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Dire Dawa is city in Harar region, Ethiopia. It is a commercial and industrial center located on the Addis Ababa–Djibouti railroad. Manufactures include processed meat, vegetable oil, textiles, and cement. There are also railroad workshops in the city. Dire Dawa was founded in 1902 when the railroad from Djibouti reached the area, and its growth has resulted largely from trade brought by the railroad.


The climatic condition of Dire Dawa seems to be greatly influenced by its topography, which lies between 950 – 1250 meter above sea level, and which is characterized by warm and dry climate with a relatively low level of precipitation. The mean annual temperature of Dire Dawa is about 25.40C. The average maximum temperature of Dire Dawa is 31.40C, while its average minimum temperature is about 18.20C. The region has two rain seasons; that is, a small rain season from March to April, and a big rain season that extends from August to September. The aggregate average annual rainfall that the region gets from these two seasons is about 604 mm. On the other hand, the region is believed to have an abundant underground water resource.


According to the 1994 census, the total population was 151,864, of which 127,286 were males and 124,578 females. Dire Dawa has become home for peoples from a number of nations and nationalities found in the country as well as for people from India, Yemen, Turkey, etc.2.4. LANGUAGES AND RELIGION

Language and Religion:

A number of Ethiopian Languages including Oromiffa, Amharic, Somali, Guragigna, Tigrigna, Harari, etc. are widely spoken in Dire Dawa by the people from the various nations and nationalities living in Dire Dawa. Amharic is used as a working language in the city. Arabic also serves as a medium of communication in some sectors of the city.

The presence of conducive environments like similarity in lifestyles, closeness and friendship among the people of the city have contributed to the creation of a unique blending of custom thattranscends any cultural and language barriers. As a result of this, nearly all the people living especially in the central and eastern sections of the city are able to speak two or more languages. The predominant religions practiced in the region are Islam and Christianity. However, we can find people from other religious groups like Hindu and the like in the city.


Dire Dawa has a rich wealth of pre-historic cave paintings some of which have achieved international recognition through the efforts of the French and American Geologists that have studied them several times in the last 75 years, while there are still other caves that have never been studied so far.

Dire Dawa (Memorial Burial Place)


The remains of the British airmen and African soldiers who, during the second World War, fought besides the Ethiopian forces to liberate Ethiopia from Italian occupation.



Dire Dawa train station


The railway line that reached Dire Dawa in 1902 is believed to have been the reason the city came into being in the first place. That is why the railway station is one of the destinations of tourists and other visitors coming to the city.




Dire Dawa (Kefira) Market place


Kefira is a traditional market place where one can see the colorful presentation of all people of the region in their cultural dresses. The presence of camels, donkeys, and the inevitable Gharris, two wheeled carts drown by a horse or a mule, gives it an aura of going back to medieval times.


Dire Dawa mosque


This is one of largest mosques found in the city. It is called Italian Mosque because the Italians built it during their short-lived occupation of Ethiopia.




Dire Dawa (St. Michael's Church)


St. Michel’s Catholic Church was built over 115 years ago, and is located 26 kilometres from the city near a place called Beyo Awale. During the month of October Catholic believers from Dire Dawa, Harar, and other place annually gather at the church in there thousands.




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This site was last updated 05/26/18