Djibouti - Post Report Question and Answers

What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?

Housing for the US Embassy is a mix of stand-alone houses and compound living. Some have gardens/plantings, but none have a true yard, as it's too hot for grass to grow here. Houses are generally moderately-well sized, but not luxurious, and maintenance issues require pretty constant attention. All houses are within 10 minutes of the embassy, and most are less than a 5 minute drive. The school that most children attend (QSI) is in the same neighborhood as well. The lack of traffic and commute is one of the best parts of living here. - May 2022

Stand-alone house, small outside area (tiled), carport for one car, three bedrooms (no closet space). Commute time not an issue to work, but commute to Dolto (French elementary school) was a beast. If your kids go to QSI or International School of Djibouti it shouldn't be an issue. - Sep 2020

It was free and spacious. You don't have any green space. Most homes do not meet earthquake measures either. The embassy did a good job keeping up with maintenance issues. - Apr 2018

The housing is quite comfortable. Most houses are 3BR/2.5 BA with generators, gates/yard area, and covered parking. Some houses have rooftop areas, which are great for BBQ's, sundowners, wine & cheese soirees, and watching July 4th fireworks. There are a few clusters of Embassy housing. The closest area is Haramous, located in the same neighborhood as the Embassy, so the commute is a few minutes. Some people choose to bike to work during the cooler season. The other two housing areas are no more than a 10-15 minute drive. Everything is close in Djibouti City. - Jun 2016

Housing is pretty good by Africa standards. Most two story with funky stairs and mismatched tiles. All the houses have generators and we're installing BIG voltage regulators to smooth out the bumps. Water is not potable and is rough on clothes but not toxic. We all brush our teeth with it but don't drink it. We have bottled water for drinking in all the houses and GSO provides it on a weekly delivery. Commute is less than 15 minutes from anywhere in town. - Aug 2015

Houses for the diplomatic/expat community are built large. Most US Embassy employees are assigned spacious homes. There is little in the way of grass or garden space, however. - Feb 2013

Housing is hit or miss. The quality of the houses varies. There is a compound of 6 town-homes, and they are not very nice. There are other houses that are larger, but the workmanship is not well done. Other houses are extremely nice and spacious with some sort of garden area. - Apr 2010

The French are often housed in townhouses or nice appartments, but other expats go in more for villas. U.S. embassy housing was large, kitchens tended to be well below American standards though, and gardens, due to the extreme climate, were limited. - Aug 2008

There are a few stand-alone houses and those tend to be very large. The most common type of housing is to have two to six units on one compound. - Apr 2008

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