Yemen Travel

Yemen Travel

The Republic of Yemen, a country 530,000 sq km in area and situated on the Arabian Peninsula in Southwest Asia, has a population of more than 23 million. It has two Seas as its borders, the Red Sea to the west, the Arabian Sea and Gulf of Aden to the south. Saudi Arabia lies to its north while Oman sits east. The territory of Yemen includes over 200 islands, with Socotra the largest. Interestingly, amongst an area of Emirates and Kingdoms, Yemen happens to be the only republic on the Arabian Peninsula. It is one of eight in the world of the Keffiyah and the Jellaba, items of traditional Arab dress.

Yemen Travel

by valerian.guillot

North Yemen, a part of the Ottoman Empire, became a republic in 1962. The erstwhile Aden saw the last of the British in 1967, and as South Yemen, united with North Yemen to become the Republic of Yemen in 1990, with Sana’a its capital city. It is one of the less rich Arab countries, with as many as 17.5% of the population living below the poverty line between 2000 and 2006.

Unemployment touched 40% in 2007, exacerbated by dwindling resources, and high rate of growth in its population. Its weakness stems from the fact that it has relatively little oil when compared with other Arab states. Amidst fears of a national collapse, its first liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant began production in October last and it has vast reserves of this commodity. Corruption has been blamed as a stumbling block on its path to development.

Taiz city

by المصور أنس الحاج

It is, however, an interesting place for tourists, though the climate limits the time frame to the period October-March. There are many places to be visited, like Sana’a, Aden, Taiz, Mukalla, Socotra, Mukha and Marib among many others. Sana’a is a veritable oasis amidst the Sarat Mountains on the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula and sits on the narrowest point of a mountain plateau, 2,286 metres above sea level, with Jebel Nugum peak towering over it. Regular rainfall make it fertile and gives it a temperate climate throughout the year with the odd sharp frost in the small hours of winter nights. For centuries the desolate home of Yemenis, this ancient city has taken rebirth and reinvented itself to become a modern metropolis. Visitors have been taken in by its fortifications, architecture, and gardens. The other tourist spots have their own charm, but terrorism has slowed down its business. Socotra has been described as the “Galapagos of the Arabian peninsula” and has unique flora and fauna, some never seen elsewhere worldwide. Both Socotra and Sana’a have been listed as UNESCO sites. Yemen owns 51% of Yemenia Airlines, the other 49% belonging to Saudi Arabia. It has 12 modern airliners and ten more on order. Its main international airfield is Sana’a, with Aden it’s second. It had been banned from entering Europe once in 2009 due terrorist activity. A fresh ban has been imposed by the UK for the same reason. Otherwise, it is an active airline, ferrying mainly tourists. Yemen expected tourism to offset losses in oil income, which dropped to $2 billion last year from $4.4 billion in 2008, but terrorist activity by al Qaeda militants have driven most foreign visitors away.

There are enough hotels and restaurants in Yemen to cope with high volume traffic. Cuisine in Yemen is a reflection of the culinary expertise of the Yemen people. Hadramout honey, characterised by its rich, strong flavour, is famous throughout the world. Alcohol is banned.

The time in Yemen is at UTC + 3 hours. Its currency is the Yemeni Rial (YER) and the exchange rate is 1US$=205 YER.

Date posted: 10th August, 2018

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