Dar es Salaam is Arabic and literally means "The residence of peace". It is Tanzania's largest and richest city, the largest city in eastern Africa by population, and a regionally important economic center. It is the capital of the Dar es Salaam Region administrative province and consists of three local government areas or administrative districts: northern Kinondoni, central Ilala, and southern Temeke. The region had a population of 4,364,541 as of the official 2012 census.
Although Dar es Salaam lost its status as the nation's capital to Dodoma in 1974 (not completed until 1996), it remains the locus of the permanent central government bureaucracy.
Dar es Salaam has heavy traffic during the daytime, but after sunset the area is relatively quiet as much of the city's nightlife is located in more residential districts away from the city's mainly commercial centre.
The sprawling suburbs furthest from the city center are generally populated by Tanzanians of African descent, with the exception of Oyster Bay, where there is a large population of foreign expatriates. The edges of Dar es Salaam are spreading rapidly, severely taxing the transportation network (which aside from ferries, lacks any kind of mass transit facilities) and raising the prospect of future urban overcrowding.