Your guide to being an expatriate in Djibouti

Caffeinate Your Djibouti Expat Journey: Find Essential Info and Connect with Expatriates Today!

Djibouti is a country located in the Horn of Africa, which is a region that's often overlooked by many. Bordered by Eritrea, Ethiopia, and the Red Sea, Djibouti is a small, yet unique nation that boasts a mix of different cultures, landscapes, and languages. With its strategic location as a key shipping hub, as well as its growing economy and thriving industries, Djibouti is a hidden gem worth exploring. Whether you're looking for adventure, business opportunities, or simply a new cultural experience, Djibouti has it all. So, why not pack your bags and join us for a cup of coffee as we discover the wonders of Djibouti?


Expat destinations in Djibouti

Demographics of Djibouti:

Ethnic groups

Somali (60%), Afar (35%), Issa and other (5%)


French (official) and Arabic (official); Afar, Somali, and other Cushitic languages spoken by ethnic groups

Religion Overview

Djibouti is predominantly Muslim, with nearly 99% of the population practicing the religion. The majority of Muslims in Djibouti follow the Sunni branch of Islam, with a smaller number of Shia Muslims. Despite being a largely secular nation, religion plays a significant role in the cultural and social fabric of Djibouti, often influencing customs, traditions, and everyday life.

Major Religions


Djibouti experiences a hot desert climate, with extremely hot and dry temperatures throughout the year. The country is subject to strong winds, dust storms, and sandstorms, particularly during the spring and autumn months. January is the coolest month, with an average temperature of 22°C (72°F), while May is the hottest month, with an average temperature of 31°C (88°F).

Economy Overview

Djibouti's economy is heavily dependent on its strategic location and the revenues generated from its ports. The country is home to one of the busiest ports in Africa, with over 90% of Ethiopia's imports and exports passing through its borders. In recent years, Djibouti has been investing in its infrastructure and expanding its port facilities to cater to increasing demand. Other key industries in Djibouti include agriculture, fisheries, and tourism.

Key Industries

  • Port and Logistics Services
  • Fisheries
  • Agriculture (Cash Crops)
  • Construction and Infrastructure Development
  • Tourism (Beach Resorts, Cultural Sites, Business Tourism)

Major Companies

  • Djibouti Ports and Free Zones Authority
  • Dorr Mission (Fishing)
  • Servex (Logistics)

Culture and Language Overview

Djibouti's culture is a unique blend of Somali, Afar, and Arab influences. The country is known for its traditional clothing, music, and cuisine, which are deeply rooted in its cultural heritage. One of the most notable cultural highlights in Djibouti is the annual Timsomey Festival, which celebrates the Somali culture through poetry, music, and traditional dress. The country is also home to a number of historical and cultural sites, such as the ancient ruins of Khor Raro and the Andelys archaeological site.

Cultural Highlights

  • Timsomey Festival (Annual Poetry Festival)
  • Khor Raro (Ancient Ruins)
  • Tadjourah Fortress (19th Century Fortress)
  • Lake Assal (Lowest Point in Africa)
  • Moresh Beach (Fishing Village)

Geography and Landmarks Overview

Djibouti is a geographically diverse country, with stunning landscapes and breathtaking sites. From the windswept desert plains to the sparkling coastline and the tranquil lakes and valleys, Djibouti has it all. One of the most notable landmarks in Djibouti is Lake Assal, which is the lowest point in Africa and one of the saltiest lakes in the world. Other notable landmarks include the volcanic Dikhil volcano, the historic town of Tadjourah, and the scenic Red Sea coastline.

Notable Landmarks

  • Lake Assal
  • Dikhil Volcano
  • Tadjourah Fortress
  • Ras Entracote Lighthouse (1924)
  • Red Sea Coastline (Beaches and Scuba Diving Sites)

National Holidays

  • January 1 - New Year's Day
  • January 6 - Epiphany
  • January 27 - Liberation Day
  • May 1 - Labor Day
  • July 27 - Youth Day
  • September 24 - Independence Day
  • November 1 - All Saints' Day
  • December 25 - Christmas Day

Political Stability

Djibouti is a stable and peaceful country, which is well-known for its political and economic stability in the region. The country is led by President Ismail Omar Guelleh, who has been in power since 1999. The government in Djibouti follows a multi-party democratic system, with the latest elections held in April 2021. However, there have been some concerns regarding human rights and freedom of expression in the country. Regardless, Djibouti remains a popular destination for foreign investment, with its strategic location, social and political stability, and strong economy.

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