Djibouti (Arabic: جيبوتي, French: Ville de Djibouti, Somali: Magaalo Jabuuti, Afar: Gabuuti) is the nation's capital city and largest settlement in Djibouti, home to a population of 604,013 inhabitants. Located in the coastal Djibouti Region on the Gulf of Tadjoura, it is regional administrative and commercial hub.
Djibouti City is the capital and largest city of Republic of Djibouti in the Horn of Africa. Two thirds of the country's population live in the town. The city is situated on the coast, on the Gulf of Tadjoura right across from Yemen. Local features include beaches along its eastern shore and the large Central Market, the national stadium Stade du Ville, the Presidential Palace and Hamoudi Mosque. On account of its numerous exotic buildings and structures, the city has been likened to a European settlement and described as a "French Hong Kong in the Red Sea".
Djibouti has the status of both a city and a state. It is also the seat of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) as well as several other continental and international organizations.
French Somaliland 1896-1967
British Occupation 1942-1943
French Territory of the Afars and the Issas 1967-1977
Republic of Djibouti 1977–present
From 1862 until 1894, the land to the north of the Gulf of Tadjoura was called Obock and was ruled by Issa Somali and Afar Sultans, local authorities with whom France signed various treaties between 1883 and 1887 to first gain a foothold in the region.
The French subsequently founded Djibouti city in 1888, with the area at the time uninhabited. A few years later, in 1896, the French made the town the capital of French Somaliland.
When Nazi Germany invaded France in 1940, Djibouti became the Vichy French control. In response, the United Kingdom closed the port, but it could not prevent local French to provide information on the passing ship convoys. In December 1942, British invasion of French Somaliland about 4,000 British troops occupied the town.
Since independence in 1977, the city has served as the administrative and commercial capital of the Republic of Djibouti.
Djibouti is a multi-ethnic city. It has a population of around 604,013 residents, making it the largest city in the country.
Although all ethnic groups are represented in the capital. The main languages are Somali and Afar. Arabic and French are also widely spoken and understood. In the colonial period, European expatriates, primarily French, would also contribute to the city's population.
Most local residents are Muslim adherents, with a minority Christian representation.
The Djibouti Region is one of the six regions of Djibouti. The region borders the Gulf of Tadjoura to the north and east, and the Arta Region to the south and west. The Djibouti Region is the smallest province in the country, but also the region with the highest population. It contains Djibouti's capital, Djibouti City.
Geography and climate
Djibouti City is a seaport, with the only sheltered harbour on the western side of the Gulf of Aden. The landscape around the city, along with Djibouti's coastal lowlands, is desert or semi-desert. The town's sandy beaches are reported by travelers as among the most beautiful.
Djibouti is generally very hot and dry throughout the course of the year. Featuring an arid climate, the city sees on average 131 mm (5.16 in) of rainfall per year. Temperatures range from very warm during the months of December, January and February to extremely hot in July. In the summer months, temperatures routinely exceed 40 °C (104 °F), with oppressive humidity adding to the uncomfortable conditions.
Sunshine is abundant in the city, averaging eight to ten hours a day year-round. It is lowest during the wet season, when there is some coastal fog and greater cloud coverage as warm air passes over the cool sea surface.
|Climate data for Djibouti City|
|Record high °C (°F)||34 |
|Average high °C (°F)||28.7 |
|Daily mean °C (°F)||25.1 |
|Average low °C (°F)||21.5 |
|Record low °C (°F)||19 |
|Rainfall mm (inches)||10.0 |
|Avg. rainy days||3||2||2||1||1||0||1||1||1||1||2||2||17|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||244.9||220.4||263.5||273.0||316.2||282.0||260.4||275.9||279.0||297.6||285.0||272.8||3,270.7|
|Source #1: Hong Kong Observatory|
|Source #2: BBC Weather|
Djibouti city has long been a center of media. The first forms of public film display in the city and Djibouti at large were newsreels of key events during the early colonial period. The Djibouti city–based Radio Television of Djibouti is the principal national public service broadcaster. RTD broadcasts 24 hours a day, and can be viewed both within Djibouti and abroad via terrestrial and satellite platforms.
As the capital of and largest settlement in Djibouti, most local businesses have their headquarters in Djibouti city. Djibouti Telecom, the largest telecommunications company in the country, is based here. During its existence, Djibouti Airlines also had its head office in the city.
Port operations from the vicinity of Djibouti City are the chief economic activity of Djibouti. The city's port is the terminus for Ethiopian oil transport and export. Increase in railway infrastructure pending a contract agreement in 2012 will further enable Ethiopian and Eritrean oil to reach the capital.
Roads leading out of Djibouti city connect the city to other localities in Djibouti and to Somalia and Ethiopia. Public transportation is through public buses from Djibouti City Bus Service Enterprise or green and white share taxis.
The local Djibouti-Ambouli International Airport offers flights to numerous global destinations. As of 2012, the largest services using the airport include Yemenia, Air France, Flydubai, Ethiopian Airlines, Turkish Airlines and Kenya Airways.
Built between 1894 and 1915 during the colonial period, the Ethio-Djibouti Railways connected the city with Addis Ababa. Although the railway is no longer operational, there are plans for the construction of a new modern rail line in the near future.
Djibouti city leads the country in maritime traffic and serves as a major seaport. Daily shipments bring in vehicles, foodstuffs and electronic goods, among other items. The port is also used for international trade, for fishing, and for travel by ferry to the cities of Obock and Tadjoura.
|United States of America||Key West, Florida|
|Republic of Malta||Victoria, Gozo|
|Arab Republic of Egypt||Suez|
|Republic of Cyprus||Limassol|
|Republic of Yemen||Aden|
|Republic of Sudan||Port Sudan|
|Kingdom of Saudi Arabia||Yanbu|
|Arab Republic of Egypt||Hala'ib|
|Kingdom of Saudi Arabia||Jizan|
|Republic of Maldives||Malé|
|United Arab Emirates||Fujairah|
|Arab Republic of Egypt||Mersa Matruh|
- Kevin Anglin, Becca Blond and Jean-Bernard Carillet, Africa on a Shoestring (London: Lonely Planet, 2004), p. 698.
- Raph Uwechue, Africa year book and who's who, (Africa Journal Ltd.: 1977), p.209.
- Hugh Chisholm (ed.), The encyclopædia britannica: a dictionary of arts, sciences, literature and general information, Volume 25, (At the University press: 1911), p.383.
- A Political Chronology of Africa, (Taylor & Francis), p.132.
- World Book, Inc, The World Book Encyclopedia, Volume 1, (World Book: 2007)
- "Climatological Information for Djibouti, Djibouti". Hong Kong Observatory. http://www.weather.gov.hk/wxinfo/climat/world/eng/africa/sudan/djibouti_e.htm. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
- "BBC Weather : Djibouti". http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/223817. Retrieved 11 July 2012.
- Aden Climate Guide - weather2travel.com
- "Contact Us." Djibouti Airlines. 1 June 2006. Retrieved on 20 February 2011. "REPUBLIC OF DJIBOUTI DJIBOUTI AIRLINES HEAD OFFICE-PLACE LAGARDE."