Tourism in Yemen, 10 Reasons to Visit Yemen. Traditionally, Yemen has been a center of tourism for centuries, as it is in the middle of the Middle East and the Horn of Africa trade routes. Tourism played an important role in the region in global trade and continued until the 20th century. There has been a sharp decline in tourism since the Yemen Crisis in 2011. The surge in surplus caused potential foreign tourists to fear Yemen. Yemen has four World Heritage Sites and some of the sites have been attacked, including the ancient Sana’a city.
While Yemen is a fascinating tourism country with its historical and natural beauties, it is experiencing hard times in terms of tourism due to the internal conflicts that have lived in recent years. We condemn violence and despite all the 10 reasons to visit Yemen.
1. Socotra Dragon Tree
Socotra Dragon Tree, located in Socotra, 350 kilometers from the mainland of Yemen, is one of the places that must be seen before dying. Most people do not know this island. It is also called the strange island or the island of happiness. Approximately 40 thousand people live in the island. There are very strange plant and animal species on the island. One of them is the Socotra Dragon Tree, the endemic plant of which is the dark red of the self-water. This tree has become the symbol of the island and even the country. Children living in the island collect the dust that falls on the leaves of the tree and sell it to tourists.
2. Dar al-Hajar
Dar al-Hajar, built on a rock in Dahr Valley near Yemen’s capital San’a, resembles an eagle’s nest. For many years the country has been ruled here. Between 1869 and 1948 Imam Yahya used this palace for the country’s government in the summer months. The building has 5 floors and consists of 35 rooms. Dar al-Hajar, meaning “Stone House”, draws attention with its architecture. Today it is used as a museum and many works are exhibited in the museum. This castle, known as the symbol of Yemen, must definitely be visited.
3. Great Mosque of Sana’a
The Great Mosque, located in Sana, the capital of Yemen, is the oldest mosque in the country that was built in 715 years. This mosque, built in Umayyad architectural style, has a very important place for Yemen. The most important cause of this mosque is the existence of the oldest written Qur’anic writings. Another important feature of the mosque is the Kaaba, which is very important for the Zaydites. Until today, it has been passed through repairs many times and Shan is in good condition and is open to worship. In addition, this mosque is located in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
4. Al Saleh Mosque
The Al Saleh Mosque, located in Sana, was opened for worship in 2008. The mosque is carrying the name of the overthrown leader Ali Abdullah Saleh. It is known as the largest mosque in Yemen. This mosque, which combines Yemen and Arabic architecture in a modern place, has 6 minarets and is one of the most important constructions of the country.
5. Bab al-Yaman
Yemen’s capital Sana’a first comes to mind in the Old City District. This area is located on the UNESCO World Heritage List. There are walls 6 to 9 meters high. These walls have many doors. The most important of these are Bab al-Yaman. After 1962, this door was called Freedom Gate.
6. Salt Market
After visiting historic buildings in the old city area of the capital, stop by the Salt Market to shop. It is the most important market of the country. This is a very convenient place to buy souvenirs and local products.
7. Al Mukalla
El-Mukelle, the administrative center of Yemen’s Hadramut province, is the main port and is the fifth largest city in the country. There are many historical buildings in the city. Besides, it is attracting tourists with its peaceful beach.
Hadibu, located in Socotra Region of Yemen, is an important tourist city of the country. In the past it was known as Tamrida. About 9 thousand people live here. The city is quite calm and peaceful.
Located on the west coast of Yemen, Zabid is an important city that makes the capital city of the country from the 13th century to the 15th century. It is even one of the oldest cities in the country, and for this reason there are many historic buildings in the city. This city has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1993. It has been in the list of the World Heritage List under the threat since 2000.
Aden, located on the banks of the Gulf of Aden, is a tourist city of Yemen. It is attractive to tourists thanks to the historical buildings and splendid bazaars that bear the traces of Ottoman and Arabic cultures. If you come here by your side, be sure to visit the island of Socotra, which is known as Strange or Happiness Island. Besides, do not come back without seeing tourist attractions like Sira Fortress.