Being a purpose-built capital, Abuja is the center of politics, diplomacy and many international organizations in Nigeria. However, its importance in terms of culture and economics is less than some other cities. It is located in the center of the country, within the Federal Capital Territory. It replaced Lagos as the capital in 1991. At the last census, the broader metropolitan area of Abuja has a population of more than three million, making it the fourth largest urban area in Nigeria. It is growing very quickly, and the central population is around 1 million.
There is large expat community, which is often self-contained in pockets.
Abuja is very hot all year round, but is particularly scorching between November and April when it is also very dry. The rainy season comes from April to September. Even in this "cooler" season, highs can reach over 30°C (86°F) while at night lows are around 22°C (71.6°F) to 23°C (73.4°F). In the extremely hot, dry season, daytime temperatures get up to 40°C (104.0°F) but temperatures dip sharply at night to around 12°C (53.6°F).
In between the two seasons is a short period in which a cold-dry and dusty trade wind (the Harmattan) brings dust and poor visibility at times.
Accommodation in Abuja is not cheap. The Asokoro area, known for its exclusivity, has apartments with rent cost of around 1,000 USD per month just for a one bedroom place, increasing considerably with more bedrooms and more luxury. Being home to so many high profile people, it is one of the safest areas in the city. It is also home to the IBB Golf Club and The National Children's Park and Zoo.
Similarly, the Maitama district is home to diplomats, government ministers, former governors and the like. Prices are comparable to Asokoro, and both areas are very central.
Further out, around 20 km from the center, is Gwarimpa - home to West Africa’s largest Estate; it is an alternative for upper/middle class people, with slightly larger properties, although rents can be almost as expensive as apartments are in the city: up to 10,000 USD for a two bedroom apartment's annual rental fee.