Ürümchi or Ürümqi, sometimes spelled Wulumuqi(English uːˈruːmtʃi; ; ) is the capital of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China, in the northwest of the country.


The largest city in the western half of the People's Republic of China, Ürümqi has won a place in the Guinness Book of Records as the most remote city from any sea in the world at a distance of about 1,400 miles (2500 km) from the nearest coastline (Ürümqi being the city closest to the Eurasian Pole of Inaccessibility). The city has an area of 10,989 km². The average elevation is 800 meters.


In Ürümqi a continental steppe climate with hot and dry summers prevails with average temperatures in July at 24°C (75°F) as well as damp and cold winters with average temperatures in January at -16°C (3°F). The annual average temperature amounts to 5.4°C (41.7°F), and the yearly precipitation is about 273 mm.


Two thousand years ago Ürümqi was an important town on the northern route of the Silk Road, a vast network of trade routes that also facilitated cultural exchanges throughout Eurasia. During the 22nd year of Emperor Taizong's reign in the Tang Dynasty, 648 A.D., the Tang government set up the town of Luntai in the ancient town seat of Urabo, 10 kilometers from the southern suburb of present-day Ürümqi. The Ancient Luntai Town was a seat of local government, and collected taxes from the caravans along the northern route of the Silk Road. During the Qing Dynasty (1763 A.D.) Emperor Qianlong named the expanded town of Luntai "Dihua" (pinyin: Díhuà; Manchu: Wen de dahabure fu), meaning "to enlighten." In 1884, Emperor Guang Xu established Xinjiang as a Province, with Di Hua as its capital. Following the founding of the People's Republic of China, on February 1, 1954, the city was renamed Ürümqi, meaning " beautiful pasture" in the Mongolian language of the Junggar tribe.

Ürümqi has one county and seven districts (Ürümqi county, Tianshan District, Sharyibark District, Toutunhe District, Shuimogou District, Xinshi District, Dongshan District, and Nanshan Mine District) under its jurisdiction.


According to the 2000 census, Ürümqi has 2,081,834 inhabitants with a population density of 174.53 inhabitants/km². Of these, 75.3% are Han Chinese, 12.8% are Uyghurs, 8.0% are Hui and 2.3% are Kazakhs and Kyrgyz.

Administrative divisions

Ürümqi currently comprises 8 administrative sub-divisions, county-level units, of these, 7 are districts and 1 is a county.

The areas of the city are divided into 7 districts and 1 county:


Ürümqi is a major industrial center within Xinjiang. Ürümqi, together with Karamay and Bayin'gholin account for 64.5% of the total industrial output of Xinjiang. Ürümqi is also the largest consumer center in the region, recording ¥32.2 billion retail sales of consumer goods in 2007, an increase of 18.24% from 2006. The GDP per capita exceeded US$4,000 in 2007 According to statistics, Urumqi ranked 7th in 2007 by the disposable income for urban residents among cities in Western China. Ürümqi has been a central developmental target for the China Western Development project that the Central Government is pursuing.

The Urumqi Foreign Economic Relations and Trade Fair (Chinese: 乌洽会) is held annually since 1991, whose purpose is to promote domestic and foreign markets. The 17th Fair is seeing participants from the Ministry of Commerce and the China Council for Promotion of International Trade.

As the economic center, Urumqi has expanded its urban area since the 1990s. The CBDs in the city increase rapidly all around the major districts. Zhong Tian Plaza, located in one of the CBDs in North Xinhua Road, is the tallest building in Urumqi and Xinjiang; with a height of 229 meters, it is also the tallest in Northwestern China and Central Asia. Lacking in subway, the outer ring road (外环路) for the city was built in 2003, which considerably facilites transportaion. Zhongshan Road (Sun Yat-sen Road, Chinese: 中山路) in Urumqi has been one of the 10 most famous commercial streets in the People's Republic of China since 2005 through official appraisals, the others being Wangfujing,etc. The Commercial Street of Zhongshan Road has the largest computer, mobile phone and consumer electronics market, i.e Baihuacun, Ccyber Digital Plaza and Fountain Plaza, in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region; it is believed to be the focal point of technological products in Urumqi.


  • The International Grand Bazaar of Xinjiang (新疆国际大巴扎) is an Islamic bazaar located on Jiefang Nan Road (解放南路). It is one of the most attractive tour sites in Xinjiang and Urumqi.
  • Hong Shan Mountain (红山) is the symbolic scenic spot of Urumqi, located in the Hong Shan Park.
  • Glacier No.1(一号冰川), origin of Urumqi River, is the largest glacier located near a city in China.
  • Shuimogou Scenic Area is located 5km northeast of Urumqi.


Urumqi has many educational campuses including Xinjiang University, Xinjiang Normal University, Xinjiang Agricultural University , Xinjiang Medical University and many others.




Ürümqi is served by the Ürümqi Diwopu International Airport. The airport is one of the five major airports in the People's Republic of China.



Ürümqi is located along the China National Highway 312 and China National Highway 314.


The Xinjiang Networking Transmission Limited operates the Urumqi People Broadcasting Station and the Xinjiang People Broadcasting Station, broadcasting in the Mandarin, Uyghur, Kazakh, Mongolian, Russian and the Kyrgyz languages.

The Xinjiang Television Station (XJTV), located in Urumqi, is the major TV broadcasting station in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. The local television station for Urumqi city is the Urumqi Television Station (UTV)(乌鲁木齐电视台).


Sister cities


External links

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