Aktau is the oblast centre of Manghystau oblast. Its history starts from the end of 1958. Aktau is built comprehensively, practically from zero. You can see here the houses built like steps on the rocky ground, houses where the residential apartments accommodate two storeys, houses on the “legs” like an open book, gallery and access houses, the lighthouse placed on the roof of the 11-storey building, the trade centre, the roof of which is like the dome of the yurta. In 1976 the group of designers received the gold medal and the award of the great city planner Patrick Abercrombie, for which 53 towns of the world were competing.
Aktau is located on the seashore and it is related to the Asian climate in the seashore area and the mode of life of the citizens who prefer to have a rest on the sea to other types of rest. With the construction of the first micro-districts the town started to become green thanks to the workers of the botanical garden and now it is a green oasis in the desert. The town has the historical and regional museum, one of the largest cultural centres in Kazakhstan. The museum was founded in 1975, its collection on history, archaeology, ethnography, nature and culture of the region contains more than 15000 exhibits.
In Aktau the tourists can enjoy the excursion routes along the historical, memorial and ecological monuments of Manghystau, as well as visit the Fantasy World Park, entertainment centre, casino, other cultural and entertainment centres, musical-drama and puppet theatres. In 2006 the trade exhibition pavilion “Astana” was opened where different fairs are held including the international fairs arranged by Expo.kz, ITECA.
The oblast centre is connected with other towns and rayons by means of the asphalt roads and railways. There is an international airport and an international sea commercial port in Aktau.