World Travelling Guide
World Travelling Guide

Accommodation in Southern Africa and South Africa including accommodation in Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Gauteng, Limpopo Province, North West Province, Free State, Kwazulu-Natal, Mpumalanga

List of Countries
Map of The Middel East

Yemen Travelling Guide
Yemen Travelling Guide

General background: North Yemen became independent of the Ottoman Empire in 1918. The British, who had set up a protectorate area around the southern port of Aden in the 19th century, withdrew in 1967 from what became South Yemen. Three years later, the southern government adopted a Marxist orientation. The massive exodus of hundreds of thousands of Yemenis from the south to the north contributed to two decades of hostility between the states. The two countries were formally unified as the Republic of Yemen in 1990. A southern secessionist movement in 1994 was quickly subdued. In 2000, Saudi Arabia and Yemen agreed to a delimitation of their border.

Area comparative: Slightly larger than twice the size of Wyoming.

Climate: Mostly desert; hot and humid along west coast; temperate in western mountains affected by seasonal monsoon; extraordinarily hot, dry, harsh desert in east.

Terrain: Narrow coastal plain backed by flat-topped hills and rugged mountains; dissected upland desert plains in centre slope into the desert interior of the Arabian Peninsula.

Population: 18,701,257 (July 2002 est.)

Ethnic groups: Predominantly Arab; but also Afro-Arab, South Asians, Europeans

Religions: Muslim including Shaf'i (Sunni) and Zaydi (Shi'a), small numbers of Jewish, Christian, and Hindu

Language: Arabic

Government type: Republic

Capital: Sanaa

Legal system: Based on Islamic law, Turkish law, English common law, and local tribal customary law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction.

Economic overview: Yemen, one of the poorest countries in the Arab world, reported strong growth in the mid-1990s with the onset of oil production, but has been harmed by periodic declines in oil prices. Yemen has embarked on an IMF-supported structural adjustment program designed to modernize and streamline the economy, which has led to substantial foreign debt relief and restructuring. Aided by higher oil prices in 1999-2000, Yemen worked to maintain tight control over spending and implement additional components of the IMF program. A high population growth rate and internal political dissension complicate the government's task.

Communication/Telephone system: Since unification in 1990, efforts have been made to create a national telecommunications network.

Places of interest: One of the most striking features of Yemen is its astonishing architecture. The country is covered in ancient skyscrapers - eight-floor buildings made from stone and mud - where people live on top of their animals and the views are spectacular. You'll also see mind-blowing mosques, sultans' palaces and villages perched on top of seemingly inaccessible mountains.

Travel tips: The US and Australian governments have issued renewed travel warnings advising their citizens not to go to Yemen, and suggesting that those who are already there consider leaving as soon as possible.