The city

Dar es Salaam means "haven of peace". The name was bestowed on the city during the time of Sultan Seyyid Majid, who chose the sleepy fishing village of Zaramo as the location for his summer palace, Bandur ul Salaam, the "palace of peace". Under the Sultan’s reign, the village thrived and grew and over time transformed into the bustling city of Dar es Salaam.

Dar es Salaam is a magnificent melting pot of Arab, Indian, German and British influences, with many different religious practices - Sikh, Muslim, Hindu and Christian - co-existing together.

Considered Tanzania’s most important city for both business and government, Dar es Salaam contains high concentrations of trade and manufacturing services compared to other parts of Tanzania. This has led to substantial urban development and contributed to a steady decline in poverty rates.

As Tanzania’s administrative capital and main trade centre, Dar es Salaam has most of the country’s transportation facilities, with access to the main harbour, train station and bus terminals. This makes travel from other coastal cities along the Indian Ocean readily available, and one can get around Dar es Salaam quite easily using public transport.

Business tourism

The development of infrastructure and transport facilities has allowed Dar es Salaam to become an excellent choice for both pleasure and business tourism. Dar has been a proud host to many professional conferences, including "Mobilizing Aid for Trade: Focus on Africa" in October 2007, hosted by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), and the World Trade Organization (WTO) in co-operation with the World Bank; and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) annual "East African Organic Conference" in May 2007.

Climate and weather

November sees Dar es Salaam at the very beginning of its summer. Its proximity to the equator and the warm Indian Ocean gives the city a generally tropical climate, with hot and humid weather throughout much of the year. In a normal year there are two distinct rainy seasons: "the long rains" which fall during April and May, and "the short rains" during October and November.

Culture, cuisine and entertainment

Dar es Salaam offers a rich diversity of cuisine, ranging from traditional Tanzanian barbecue-style options such as nyama choma (roasted meat) and mishkaki (shish kebabs) and the long-established traditional Indian and Zanzibari cuisine, to options from all over the world including, Chinese, Thai, Turkish, Italian, and Japanese food. At a traditional Dar es Salaam village market, expect to see chickens, traditional medicines and clothes alongside pyramids of fruits and vegetables for sale.

Dar also has a vibrant live music scene. Traditional taraab orchestras rub shoulders with dance bands playing jazz, salsa and afro-funk .Traditional music, which locally refers to tribal music, is still performed but usually only at family-oriented occasions such as weddings.

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Tanzania Tourism Online

27 March 2009
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27 March 2009
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April 2009
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11 November 2009
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