In the north it borders with Kostanai oblast, in the east — with Karaganda oblast, in the southeast - with Zhambyl oblast, in the south — with Turkestan and Kyzylorda oblasts, in the west — with Aktobe oblast.
Turkestan oblast is located in the south of Kazakhstan, within the eastern part of the Turan lowland and the western spurs of the Tien Shan. Most of the territory is flat, with the hilly-ridge sands of Kyzylkum, the Shardara steppe (in the southwest, along the left bank of Syr Darya) and Moiynkum (in the north, along the left bank of Chu).
The largest rivers — Syr Darya (with tributaries Arys, Akhangaran, Gavasai, Isfayramsai, Isfara, Karadarya, Karaozek, Kasansai, Keles, Naryn, Sokh, Khojabakirgan, Chadak, Chirchik, Shakhimardan) crosses the territory of the oblast from south to northwest, and Chu River (lower course) flowing in the north and lost in the sands of Moiynkum.
The oblast is located in a zone of extremely continental climate.
In 1973-1997, the Dzhezkazgan oblast existed as part of Kazakhskaya SSR and Kazakhstan, which, as a result of the administrative reform of 1997, became part of Karaganda oblast. Tribes of the Middle Zhuz lived in the territory of Ulytau oblast in the XVIII century: Argyns (Karakesek and Atygai sub-families), Naimans (Baganaly and Baltaly sub-families), Kypshaks (Bultyn, Uzyn and Tory sub-families), there was also a family of Zhana Kyrgyz, which was not part of the Zhuz.
On March 16, 2022, the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, delivered the Address to the people of Kazakhstan during a joint session of the chambers of Parliament, where he stated that Ulytau oblast would be formed from a part of Karaganda oblast.
The oblast was formed on June 08, 2022, in accordance with the Decree of the President of Kazakhstan, its territory is significantly smaller than that occupied by former Dzhezkazgan oblast (which until 1997 still included Shetsky and Aktogai districts, as well as Balkhash and Priozersk cities).
The oblast consists of 2 districts and 3 cities of regional subordination (city administrations):
1. Zhanaarkinsky district
2. Ulytau district
3. Zhezkazgan city
4. Karazhal city
13. Satpayev city