Capital, chief port, and main commercial centre of East Timor, situated on the Ombai Strait on the northern coast; population (2002 est) 49,900. Coffee, cotton, rice, sandalwood, copra, and hides are the chief exports, while industries include soap, perfume, pottery, and textiles, as well as crafts such as basketry and sandalwood carving.
Dili became the capital of East Timor in 1769 during Portuguese colonial rule, was from 1976 the capital of the Indonesian province of Timor Timur. In 1999 it became the capital of the emerging independent state of East Timor. It was The inhabitants are mainly Timorese and Atonese, though there are also Portuguese, Eurasian, and Arab minorities.
The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Dili dates from 1988 and is reputed to be the largest cathedral in South East Asia. The city has an airport and there are road links to Maubara and Atapupu to the west and to Manatuto and Tutuala to the east.
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