Discover – Commonwealth of Dominica

The Commonwealth of Dominica is known as the ‘Nature Island of the Caribbean’. Dominica’s pristine tropical rainforests cover two thirds of the island, and are home to 1,200 plant species. Rivers, lakes, streams, and waterfalls abound, fed by the island’s high annual rainfall. The climate is tropical and the terrain rugged and much of the island is covered in rainforest. There are many waterfalls and lakes and 365 rivers.

While the island’s volcanoes are inactive, Commonwealth of Dominica is home to the world’s second largest thermally active lake, and boasts hot and cold sulphur springs with healing properties.

Today, the Government of Dominica is investing heavily in tourism to drive economic development, focusing on the island’s unsurpassed natural beauty, and the popularity of diving, hiking and eco tours.

 

Island Facts

Location

  • The island sits midway along the Eastern Caribbean archipelago, just a few miles from Martinique to the South and Guadeloupe to the North.
  • TIts official name is the Commonwealth of Dominica, which is mostly referenced in official communiqués and to distinguish the island from its northerly Caribbean sister, the Dominican Republic.

Geography

  • An island of volcanic origin, Dominica is home to the Caribbean’s highest peaks, namely Morne Diablotins, which stands at 1,447m high.
  • The island is sparsely populated with 70,000 people inhabiting its 289 square miles. A significant portion of the population lives in and around the capital city of Roseau.

Language

  • English is the official language, spoken with a melodic French lilt, but a large portion of the population speaks Kwèyòl (Creole).

Climate

  • Humid tropical marine, little seasonal variation between the wet and dry season; high rainfall during the wet season.
  • Average year-round air temperature of 84°F / 28°C, with water at surrounding beaches a few degrees cooler.

Government

  • Unitary parliamentary republic; president is appointed by the parliament.
  • Member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Organization of American States (OAS), the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).
  • Permanent member of the United Nations.

Currency

  • The Eastern Caribbean Dollar (XCD$) is pegged to the US Dollar at US$1.00 XCD = XCD$2.70.
  • US bills are accepted by most stores and businesses and change is given in E.C. currency.

Economy

  • No taxes on worldwide income.
  • Main industries: agriculture, timber and tourism.
  • Main exports include coffee, cocoa, bananas, citrus and tropical fruits, rum, timber and soap.

Culture

  • Dominica is home to the Caribbean’s only remaining population of pre-Columbian Carib Indians.
  • Music and dance are important facets of Dominica’s culture. The annual independence celebrations show an outburst of traditional song and dance. The Commonwealth hosts a number of concerts, festivals, and performances year-round such as “World Creole Music Festival”.
  • Dominica gained prominence on the international music stage with modern Creole music by local artists.

Accessibility

  • Dominica has two airports: Melville Hall (DOM) and Canefield (DCF) Airports.
  • International flights from the US and Europe are connected to the island through hubs in Antigua (ANU), Barbados (BGI), St. Maarten (SXM), Puerto Rico (SJU), Guadeloupe (PTP), and Martinique (FDF).
  • Dominica is also accessible from sea. Captains of cruise ships, private yachts and sailboats can also anchor their vessels at any of the island’s official ports.
  • Visa-free travel to approximately 95 countries

Distinctions

  • On November 3rd 1978, the island was granted its independence from Britain. The success of the banana trade, the island’s major export, brought economic buoyancy to the island however by 1992, Dominica saw sharp declines in banana exports with the loss of its preferential access on the UK market. Economic stagnation went on until 2005, when a number of successful macroeconomic reforms were introduced, such as shifting the focus to tourism sector.
  • Citizenship-by-Investment Program of the Commonwealth of Dominica was established in 1993, making it one of the longest running programs of its kind in the world.

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