Yemen is home to the several number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It has natural beauty and rich history, like old city of Sana’a, Marib, Socotra and Hadramout are world famous and have been attracting visitors for so many years. Besides its historical and natural treasures Yemen also features beautiful coasts and mountains. No wonder why the Romans called Arabia Felix (Happy Arabia). With so many amazing sights, putting together a top 10 list of tourist attractions in Yemen is no easy task. The following list however should give a good indication of why over you have to visit Yemen.
10- Historic Town of Zabid
Zabid’s domestic and military architecture and its urban plan make it an outstanding archaeological and historical site. Besides being the capital of Yemen from the 13th to the 15th century, the city played an important role in the Arab and Muslim world for many centuries because of its Islamic university.
9- Almukalla City
The main sea port and the capital city of the Hadramaut coastal region in Yemen in the southern part of Arabia on the Gulf of Aden close to the Arabian Sea. It is located 480 km (300 mi) east of Aden and is the most important port in the Governorate of Hadramaut, the largest governorate in South Arabia. Al Mukalla was founded in 1035 as a fishing settlement. This area was included in Oman state until middle of the 11th century, and later this area was included in Yemen states.
8- Alhajarah fort – Haraz
Is a village in Yemen. It is located in the Manakhah District of the Sana’a Governorate, in the Haraz Mountains. Al Hajara is built upon a precipice and is famous for the houses which are built onto the cliff faces. Al Hajara contains the former residence of Imam Yahya Muhammad, a signatory to the Italo-Yemeni Treaty of 1926.
7- Saber Mountain – Tai’z City
Saber mountain is one of the most famous mountains in Yemen, (almost 3000m above sea level), which affords panoramic views over the city. The city has a Muslim madrasa that has university status.
6- Gulf of Aden – Aden City
Is a gulf located in the Arabian Sea between Yemen, on the south coast of the Arabian Peninsula, and Somalia in the Horn of Africa. In the northwest, it connects with the Red Sea through the Bab-el-Mandeb strait, which is about 20 miles wide. It shares its name with the port city of Aden in Yemen, which forms the northern shore of the gulf. Historically the Gulf of Aden was known as “The Gulf of Berbera”, named after the ancient Somali port city of Berbera on the south side of the gulf.
5- Wadi Do’an
Do’an valley, Em valley, Amad valley.. etc. Do’an valley is the most important, as many villages spread on the road leading to it, some are models of architecture in Yemen, as Al-Hajrin unique village, Do’an valley is known with production of the Do’ ani honey which is considered the most expensive type of honey in the world, the beautiful villages on the valley banks.
4- Bar’an Temple – Marib City
This lies 1400 m t o the northwestern direction of Mahram Balquis. It is a Sabaean Temple devoted to the Almaqah, the Moon God. This temple comes next to Awam Temple in importance, and is locally known as “al-Amaid” or the throne of Bilpuis. A German Archaeological mission explored this temple, where upon they found it to be square in shape with an open yard involving the sacred well in the middle, together with a pool supplied with water by a funnel from the mouth of the statue of the Holy Taurus.
3- Shibam Hadramout
Shibam is a town in Yemen. With about 7,000 inhabitants, it is the seat of the Shibam District in the Hadhramaut Governorate. It is famous for its mudbrick-made tower houses.
2- Old city of Sana’a
Situated in a mountain valley at an altitude of 2,200 m, Sana’a has been inhabited for more than 2,500 years. In the 7th and 8th centuries the city became a major centre for the propagation of Islam. This religious and political heritage can be seen in the 103 mosques, 14 hammams and over 6,000 houses, all built before the 11th century. Sana’a’s many-storeyed tower-houses built of rammed earth (pisé) add to the beauty of the site.
1- Socotra Island
Socotra Archipelago, in the northwest Indian Ocean near the Gulf of Aden, is 250 km long and comprises four islands and two rocky islets which appear as a prolongation of the Horn of Africa. The site is of universal importance because of its biodiversity with rich and distinct flora and fauna: 37% of Socotra’s 825 plant species, 90% of its reptile species and 95% of its land snail species do not occur anywhere else in the world. The site also supports globally significant populations of land and sea birds (192 bird species, 44 of which breed on the islands while 85 are regular migrants), including a number of threatened species. The marine life of Socotra is also very diverse, with 253 species of reef-building corals, 730 species of coastal fish and 300 species of crab, lobster and shrimp.