Yemen is located in the Middle-East and is bordered by Oman, Saudi Arabia, Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and Arabian Sea. Yemen consists of more than 200 islands and largest island among them is the Socotra. Yemen is the only republican government of the Arabian Peninsula and the capital of Yemen is Sana’a. Yemen is the home of ancient civilization and was the part of the kingdoms such as Sabaean, Ausan, Himyarite, Qataban, Minaean and Hadhramout. Yemen later was under the rule of Persian and Ethiopian. During 1918-1962, this country was the monarchy ruled by Hamidaddin family.
Geographically, the country is divided in to four major regions such as eastern highlands, western highlands, coastal plains in west and Rub al Khali toward the east. Among the countries in Arab World, Yemen is the least developed and poorest country with a weak economy. Yemen has only small percentage of oil reserves but the economy mainly depends on the revenue produced by oil. Yemen has large reserves for natural gas. Yemen has a bicameral legislature and the country is presidential republic with a President and 301 Assembly of Representatives. Head of the state is the President and head of the government is the Prime Minister.
The population of Yemen is more than 28 million with 46% are below 15 years and 2.7% people are above 65 years old. The country possesses the highest birth rates in the world. The people are of Arab origin and the official language is Arabic. The country is mainly a tribal society and there are about 400 Zaydi tribe lives in mountains. The religion of Yemen is mainly divided in to two religious groups such as Sunni and Shi’a Muslims. Among the population, 56% are of Sunni population and 46% are of Shi’a Muslims.
Yemen is a country with rich cultural heritage influenced by several civilizations. There are four sites in Yemen listed as the World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. In 1982, UNESCO listed Shibam, the Old Walled City is known as “Manhattan of the Desert” because of the tall buildings surrounded by fortified wall. This city is an example of urban planning during olden days. Another ancient city, Sana’a is also listed by UNESCO which was the main Islamic center of 7th century with 14 hammams, 103 mosques and over 6,000 houses are survived till date. Zabid, a historic town is another site inscribed by UNESCO was the capital of Yemen from 13th-15th century. Socotra Archipelago is another listed site by UNESCO and the site comprises four islands and two islets.
Aden is a beautiful coastal city of Yemen with old buildings, castles, souks and wonderful beaches. Taiz was the capital of the country during one of its golden age enjoys the position as the main economic center today. Al-Hodeidah is a beautiful city of Yemen with greenery and beauty all through the year. Marib is another tourist destination which was the center of ancient and powerful Arabian Kingdoms