The Dire Dawa administrative council consists of the city of Dire Dawa and the surrounding rural areas. The council has no administrative zones but one woreda - Gurgura woreda. There are 4 Keftegnas, 24 urban kebeles and 28 rural peasants associations. Dire Dawa is the capital city of the administrative council.


Dire Dawa is located in the eastern part of the country enclosed by the State of Somalia and the State of Oromia. It is found at a distance of 515 Kilometres from Addis Ababa.


The administration has an estimated area of 128,802 hectares.


According to the 1994 census, the total population was 151,864, of which 127,286 were males and 124,578 females. The proportion of males and females is about 50.5 to 49.5 percent, respectively. The urban residents of the administrative council number 173,188 while its rural residents 78,676. Besides, there were 52,245 households in Dire Dawa administrative council with an average of 4.7 persons per household.

According to the census result, the major ethnic groups of the residents of Dire Dawa administrative council were found to be 48% Oromo, 27.7% Amahra, 13.9% Somali, 4.5% Guragie (2.3% Sebat Bet, 0.8% Sodo and 1.4% Silte) and 5.9% others. Amharic is the official language of the administrative council.

From the census of 1994, the religious composition of the population of Dire Dawa administrative council indicates that 63.2% were Muslims, 34.5% Orthodox Christians, 1.5% Protestants, 0.7% Catholics, and 0.1% followers of other religious groups.

Topography and Climate

Dire Dawa Administrative Council is found at a distance of 515-KM southeast of Addis Ababa. Dire Dawa is a grouped in the Kolla and semi-kolla climatic zone. The north eastern part of Dire Dawa is relatively sparsely populated lowland exhibiting agro-pastoral and pastoral system, and the southeastern part of the administration comprises of the escarpment with mixed farming system.

Dire Dawa lies between 1000 to 2000 meters above sea level. The average monthly temperature is 24.8 degree Celsius. The average annual rainfall amounts to 604 mm.


There are 61,420 cattle, 37,570 sheep, 79,880 goats, 11,910 camel and 67,130 poultry in Dire Dawa.


There is 10,370 hectares of farmland that produces maize, sorghum, chat, coffee, and various kinds of fruits and vegetables.

Cultural Heritage and Tourism

The city has cultural as well as modern tourist attraction sites. These include Legeoda Cave and mural paintings, the Ethio-Djibouti railway, kezira (the cultural market place).


The city has conducive environment for investment. Currently there are 136 investors working in various sectors. Of these, 24 are in agriculture, 33 in industry, 17 in commerce, 34 in real estate, 5 in hotel and tourism, 2 in construction, 6 in transport, 11 in education, and 4 are in health.