Hi there! I am not a citizen of Uzbekistan, but I have lived here for a year and would love to contribute to your question! They are interesting ones.
Does culture influence them in their attitude towards time?
MY OPINION: Well, this is true for anywhere - but maybe you're really asking HOW culture MIGHT be influencing the attitudes. In UZ, I've noticed that a person with higher status will be later to meetings. After dozens of opportunities to witness this phenomenon, I can say that low-status folks arrive early or on time when high-status folks are expected, and the high-status folks come on time or late.
Are they punctual for business appointments, meetings and dinners?
For dinners, yes. Business appointments, yes IF there are higher-status people (higher rank, or directors, or whatever). And, in the case of all-day meetings, most people are on time in the morning for the opening of the meeting, but then they will often be late coming back from any breaks during the day. So an announced "ten minute break" will always turn into a twenty or thirty minute break before everyone is returned.
Do they expect foreigners to be punctual for meetings and dinners?
I am not sure - I think so.
Hospitality and gifts:
Are there any traditional festivals or occasions where gift giving is a part of the hospitality? Men's day and Women's Day, traditional for cakes and stuff like that to be bought and brought in to the office. When a person returns to their home town after a business trip to another town or out of the country, it is traditional to bring back some sort of food for the office and for family. I travel often with Uzbeks and I can say that ALWAYS most men will buy the bread of whatever region we're visiting to bring home to family and office workers, and sometimes they'll even buy specialty food items to bring home - my friend Sadirbek bought a big grocery sack full of seasoned cooked beef from a market in Samarqand and carried it on to the airplane with us, kept it under the seat, to bring to his family. He explained that this meat is prepared very slowly over days and is very special and delicious, so his family was expecting him to bring this home.
What are the gifts that can be given in personal visits and in business visits?
I have been asked for caps with logos of famous soccer(football) teams when traveling out of the country, but this is just a personal preference of my friends here. People seem to enjoy bringing food items back - visitors from Turkey often bring Turkish Delight back with them and open it up on the office front desk for everyone to take a piece of, and there is often chocolate or sweets up there from someone. On VERY special occasions, when a high-level government official or high level business person wants to honor foreign partners, they will often make an elaborate ceremony to present traditional Uzbek garments to the foreigners - for men these are long black velvet robes with golden embroidered patterns. For women so honored, same thing but the female version of the robe has no arms. It's quite special.
What kinds of gifts are taboos in these countries? Numbers, colors or anything…..?
Well, I'm not sure but I can say that there is a curiously vigorous REJECTION of foreigners offering to help pay for a meal - lunch or dinner for example. If you're a foreigner and going to dinner with Uzbeks, they seem to automatically cast you in the role of honored guest, and it's easy to offend them if you press the issue of wanting to participate in paying for the meal. It is acceptable among friends and equals to share the cost of rounds of vodka, but don't press the issue of you offer and you are rejected - their rejection means "NO!!!" (not "No, well, ok if you insist") and they'll get uncomfortable and adamant if you try to insist. They don't even want to hear you say, "ok, well next time lunch is on me!" - not a welcome offer. I'm still getting to know this system myself, but these are my observations.
ONE LAST THING: There is an amazing phenomenon that is culture-wide here surrounding mobile phones. Mobile phones are NEVER turned off, and are ALWAYS carried. Into meetings, for example, where they will ring in the middle of a crowded meeting, and the owner will ANSWER THE PHONE and talk on it. DURING the meeting, with all the other participants sitting there. Even if there is a two-person meeting, an interview for example, a ringing cell phone will be answered. I have joked that I bet even women giving birth, during labor, will have their cell phone right there on the bed with them and they will answer it if it rings!
In my own culture, this is EXTREMELY rude, so it's hard to get used to. In our office, we've tried to institute a policy of turning off cell phones before entering meetings, but it's as though there is a strange force that prevents Uzbeks from following that rule. It is truly amazing - really quite amazing.
Sleepless in Tashkent