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About Djibouti
epublic of Djibouti occupies a unique and strategic location in the Horn of Africa and is bordered by Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia, and has a long coastline border on the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. The history of Djibouti goes back thousands of years to a time when populations in the area traded hides and skins for the perfumes and spices of ancient Egypt, India and China. Through close contacts with the adjacent Arabian Peninsula for more than 1,000 years, theSomali and Afar ethnic groups in the region became among the first populations on the continent to embrace Islam. In 1894, Léonce Lagarde established a permanent French administration in the city of Djibouti and named the region French Somaliland (Côte française des Somalis). It lasted from 1896 until 1967, when it was renamed the French Territory of the Afars and the Issas, and in 1977it gained its independance and became the Republic of Djibouti and joined the United Nations in the same year.

Djibouti is today a strategic centre for trade and business and the gateway to East Africa, as well as being popular leisure destination rich in culture. Djibouti is sectioned into five regions and one city. It is further subdivided into eleven districts.

   Regional Highlights

Ali Sabieh Region (Région d'Ali Sabieh)

The capital of the Ali Sabieh Region is Ali Sabieh. Other major localities include Holhol and Ali Adde.

Arta Region (Région d'Arta)

The capital of the Arta Region is Arta. Other major localities include We`a and Damerjog.

Dikhil Region (Région de Dikhil)

The Dikhil Region contains part of Lake Abbe.It also contains Lake Laitali, Lake Gummare, and Lake Bario; all of which drain into Lake Abbe. All of these lakes are along the Dikhil-Ethiopia border. The capital of the Dikhil Region is Dikhil. Other major localities include As Ela, Galafi,and Yoboki.

Obock Region (Région d'Obock)

Hundreds of salt lakes are located along the Obock Region's Red Sea coastline. The We'ima Wenz River forms part of the Obock-Eritrea border. The capital of the Obock Region is Obock. Other major localities include Khor Angar and Daddato.
Tadjourah Region

Lake Assal is located in the south of the Tadjourah Region. Mousa Ali, the highest point in the region and the whole of Djibouti, is located in the north of the Tadjourah Region. The capital of the Tadjourah Region is Tadjourah. Other major localities include Randa, Dorra and Balho.

Lake Assal is a crater lake and it lies 155 m (509 ft) below sea level in the Afar Depression and its shores comprise the lowest point on land in Africa and the third lowest land depression on Earth after the Dead Sea and Sea of Galilee. It measures 19 km (12 mi) by 7 km (4.3 mi) and has an area of 54 km2 (21 sq mi). Lake Assal is the most saline body of water on earth, with up to 40% concentration, much higher than the 33.7 percent level in the Dead Sea, and the average of 3.5 percent in the world's oceans.

What makes Assal also unique is that, unlike the other major hypersaline lakes of the world, its major source of water is not from incoming streams. The sources of the lake are hot springs whose salinity is close to sea water, which are fed by the Gulf of Tadjoura, the western extension of the Gulf of Aden, specifically the nearly closed-off bay Ghoubet Kharab, about 10 km southeast of the lake. Day trips can easily be arranged from the hotel to Lake Lassal.

Djibouti (city) (Ville de Djibouti)

Djibouti is a city rich in culture with a long history. Founded as a seaport in 1888 by the Spaniard Eloi Pino it offers its visitors a rich diversity of culture unmatched in Eastern Africa, and it is a flourishing centre for commerce and trade which services the surrounding neighbouring countries.

Places of Interest:

Attractions of Djibouti City include beaches along its eastern shore and the large Central Market, the national stadium Stade du Ville, the Presidential Palace and Hamoudi Mosque, and the nearby islands which are ideal for diving and viewing the Whale shark.

Culture and Tradition:

A lot of Djibouti's original art is passed on and preserved orally, mainly through song. Many examples of Islamic, Ottoman, and French influences can also be noted in the local buildings, which contain plasterwork, carefully constructed motifs and calligraphy.

Djiboutian attire reflects the region's hot and arid climate. When not dressed in western clothing such as jeans and t-shirts, men typically wear the macawiis, which is a sarong-like garment worn around the waist. Among nomads, many wear a loosely wrapped white cotton robe called a tobe that goes down to about the knee, with the end thrown over the shoulder. Women typically wear the dirac, which is a long, light, diaphanous voile dress. Married women tend to sport head-scarves referred to as shash, and also often cover their upper body with a shawl known as garbasaar. Unmarried or young women, however, do not always cover their heads. Traditional Arabian atire such as the male jellabiya and the female jilbāb is also commonly worn. For some occasions such as festivals, women may adorn themselves with specialized jewelry and head-dresses similar to those worn by the Berber tribes of the Maghreb.

Business and Trade:

Djibouti has stable economy which has developed steadily due to the stability and good security of the country. The international airport and deep sea seaport provide easy access for traffic to Europe and the Middle East as well as the rest of Africa.

The economy of Djibouti is based on commercial and trade service activities connected with the country's strategic location and its status as the only free trade zone in northeast Africa. Djibouti provides services as both a transit port for the region and an international transshipment and refueling center.

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