From a quaint local fishing village in the 19th century, to a bustling metropolis with over four million people to date, Dar es Salaam has become one the most frequented ports within East Africa, with its natural trade route alongside the Indian Ocean. Named after the Arabic term ‘house/ abode of peace’, by Sultan Majid bin Said of Zanzibar, Dar es Salaam has embodied this title, with its humble fishing ports, tranquil beach front restaurants and cultural craft markets.
In the past Dar es Salaam was referred to as Mzizima, which was governed by Sultan Majid bin Said of Zanzibar, who build a new city on its foundation and named it Dar es Salaam. It fell into decline after Majid's death in 1870, but was revived in 1887 when the German East Africa Company established a station there. During World War I, Dar was the administrative and commercial centre as well as the capital, even after the unity of Tanganyika and Zanzibar which formed today's Tanzania. Until the late 90s Dar es Salaam was never considered to be among Africa’s leading capitals, like Nairobi, Johannesburg, Lagos, or Addis Ababa, but with the rise of the 21st century Dar saw itself becoming Africa’s fastest urbanization statistic, where its new businesses flourished, banks excelled in service, the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange soared and where its harbour was announced to be the most vital within Tanzania and its landlocked neighbours.
Dar es Salaam today
Dar es Salaam, once a city of modest background, is now a city of thriving foregrounds with its tropical climates and urban skyscrapers. Its architecture merges Arabic, German, Indian and African styles to form its diverse structures. The electric landscapes capture the essence of all that is Tanzanian. The Swahili speaking citizens are more than willing to teach you about their unfamiliar world, one you’d choose to make your own.