji, spoken mainly in Dohuk,
and Sorani, spoken in Erbil and Suleimaniah.
English Kurdish
How are you? Choni?
Good morning Bayani Bash
Good afternoon Ewara Bash
Good night Shaw Bash
Good day Roj Bash
Welcome Bakher Beyt
How much is this? Ama ba chanda?
Yes Bale
No Na
Please Bey-zahmet/T’kaya
You’re welcome Shayani niya
Mr Ahmed Kak Ahmed (honorific term for men)
Miss/Mrs Sayran Sayran Khan (honorific term for women)
With pleasure Sar chaw
Excuse me Ba yarmateet
Do you speak English Inglizi ezani?
I don’t speak Kurdish Kurdi nazanm
Tea without sugar! Chai bey shakr

SIGHTS OF INTEREST
Please contact the Kurdistan Region’s official tourist board, for tourist information, and guides. The tourist
board can be contacted at:
Tel: +964 (0)66 224 43 94
e-mail: info@tourismkurdistan.com

Iraq: Then and Now, published by Bradt Travel Guides in April 2008, is a guide to Iraq’s history and presentday,
provides information on archaeology and culture, and includes 17 maps of different parts of Iraq. It
includes a chapter on the Kurdistan Region.
A few of the Kurdistan Region’s places of interest and tourist attractions are listed here:

ERBIL AND SURROUNDS:
Erbil citadel dates back 6,000 years BC and forms the original boundaries of the city. Erbil is one of the
oldest continually inhabited cities in the world.
Sami Abdul Rahman Park is a large municipal park built on the site of a former Ba’ath military base.
Qaysari bazaar is Erbil city’s traditional market, selling household goods, food, textiles, gold and souvenirs.
Sheikh Chooli minaret in the western district of Erbil was built by Sultan Mudhaffarudeen and dates back to
543-586 AD. The minaret is the focal point for the recently developed Minara Park.
Khanzad castle on the Erbil – Shaqlawa road dates back to the Soran Period when the Region was ruled by
several principalities.
Rabban Beya monastery is a one-hour climb over mountain paths. There are two large highly engraved
cave-like chambers that date back to the fourth century AD.
Shaqlawa resort is 51 km north of Erbil and is a popular weekend and holiday destination with a great fresh
produce market.

Gali Ali Beg ravine and waterfall is 130km from Erbil, a popular place for recreational picnics.
Bekhal Resort is another water resort 140km from Erbil and a short drive from Gali Ali Berg.
DOHUK AND SURROUNDS:
Saint Ith Llaha Church, just west of Dohuk, is oldest church in the region and dates back to 500AD.
Amadiyah town, 90km north east of Dohuk, dates back to the Assyrian Period and is a former principality.
Amadiyah’s minaret is 30 metres high, with views from the top of the nearby mountains and valleys.
Amadiyah citadel is located on the eastern side of Amadiyah city. Its gateway is featured in Kurdistan: The
Other Iraq adverts and documentary. See www.theotheriraq.com

SULEIMANIAH AND SURROUNDS:
Suleimaniah museum, located on Salim Street, houses local items that date back thousands of years. It is
one of the richest museums in the Region.
Dokan lake, 70km west of Suleimaniah, is a local resort with hotels, restaurants and holiday chalets.
Darbandikhan dam 65km south east of Sulemaniah also has tourist cabins, restaurants, leisure facilities.
Ahmadawa resort, known for its springs, waterfalls and orchards, is a popular summer escape for locals and
tourists.Kurdistan

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