Dar es Salaam, which means ‘Haven of Peace’ in Swahili was bestowed upon the city during the time of Sultan Seyyid Majid. DAR is Tanzania’s largest and richest city and it has grown to become a prosperous commercial centre of the East African region. While DAR boasts one of the world’s finest natural harbours it remains a place of fascination with many reminders of its colourful past.
Dhows still ply its waters while dug-outs, piled with fish, bob by the harbour side. The city displays the many cultural influences of its history – Arab, Indian, German & British. There is an Asian district with its speciality shops, restaurants and Sikh, Muslim and Hindu temples. The German colonisation has left behind a Bavarianstyle railway station, the Roman Catholic St Joseph’s Cathedral and the Lutheran Azania Front Church. The Botanical Gardens and Gymkana Club are evidence of British occupation.
DAR is also Tanzania’s most prominent city for the arts, fashion, media and music. The URITHI Heritage Festival is Tanzania’s cultural flagship to world tourism, taking place in Dar es Salaam each year in September and October and promotes the heritage and the ideological implications of its historical narratives.
For art lovers the Nyerere Cultural Centre exhibits arts and handicrafts and the National Museum is well worth a visit.
DAR offers a vibrant night life scene with traditional Taarab music and clubs playing jazz, afro funk and hip hop. Dar es Salaam has become a very important centre for International and regional conferences. The Julius Nyerere International Conference Centre can host meetings and conferences for 1000 delegates.