Yemen

Driving Directions Yemen

YEMEN is a republic bounded by Saudi Arabia in the north, Oman in the east, the Gulf of Aden in the south, and the Red Sea in the west.

The republic formed after the unification of the previous Yemen Arab Republic (North Yemen) and the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen (South Yemen) in 1990.

Several large islands, notably Socotra in the Indian Ocean, Perim in the Bab el Mandeb, and Kamaran in the Red Sea, belong to Yemen. The Hanish Islands in the southern Red Sea are claimed by both Yemen and Eritrea in Africa, which lies opposite Yemen across the narrow straits of Bab el Mandeb.

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Most of Yemen consists of a high plateau, which becomes gradually lower eastwards and northwards until it merges with the desert lands of the Empty Quarter (Rub al Khali), which extends into Saudi Arabia. In the west, high mountains stretch in a north-south direction and west and south of these lies an arid, coastal plain called the Tihama. The mountains dissected by steep-sided wadis through which water channeled during the summer monsoonal rains.

Google maps™ Yemen


The climate of Yemen is hot and dry on the coastal plains and in the desert but with lower winter temperatures in the uplands and mountains. Rainfall is scarce and erratic and falls mainly in the summer months in the mountains where some percolates down to collect in underground aquifers. This water, in the north and central parts of Yemen, allows cultivation to be carried out, much of it on terraced fields cut into the mountain slopes.

The country is almost entirely dependent on agriculture, even though a tiny percentage of the land is fertile. The main crops are coffee, cotton, wheat, vegetables, millet, sorghum, and fruit.

Fishing is an essential industry with mackerel, tuna, lobster and cod caught and some canning factories along the coast. Another production is on a tiny scale, consisting mainly of a manufacturing industry that produces textiles, plastic, rubber and aluminum goods, paints, and matches. Modernization of the sector is slow because of a lack of funds.

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