Yemen- A heavenly abode

Beauty of Yemen

Yemen an Arabian country, and a part of asia continent, located near Arabian sea, covered with beautiful range of mountains, starting from sea level  of Aden in south and up rising till North, covring sana’a at the height of approximately 11000 ft,  Its most famous mountains are known as Haraz mountains,


The Haraz mountains range is an isolated massif, within yemen’s western escarpment. It is characterized by consideravle height differences. Wheras the lower regions merge into the gentle hill country of the red sea plain. The highest point of the massif is at 2960 m asl. As high ass the Zugspitze in the bayarian alps. The Haraz Mountains are above all famous for their fortified villages of mediaeval appearance counstructed on exposed rock buttresses or clifftops. These villages are made up of a confusing jumble of alleyways andhouses seemingly built to no set plan. Outwards however they form a sheer, continuouswall, broken only by a single, mostly very small, entrance gate, This unusual form of settlement is a result of the frequent conflicts between tribes.

People living in different tribes built their own village, their main source of income is agriculture which is done on step or terrace farming, These Haraz Mountain civilians main market is in Manakha which is the center of trading.


Socotra, Yemen’s largest island, is home to unique plant and animal life that have evolved in isolation for millions of years. Its varied terrain includes valleys and plains, lush oases, and extensive caves. And then, of course, there is the whole other world just beneath the surface of the sea. The coral reefs surrounding the island are extensive and pristine. They are believed to host as many different species of sea life as are found in the red sea. The rich offshore waters constitute the main source of income- not to mention nutrition- for the islands residents.

The isolation that has caused Socotra to become a natural wonder has also allowed the native socotris to retain their unique language and cultural traditions.

As more and more people discover this hidden gem, the greater the pressure will be to develop the island and capitalize on its appeal. This future is unavoidable. The people of Socotra would benefit greatly from increased investment on the island. Developing Socotra would provide its inhabitants with much needed social services such as education and health care. Socotras is one of yemen’s most important untapped natural resources. The entire country will benefit from increased tourismwith Socotra at the center of bisitors itineraries, but this must be approached cautiously and with great care and consideration. Responsible parties must ensure that investment in the development of the island is both sustainable and environmentally responsible.

Socotra is one of those “lost world” islands (separated from the world six million years ago) where intrepid travelers – particularly those seeking  exotic nature and wildlife in a remote tropical setting – can go days on end without rubbing shoulders with that less -than-endangered species…tourists.

Known for decades as the Galapagos of the Indian Ocean, it’s the world’s tenth richest island for endemic plant species. And the biggest island in the Middle East 125 kilometers in length and 45 kilometers across.

Meanwhile the landscape is one of contrasts, for example, it has isolated nature preserves with dazzling wildlife (including 900 species of plants, and the famous Dragon’s Blood Tree “dracaena cinnabara” and the some of rarest birds that exist nowhere else in the world), and picturesque sandy beaches.


Shibam city

Surrounded by a fortified wall, the 16th-century city of Shibam is one of the oldest and best examples of urban planning based on the principle of vertical construction. Its impressive tower-like structures rise out of the cliff and have given the city the nickname of ‘the Manhattan of the desert’.

The old walled city of Shibam and Wadi Hadramaut constitute an outstanding example of human settlement and land use. The domestic architecture of Shibam is an outstanding characteristic example of houses in the Arab and Muslim world. The rigorous city planning based on the principle of vertical construction is exceptional and an example of a traditional but vulnerable culture

Sometimes called the ‘Chicago of the desert’ or the ‘Manhattan of the desert’, the old city of Shibam presents to historians and urbanists one of the earliest and most perfect examples of rigorous planning based on the principle of vertical construction.

The city is built on a hillock, which has allowed it to escape the devastating floods of Wadi Hadramaut and to become the capital of the territory after the destruction of ancient pre-Islamic capital, Shabwa, in AD 300. Its plan is trapezoidal, almost rectangular; and it is enclosed by earthen walls within which a block of dwellings, also built from earth, have been laid out on an orthogonal grid. The highest house is eight storeys high and the average is five.

The impressive structures for the most part date from the 16th century, following a devastating flood of which Shibam was the victim in 1532-33. However, some older houses and large buildings still remain from the first centuries of Islam, such as the Friday Mosque, built in 904, and the castle, built in 1220.

In Shibam there are some mosques, two ancient sultan’s palaces, a double monumental door and 500 more buildings, separated or grouped, but all made uniform by the material of which they are constructed: unfired clay.