Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia


🇲🇳 Ulaanbaatar, formerly anglicised as Ulan Bator, is the capital and most populous city of Mongolia. The municipality is located in north central Mongolia at an elevation of about 1,300 metres in a valley on the Tuul River. The city was originally founded in 1639 as a nomadic Buddhist monastic centre, changing location 28 times, and was permanently settled at its current location in 1778.

During its early years, as Örgöö (anglicised as Urga), it became Mongolia's preeminent religious centre and seat of the Jebtsundamba Khutuktu, the spiritual head of the Gelug lineage of Tibetan Buddhism in Mongolia. Following the regulation of Qing-Russian trade by the Treaty of Kyakhta in 1727, a caravan route between Beijing and Kyakhta opened up, along which the city was eventually settled. With the collapse of the Qing Empire in 1911, the city was a focal point for independence efforts, leading to the proclamation of the Bogd Khanate in 1911 led by the 8th Javtsundamba Khutughtu, and again during the communist revolution of 1921. With the proclamation of the Mongolian People's Republic in 1924, the city was officially renamed Ulaanbaatar and declared the country's capital. Modern urban planning began in the 1950s, with most of the old Ger districts replaced by Soviet-style flats. In 1990, Ulaanbaatar was a major site of demonstrations that led to Mongolia's transition to democracy and a market economy. Since 1990, an influx of migrants from the rest of the country has led to an explosive growth in its population, a major portion of which live in Ger districts, which has led to harmful air pollution in winter.

Governed as an independent municipality, Ulaanbaatar is surrounded by Töv Province, whose capital Zuunmod lies 43 km south of the city. With a population of just under 1.5 million as of 2020, it contains almost half of the country's total population. It is the country's cultural, industrial and financial heart, the centre of Mongolia's transport network and connected by rail to both the Trans-Siberian Railway in Russia and the Chinese railway system.

Economy The largest corporations and conglomerates of Mongolia are almost all headquartered in Ulaanbaatar. In 2017 Ulaanbaatar had 5 billionaires and 90 multimillionaires with net worth above 10 million dollars. Major Mongolian companies include MCS Group, Gatsuurt LLC, Genco, MAK, Altai Trading, Tavan Bogd Group, Mobicom Corporation, Bodi, Shunkhlai, Monnis and Petrovis. While not on the level of multinational corporations, most of these companies are multi-sector conglomerates with far-reaching influence in the country.

Ulaanbaatar (Urga) has been a key location where the economic history and wealth creation of the nation has played out. Unlike the highly mobile lifestyle of herders nomadising between winter and summer pastures Urga was set up to be a semi-permanent residence of the high lama Zanabazar. It stood in one location (Khoshoo Tsaidam) for an unusually long period of 15 years from 1640 to 1654 before Zanabazar moved it east to the foot of Mount Saridag in the Khentii Mountains. Here he set about building a permanent monastery town with stone buildings. Urga stayed at Mount Saridag for a full 35 years and was indeed assumed to be permanent there when Oirats suddenly invaded the region in 1688 and burnt down the city. With a major part of his life's work destroyed Zanabazar had to take the mobile portion of Urga and flee to Inner Mongolia.

More than half the wealth created in Urga in the period from 1639 to 1688 is thought to have been lost in 1688. Only in 1701 did Urga return to the region and start a second period of expansion, but it had to remain mobile until the end of the 70-year long Dzungar-Qing Wars in 1757. After settling down in its current location in 1778 Urga saw sustained economic growth but most of the wealth went to the Buddhist clergy, nobles as well as the temporary Shanxi merchants based in the eastern and western China-towns of Urga. There were numerous companies called puus (пүүс) and temple treasuries called jas (жас) which functioned as businesses but none of these survived the Communist period. During the Mongolian People's Republic private property was only marginally tolerated while most assets were state-owned. The oldest companies still operating in Ulaanbaatar date to the early MPR. Only the Gandantegchinlen Monastery has been operating non-stop for 205 years with a 6-year gap during World War II but whether it can be seen as a business is still debated.

As the main industrial centre of Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar produces a variety of consumer goods and is responsible for about two-thirds of Mongolia's total gross domestic product (GDP).

The transition to a market economy in 1990, which has led to a shift towards service industries making up 43% of the city's GDP, along with rapid urbanisation and population growth has so far correlated with an increase in GDP.

Mining makes up the second-largest contributor to Ulaanbaatar's GDP at 25%. North of the city are several gold mines, including the Boroo Gold Mine, and foreign investment in the sector has allowed for growth and development. However, in light of a noticeable drop in GDP during the financial crisis of 2008, as demand for mining exports dropped, there has been movement towards diversifying the economy.

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia 
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Image: Adobe Stock robnaw #227961949

Ulaanbaatar is rated High Sufficiency by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network (GaWC) which evaluates and ranks the relationships between world cities in the context of globalisation. High Sufficiency level cities are cities that have a sufficient degree of services so as not to be overly dependent on world cities.

Ulaanbaatar is rated E+ by the Global Urban Competitiveness Report (GUCR) which evaluates and ranks world cities in the context of economic competitiveness. E+ cities are strong regional gateway cities. Ulaanbaatar was ranked #958 by the Nomad List which evaluates and ranks remote work hubs by cost, internet, fun and safety. Ulaanbaatar has a population of over 1,445,000 people. Ulaanbaatar also forms the centre of the wider Mongolia state which has a population of over 3,353,470 people. Ulaanbaatar is ranked #491 for startups with a score of 0.375.

