Yemen Travel Guide

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Yemen is located in the south-west corner of the Arabian Peninsula. It borders on Saudi Arabia and Oman in the north and has the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean as . Yemen used to be known as Arabia Felix, the happy Arabia, because of its richness, but nowadays it is the second poorest country in the Arabic world (only Mauritania has a lower per capita GDP.

Yemen is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. You will feel like you jumped back in time, some good thousand years. Men and women still wear traditional garb, the houses look like pictures from your children's Bible (or Koran).

Sanaa the capital is great and is probably your point of entry. The old city is on the world heritage list of UNESCO. Marib is another must see. The Great Marib Dam is a very impressive structure and shows how developed early Yemenite civilizations were. Shibam is dubbed the Manhattan of the desert and is far away but very pretty.

You are sure never to forget a trip to Yemen. Either you enjoy the fantastic ancient architecture, have a great time in the beautiful mountains and appreciate the desert landscapes.


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General Information on Yemen

 Background:

Arabia Felix in Latin and Arabia Eudemon in Greek, this what Yemen was so-called in the ancient world. Both names mean “ Arabia the Blessed”. This because of its fertile land that grew endemic cereals, fruit, resin, spices and aromatic trees that produced fragrant substances such as, frankincense and myrrh which were used in the ritual ceremonies in Temples. In Yemen , great civilizations were erected. The most famed civilization was Saba or Sheba . The Sabaeans established Dams to irrigate their lands and they constructed the greatest Dam in the ancient world, Marib Dam (about 610 BC), its remains have been still so far. The kingdom of Sheba flourished and became wealthy owing to its monopoly to the trade routes between ancient East and West Civilizations. One of the Sabaean Rulers was the Queen Bilquis (the Queen of Sheba) who was very renowned when she undertook a journey to meet the Prophet Solomon. The Story of this Queen mentioned in the Holly Qura’an and the Bible, too. She established her capital in Marib (about 2500 yeas ago). Many remains of the Queen’s Throne, Temples have remained so far. So Marib is considered one of the most significant archeological sites in Yemen .   In the 17 th century, Yemen had well known reputation in Europe for trading Yemeni coffee, which was considered the finest coffee.. The Red Sea Mokha port (some of the famous coffee shops bear the name of Mokha in Europe ) had become one of the busiest ports of its day.   Some of the European merchant transported Yemeni coffee plants to several regions in the world such as Indonesia , Brazil and Jamaica .

Yemen Today:

             Formal Name:     Republic of Yemen  

1.      Yemen , officially the Republic of Yemen , re-unified on 22nd of May1990 (one of the most important Yemeni National Days). Before the unification, Yemen had been divided into two parts, North Yemen and South Yemen . The Republic of Yemen is a democratic country. The people of Yemen are the possessors and the source of legitimacy and power, which they execute directly through referendum and elections.   It is a constitutional State; its governmental system is founded on the basis of the pluralism with three powers, judicial, legislative and executive.                         

  4.      Ethnic Origin : The majority is Arabic origins with a minority from Africa, India , and Europe

5.      Capital City : Sana’a  

6.      Main Cities : Sana’a, Aden (the main harbor and the free zone), Taiz, Hodaidah, Mukala.

7.      Main Travel Ways to and from Country, by air, sea and land: By land through the northern Yemeni Saudi borders, and the eastern Yemeni Omani borders, by sea, through Hodaidah Harbor at the Red Sea, and Aden Harbor at the Arab Sea, by air via Yemenia Airways and other international airways.

8.      Main tourist Travel and Transportation of Country, By land, air and sea: by land there are many travel agencies, public modern transportation buses, by air via Yemenia Airways, by sea via tourist yachts and ships .  

9.      Yemeni culture and music has seen a dramatic increase in the past few years witht the expansion of the number of Yemeni Satellites and the Yemeni multimedia presence on the web. One example, is http://www.babalyemen.com which draws a large audience from around the world withits different multimedia content that introduces the many beautiful cities of Yemen and its people.

10.      Tourism Foundations and Establishments:

-          Tourism Ministry and Establishments: Ministry of Culture and Tourism, General Authority for Tourism Development, and Yemen Tourism Promotion Board.

-          Tourist Foundations and Agencies: Please see the Web Site www.yementourism.com

-          Airways: Yemenia Airways, and many other international airways.

-          Hotels: Please see the above-mentioned web site.

-          Restaurants:   Please see the above mentioned web site

-          Parks and Playgrounds: There are three major parks in Sana’a city: Al Thoura, and Al Sabbeen Parks, and the   Zoo. There is a park in Taiz city and a park in Aden city in addition there are many wonderful sightseeings in many places and regions throughout Yemen . There are two major football stadiums: one in Sana’a city and another in Aden (modern one) further, there are many playgrounds existed in different Yemeni cities.

11. Cultural Foundations

  -          Ministry of Culture and its Establishments: Ministry of Culture and Tourism, general Authority for Tourism Development, Tourism Promotion Board, General Authority for Antiquity and Manuscripts and Museums, General Authority for Conserving Ancient Cities, and The Cultural Center (includes the main theater stage in Sana’a).  

-          Universities:   There are 7 public universities, the major universities are: Sana’a University, Aden University , Taiz University , Hodaidah University , Hadramout University

                             

Location:

The Republic of Yemen is located in the southern west corner of the Arabian Peninsula, in the southern west part of Asia . Saudi Arabia borders it in the north, Arab Sea and the Indian Ocean in the south, Sultanate Oman from east, and Red Sea from west. Its area is stretched between Latitude 12-19 degrees north of the Equator, and Longitude 41-54 East of Greenwich.

  Area: The total area o f Yemen is approximately 555,000 km 2 , excluding Al Rub al-Khali (The Empty Quarter Desert). 

 Population:

  The population of Yemen is approximately 19,700,000. (Central Statistic Organ. Aug., 2003)  

Language:

Arabic is the official language and English language is the second language.

Religion:

Islam is the official religion. There is a Jewish minority, too.

  Time zone:

G.M.T.+3hrs.

  Currency:

  Yemeni Rail (YR), visitors can exchange currencies in exchange establishments spread all around Yemeni cities. 1$=184.50 YR(April,2004)

  Climate:

The climate in Yemen is various and depends on the different altitude of the regions. In the mountains, it can be cool (at night & early morning, otherwise warm days) and moderate on the coast of Indian Ocean and the Red Sea in winter. In summer, it is fresh and moderate in the mountains and can be hot but bearable on the coasts and the deserts. Yemen ’s climate could be classified under three climate zones: Tihaman (stretched along the Red Sea ), the south coastal strip- the hot and humid coastal strip. In winter, the climate in the coastal area is relatively moderate. Occasional rains in summer are caused by the monsoon coming from high temperatures in the coastal area during summer. The weather in the mountain areas is moderate in summer and relatively cold in winter. During winter, it becomes especially cold at night and in the early morning with pleasant sunny days.

Author :  Kimo, Abdullah Kamil , Khaldoon and Abdulsalam Qasim

 

Part or or all of this text stems from the original article at: babalyemen.com

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