Downtown Dar es Salaam includes many small businesses, many of which are run by traders and proprietors whose families originated from the Middle East and Indian sub-continent — areas of the world with which the settlements of the Tanzanian coast have had long-standing trading relations. During the daytime the heavy weight of traffic, office workers, busy merchants, street vendors and restaurateurs of the area lend it a frenetic and slightly claustrophobic air. However, after nightfall 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 centre are generally populated by Tanzanians of African descent, with the exception of Oyster Bay, where there is a large population of foreign expatriates. Although there is no racial hostility, the various ethnic communities.