Assab now is a modern port, has seven commercial berths, one salt jetty with an oil refinery and three oil terminals built by the former Soviet Union. It used to be the main port serving Addis Ababa and therefore has more an Ethiopian than Eritrean feel to it.
The town is divided into three parts. Assab Seghir (small Assab) on the shoreline, Assab Kebir (big Assab) in the center of town, containing the port and the city center and nestling behind it is the rather ramshackle Campo Sudan, the former domain of Ethiopian residents. There are extensive salt flats around Assab. There are 30 islands in the Bay of Assab, which can be visited