Yemen Local Time
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Official Name: Republic of Yemen
Capital: Sanaa
Area: Total: 527,970 sq km
Land: 527,970 sq km
Note: includes Perim, Socotra, the former Yemen Arab Republic (YAR or North Yemen), and the former People's Democratic Republic of Yemen (PDRY or South Yemen)
Water: 0 sq km
Climate: Mostly desert; hot and humid along west coast; temperate in western mountains affected by seasonal monsoon; extraordinarily hot, dry, harsh desert in east
Location: Middle East, bordering the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden, and Red Sea, between Oman and Saudi Arabia
Geographic Coordinates: 15 00 N, 48 00 E
Comparative Area: Slightly larger than twice the size of Wyoming
Land Boundaries: Total: 1,746 km
Border Countries: Oman 288 km, Saudi Arabia 1,458 km
Coastline: 1,906 km
Terrain: Narrow coastal plain backed by flat-topped hills and rugged mountains; dissected upland desert plains in center slope into the desert interior of the Arabian Peninsula.
Elevation Extremes: Lowest point: Arabian Sea 0 m
Highest point: Jabal an Nabi Shu'ayb 3,760 m

Yemen, officially the Republic of Yemen, re-unified on the 22nd of May,1990 (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.

Where history comes alive…
Yemen is like a page from the historical past. Long-forgotten childhood dreams seem to come alive as you visit the intriguing landscape. The country boasts more than 3000 years of history, representing the old kingdoms of Saba, Hymiarite, and others referred to in the Bible.

The old city of Sana'a makes you feel as if you were re-living the story of 1001 Arabian Nights ……. through the majestic old palaces you can almost reach out and virtually touch history. Popular too, are the unique fortified mountain villages of Thula, Kawkaban, Shibam, Manakha , Wadi Dahr, Taiz, Jibla, Hajarah and Sa'ada.

Unique architecture, unspoiled nature, the mountains, desert, green valley and beautiful beaches are attractions that you cannot afford to miss out.

The people of Yemen are friendly, full of dignity, and have strong bonds with their old traditions. A few words of Arabic will earn you a big smile. The Yemenis’ way of life reflects untarnished tradition and hospitality that knows no bounds. The houses are like bewitched fairy tale castles. The air carries the scent of spices. Women wearing red and silver dresses and embroidered wide breeches are seen baking bread and the men's watches appear to be timeless – life does not end with the setting sun.

SANA'A is the city built in BC200. It was more like a fortress designed to prevent occupation in the kingdom of Saba. In the transparent air at 2,000m altitude, Sana'a seems to be an inconsistent mirage of clay houses, with multicolor glasses, white cupolas and minarets. The muezzin's voice mingles with the uproar of the motor-horns. Not surprisingly, UNESCO has proclaimed Sana'a as heritage of Mankind.

MARIB is a mystical city. The route to Marib, across the village of Barakesh, the capital of the Minea kingdom is where you begin to see the sands of the desert. You are sure to be enchanted by the view of the ruins of Marib, the mystical town of the Queen of Saba, who the Holy Bible speaks of, but remained forgotten until 1843.

The road across the central plateau of Yemen is rich in culture and exotic vegetation. You will see villages of unbelievable and unusual beauty, wild spaces… isolated villages... Ibb is a jewel of Yemeni mountain architecture - housed on the top of a mountain rock.

Hodeidah can be reached via al Khokha, a pretty beach on the Red Sea. You move then to Zabid, the old capital of the Islamic culture with her old university where Algebra was invented. You continue your travel and reach Bait al Faqit. Hodeidah, a historic yet modern town and important port of Yemen is rather a special venue.

Visit to the fish market and tour of the city allows you to admire the typical architecture of 19th century. You continue in the direction of the mountains where the coffee, famous as Moka, is cultivated. Moka is the name of the town on the Red Sea where the coffee used to be shipped. The capital of the region is Manakha, a beautiful example of fortified town, lying in strategic position on the route which connects Sana'a to Hodeidah. The classical Yemeni landscape can be seen also in the next two villages: Al Hajjarah and Hoteib, with their famous tower-houses. It reflects a beautiful blend of natural environment and human effort.

The village is a wonderful example of architectural perfection amidst steep precipices and green valleys. The beautiful Thula represents the harmonious connection between architecture and natural environment of a village at 2700m altitude; Kawkaban and its old steep stairway; Shibam and the mosques seem to cast a spell of everlasting charm.

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