Key Facts

• With a population of 5.2 million, the three governorates of Duhok, Erbil and Sulaimani cover approximately 40,000 square kilometers - four times the area of Lebanon and larger than that of The Netherlands. With the recent addition of Kirkuk Governorate the Kurdish region encompasses nearly 50,000 square kilometers

• The Region is geographically diverse, from hot plains to cooler mountainous areas blessed with natural springs where snow often falls in the winter. 

• The capital and seat of the Kurdistan Regional Government is Erbil, a city known locally as Hawler. The Citadel in Erbil is said to be the longest continually inhabited city in the world

• Iraq’s Constitution recognizes the Kurdistan Regional Government and the Kurdistan National Assembly as autonomous and the ‘Peshmerga’ guard as a legitimate army.

• The current regional government consists of several political parties. The coalition reflects the diversity of the Region’s people, who are Chaldeans, Assyrians, Turkmen, Yezidis and Kurds living together in harmony and tolerance.

• Since the Anfal genocide campaign by Saddam Hussein’s Regime in the eighties, the Regional Administration has rebuilt more than 65% of the razed villages.

• The Kurdish language is distinct from all other Middle Eastern languages but is close to Farsi. There are two main dialects Sorani and Kurmanji.

• The Kurdistan Region has 11 public universities and nearly 20 licensed private universities. Some of them use English as the main language of teaching and examination, most notably the University of Kurdistan Hawler (UKH) and the American University of Iraq – Sulaimani (AUI-S).

• A new, liberal foreign investment law was ratified in June 2006 providing incentives for foreign investors such as the possibility of owning land, up to 10-year tax holidays and easy repatriation of profits. 

• To rapidly benefit from its oil and gas resources, the KRG has signed dozens of production sharing contracts with companies from 17 countries.

• The Kurds are renowned for their skills in the hard sciences, in engineering and medicine – there are many Kurdish doctors and senior consultants practicing in the US and UK.

• Getting to the Kurdistan Region has never been easier; there are two new international airports with direct flights to and from Europe and the Middle East. 

• 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.