To set up a UBI Lab for Ulaanbaatar see: https://www.ubilabnetwork.org Twitter: https://twitter.com/UBILabNetwork

Ulaanbaatar is a member of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network for Craft and Folk Art see: https://en.unesco.org/creative-cities

Twin Towns, Sister Cities Ulaanbaatar has links with:

🇹🇷 Adana, Turkey 🇹🇷 Ankara, Turkey 🇰🇿 Astana, Kazakhstan 🇹🇭 Bangkok, Thailand 🇨🇳 Beijing, China 🇩🇪 Bonn, Germany 🇰🇷 Busan, South Korea 🇨🇳 Cheongwen, China 🇺🇸 Denver, USA 🇷🇺 Elista, Russia 🇩🇪 Essen, Germany 🇹🇷 Gaziantep, Turkey 🇨🇳 Haikou, China 🇨🇳 Hohhot, China 🇰🇷 Incheon, South Korea 🇷🇺 Irkutsk, Russia 🇷🇺 Kazan, Russia 🇷🇺 Krasnoyarsk, Russia 🇪🇪 Maardu, Estonia 🇯🇵 Miyakonojō, Japan 🇷🇺 Moscow, Russia 🇷🇺 Novosibirsk, Russia 🇰🇿 Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan 🇰🇵 Pyongyang, North Korea 🇰🇷 Seoul, South Korea 🇨🇳 Shunyi, China 🇧🇬 Strelcha, Bulgaria 🇹🇼 Taipei, Taiwan 🇨🇳 Tianjin, China 🇷🇺 Ulan-Ude, Russia 🇨🇳 Yinchuan, China
Text Atribution: Wikipedia Text under CC-BY-SA license | GaWC | GUCR | Nomad | StartupBlink

UNESCO Creative Cities for Craft and Folk Art include: 🇸🇦 Al-Ahsa 🇵🇾 Areguá 🇪🇬 Aswan 🇵🇪 Ayacucho 🇵🇭 Baguio 🇦🇫 Bamiyan 🇦🇫 Bamyan 🇮🇷 Bandar Abbas 🇵🇹 Barcelos 🇮🇹 Biella 🇺🇿 Bukhara 🇪🇬 Cairo 🇵🇹 Caldas da Rainha 🇮🇹 Carrara 🇵🇹 Castelo Branco 🇹🇭 Chiang Mai 🇪🇨 Chordeleg 🇪🇨 Durán 🇮🇹 Fabriano 🇧🇬 Gabrovo 🇻🇳 Hoi An 🇿🇦 Howick 🇰🇷 Icheon 🇮🇷 Isfahan 🇭🇹 Jacmel 🇮🇳 Jaipur 🇰🇷 Jinju 🇧🇷 João Pessoa 🇯🇵 Kanazawa 🇷🇺 Kargopol 🇹🇷 Kütahya 🇫🇷 Limoges 🇨🇩 Lubumbashi 🇯🇴 Madaba 🇩🇴 Monte Cristi 🇧🇸 Nassau 🇧🇫 Ouagadougou 🇺🇸 Paducah 🇮🇩 Pekalongan 🇧🇯 Porto-Novo 🇲🇽 San Cristóbal de las Casas 🇺🇸 Santa Fe 🇦🇿 Shaki 🇦🇪 Sharjah 🇦🇿 Sheki 🇹🇬 Sokodé 🇹🇭 Sukhothai 🇹🇭 Sukhothai Thani 🇮🇩 Surakarta 🇲🇦 Tétouan 🇨🇺 Trinidad 🇹🇳 Tunis 🇲🇳 Ulaanbaatar 🇪🇪 Viljandi

Antipodal to Ulaanbaatar is: -73.082,-47.919

Locations Near: Ulaanbaatar 106.918,47.9188

🇲🇳 Bayanzürkh 106.945,47.929 d: 2.3  

🇲🇳 Ulan Bator 106.966,47.942 d: 4.4  

🇲🇳 Zuunmod 106.933,47.7 d: 24.4  

🇲🇳 Darkhan 105.927,49.481 d: 188.3  

🇲🇳 Sükhbaatar 106.2,50.233 d: 262.6  

🇲🇳 Erdenet 104.021,49.025 d: 246.4  

🇲🇳 Chinggis City 110.661,47.323 d: 288.2  

🇷🇺 Ulan-Ude 107.609,51.842 d: 439  

🇲🇳 Arvaikheer 102.767,46.25 d: 364.9  

🇷🇺 Irkutsk 104.239,52.308 d: 524  

Antipodal to: Ulaanbaatar -73.082,-47.919

🇨🇱 Coyhaique -72.067,-45.567 d: 19742.3  

🇦🇷 Río Gallegos -69.2,-51.617 d: 19518.4  

🇨🇱 Punta Arenas -70.91,-53.162 d: 19412.3  

🇦🇷 Comodoro Rivadavia -67.467,-45.85 d: 19530.4  

🇨🇱 Port Montt -72.933,-41.467 d: 19297.6  

🇨🇱 Puerto Montt -72.933,-41.467 d: 19297.6  

🇦🇷 San Carlos de Bariloche -71.312,-41.143 d: 19248.8  

🇦🇷 Bariloche -71.31,-41.133 d: 19247.7  

🇨🇱 Osorno -73.133,-40.567 d: 19197.6  

🇨🇱 Valdivia -73.233,-39.8 d: 19112.2  

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