Gabala district is located on the territory of Shaki-Zagatala zone, in the northwest part of Azerbaijan on the border of Dagestan and Georgia.
The administrative center of the district is the city of Gabala which is located at 900 meters above the sea level. The area is 1548 sq.km and the population is 90.000. The district includes a town and 63 villages. The ethnic composition consists of Azerbaijanis, lezgis, udis and the others.
Present Gabala is located at 20 km to the north-east from ancient Cabala which had been the capital of Caucasian Albania from the 4th century B.C. to the 5th century A.D. Cabala was one of the ancient world's most important political, economical and trade centers such as Babylon, Proy, Pompeius and Karfagen. Its name is firstly mentioned by Plinius the Elder in the Natural History in which he writes that Cabala was a predominant city of Albania. Although it was attacked by Roman troops in 60s B.C. the city couldn't be captured. During the reign of Sasanids the city had become a large trade and art center and preserved its traditions during Caliphate periodThe city lost its importance as a result of continious Mongolian invasions by the middle of th 13th century and the population gradually left the city.
Gabala has endowed Azerbaijani literature with Ismail Bey Gutgashinly, who was the founder of the Azerbaijani prose and one of the first generals of Azerbaijan.
The area of Gabala is mountainous. The northern part of it is included in the southern slopes of the Great Caucasus mountain chain, the central part is included in Alazan-Haftaran valley, and the southern part is included in the Ajinohur mountains. Bazarduzu (4466 m-the tallest one in Azerbaijan), Bazaryurd (4126 m) and Tufan (4206 m) are tallest mountains. Winters are mild and dry in the south, cold and humid in the mountains. The average temperature in January is -14, and +27 in July. The average annual rainfall is 600 mm in southerm, 1600 mm in northern parts. The main streams are Turyan and Damiraparan.
Gabala is rich in building materials such as stone, limestone, clay which are efficiently exploited by the construction industry of the district.
50.000 ha of its territory is covered with forests where one can find oak-trees, hornbeams, beeches, junipers, walnuts, hazelnuts, chestnuts with the average age of over 500 years, poplars, and so on. Deers, gazelles, lynxes, wolves, bears, boars, roes, hares, partridges are the representatives of the local fauna.
Thanks to its fascinating nature with beautiful waterfalls, streams and emerald green forests Gabala has become one of the most important tourist regions of Azerbaijan.