Republic of Yemen, or Yemen, is a country located in Southwest Asia. As an Arab country, it is surrounded by Saudi Arabia, the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden, the Arabian Sea, and Oman to the north, west, south, and east, respectively. Yemen is divided into six regions namely Yemeni Coastal Plains, Yemeni Mountains, Yemeni Highlands, Empty Quarter, Red Sea Islands, and Socotra. In addition, within the country’s territories include islands of more than 200, with the largest island being Socotra. Arabic is the country’s official language. If possible, it is recommended to learn at least a bit of Arabic when getting into the country, since most of the signs around the area feature Arabic script and numbers. Yemen has limited rainfall and temperatures that vary on elevation. Expect average high temperatures of 21 degrees Celsius or 69.8 degrees Fahrenheit, with average winter temperatures of 0 degrees Celsius or 32.0 degrees Fahrenheit on the highlands, while the Tihamah or western coastal plain enjoy a tropical climate with temperatures of 54 degrees Celsius or 129.2 degrees Fahrenheit.
What to see & do
Within the country’s cities of Sana’a, Aden, Al Hudayda, Al Mukalla, Dhamar, Ibb, Kawkaban, Mokha, Shibam/Seiyun/Tarim, and Ta’izz are its many attractions that include cultural, spiritual, and nature-based destinations. Among the cultural spots to be visited are Old Sana’a, Shibam Hadramuot, Zabid, Baraqish, Wadi Dhahr, Tarim Palaces, Sheharah, Bilquis Throne, and Dam of Marib, on top of numerous museums. Spiritual destinations include Al-Saleh Mosque, Grand Mosque, Qabir Al-Nabi Hud, along with School of Al-Amiryah. Yemen can also be experienced through its natural locations such as Al-Hajjarah, Ibb Terraces, Jabal Bura, and Kawkaban, among others.
How to get around within Yemen
Travelling around Yemen is suitable for the more adventurous since the country itself is not the easiest to traverse. Visitors and tourists are required to secure a foreign national travel permit to get around. In addition, some of the Yemeni regions are inaccessible to independent travellers. With its own natural beauty, most regions within Yemen have hundreds of kilometres of recently built roads, although the eastern Mahra region is a challenge with its lack of road infrastructure. To get around, some of the cheaper local transportation options include taxi and bus, although another option is via booked tours through the Yemen Ministry of Tourism. The country features the usual Middle Eastern shared taxi station, wherein the vehicles go from point A to point B without any hitches, along with the local intracity bus service, which makes an hourly stop. When planning to travel outside of the capital, it is also recommended to secure a travel permit or a tasriih, as it is required. The travel permit or tasriih can be secured from the tourist police.
How to get there
When flying into Yemen, the airport that operates within Sana’a, the capital of Yemen, is the Sana’a International Airport or simply known as Sana’a International or El Rahaba Airport. Other airports within Yemen include Aden International Airport, Taiz Airport, Socotra Airport, and Hodiedah Airport, to name a few. The airlines that travel to and from Sana’a include Air Arabia, EgyptAir, Felix Airways, Gulf Air, Flydubai, Etihad Airways, Emirates Airline, Lufthansa, Qatar Airways, Syrian Air, Royal Jordanian, Turkish Airlines, and Yemenia, among others. Among the destinations that the airlines operating in Sana’a are serving include Cairo, Egypt; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Frankfurt, Germany; Doha, Qatar; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; and Istanbul, Turkey, to name a few.