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About Yemen - General


AL-YAMAN derives from the word AL-YUMN, meaning blessing and prosperity. Yemen is also known as "Arabia Felix" or “Yemen Saiida”, Happy Yemen.

Yemen occupies the southwestern portion of the Arabian peninsula. It has a narrow coastal plain on the Red Sea, a long coastline on the Arabian Sea, and land borders with Saudi Arabia and Oman. The land rises steeply to a mountainous interior over 3,600 m /12,000 ft above sea level. Surface Area: 555,000 sq. kilometers (203,850 sq. miles). Population: 20,024,867 (July 2004 est.). Government: Presidential Republic. Capital: Sana’a (population 1,938,000). Other major cities: Aden (563,000), Taiz (440,000), Hodeida (427,000)

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


Yemen’s flag is made of three equal horizontal bars with colors red, white and black respectively.

Languages: Arabic is the official language with English being the most widely used second language.

Currency: The Riyal is the national currency. U.S. dollars (minted after 1990) and Euros are exchanged anywhere in the country. Credit cards may be used in major hotels and some travel agencies. The exchange rate changes daily but is roughly 220 Riyal to 1 Euro and 180 Riyal to 1USD. Refuse to accept torn or well-worn Yemeni notes -- shop owners reluctantly accept them. In Yemen, theft is almost unheard of, so carry cash with confidence.

Time Zone: GMT + 3 hours (Greenwich)

Electricity: 110/220 volts. It is advised to bring varied travel adapters.

Country Dialing Code: 967

Cellular Phone : Currently more than half of Yemen is covered with phone towers servicing an international GSM network. If your cell phone has GSM service, it should operate in most cities in Yemen.

Internet Service: Yemen has a modern telecommunication network providing international calling, fax and Internet services. These are available in major hotels and internet cafes.

Major Industries: Industries of Yemen include crude oil production and petroleum refining; small-scale production of cotton textiles and leather goods; food processing; handicrafts; small aluminum products factory; and cement

Natural Resources: Petroleum, fish, rocksalt, marble, small deposits of coal.

Labor Force: Mostly agriculture and herding; also services, construction, industry, commerce

The town of Hajarin, which features some of the oldest "skyscrapers" in the world - six story buildings made of mud bricks and mortar.