Harar is located about 525km east of Addis Abeba, at an elevation of 1,885m. The city can be divided in to two parts: Jugol, the historic center, and the new town before reaching the Jugol. The wall surrounding this sacred Muslim city was built between the 13th and 16th centuries. It is a 3.5km long wall with a height of nearly four meters and five gates. Harar Jugol was registered by UNESCO as a world heritage site in 2006. The narrow winding streets of Harar houses over 82 mosques and are considered as the fourth holiest city of Islam, next to Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem.

Recently registered by UNESCO as one of the ten World Heritage Sites, people have lived around this area since 20,000 years ago, leaving behind a priceless legacy of cave paintings. It came to be a formal city much later, around the 10th or 11th century AD, once it was established as a center of Islamic learning in East Africa.