Yemen

Yemen

Etymology

Yemen was mentioned in Old South Arabian inscriptions as Yamnat. In Arabic literature, the term al-Yaman includes much greater territory than that of the republic of Yemen. It stretches from the northern ‘Asir Region in southwestern Saudi Arabia to Dhofar Governorate in southern Oman. One etymology derives Yemen from yumn, meaning “felicity”, as much of the country is fertile. The Romans called it Arabia Felix “Happy Arabia”, as opposed to Arabia Deserta “Deserted Arabia”. [wikipedia]

Places to Meet People

Places to Meet People

Aroma Cafe Yemen – Chaat Place in Sanaa, San‘A’, Yemen. [facebook]

Star net caffe – Hookah Lounge in Sanaa, Yemen. [facebook]

How to Find a Date

How to Find a Date

Free Online Dating in Yemen – Have you tried all the traditional ways to find someone special in Yemen? Are you tired of the Yemen bar & club scene, coming home to an empty house, lonely tables-for-one at those romantic Yemen restaurants, disastrous blind dates set up by your matchmaking friends, Yemen local singles groups, singles events and meetings with no results?? [connecting singles]

Love Habibi- Yemeni Dating – The Web’s favorite place for Yemeni dating worldwide. Whether you’re new to this or finding out about LoveHabibi for the first time, signup free today and connect with other people from Yemen looking for free online dating and find your very own LoveHabibi. [love habibi]

Walking Tours

Walking Tours

ADEN Safari – Travel with us in Yemen – a fascinating land that offers authentic insight into the Islamic way of life. You will meet hospitable people ready to welcome and return your interest and curiosity. Discover unspoilt Arabia with understanding and respect. Yemen offers fascinating landscapes: the coastlines of two seas, the coastal plains of the Red Sea, the mountains with their terraced agriculture, the green country in the hills, the desert Mahra region in the east, the fertile oases in the Hadramaut and the desert where only the colourful Bedouins live. [aden safari]

ViewZone Tours – Here are some special Tour Programs that ViewZone Tours has selected for you to consider. I am sure that you will find these tours very exciting and designed to meet and exceed all of your highest expectations. ViewZone is proud of our Tour Programs and we are sure that you will have a wonderful experience in Yemen. [view zone]

Free Things to Do

Free Things to Do

Aden – Visit the port of Aden with its biblical history and fine museums. Crater, the oldest part of the city, lies in the crater of an extinct volcano and is where the most ancient constructions in Aden may be seen. [world travel guide]

Al Hudaydah – Colourful wooden fishing boats skippered by crews from Yemen, Eritrea and Djibouti fill the harbour of this Red Sea fishing port. A visit to the fragrant and thronging and fish market sees myriad species including shark, swordfish and tuna auctioned fresh off the boat to the highest bidder. [world travel guide]

Amran – See Amran, lying on the edge of the fertile basin of al-Bawn. The city is surrounded by the old clay city walls of pre-Islamic, Sabean origin. [world travel guide]

Bab al-Yemen Market – Shop for souvenirs in Sana’a’s 1,000-year-old Bab al-Yemen Market, which is divided into 40 different crafts and trades. The spice market is one of the best to visit. Other markets include the Souk al-Nahaas selling embroidered head-dresses, belts and jambias (curved daggers). [world travel guide]

Dive – Dive in the balmy Red and Arabian seas, or take to the water for a spot of sailing. [world travel guide]

Great Mosque of Sana’a – See the Great Mosque of Sana’a, the oldest and largest of the mosques in Sana’a and one of the oldest in the Muslim world, constructed in the lifetime of the Prophet and enlarged in AD705. [world travel guide]

Hadda Mountain – Scale Hadda Mountain and take in picturesque villages dotted with orchards growing apricots, peaches, walnuts and almonds. [world travel guide]

Haraz Mountains – These central mountains provide one Yemen’s best trekking areas. Guided hikes maybe arranged to take in the larger villages of Manakha, Al Hajjarah and Huytayb along with those barely-visited lost in the Haraz uplands. [world travel guide]

Hodeida – Visit the modern Red Sea port of Hodeida and see the fish market, where fishing boats have been built from wood in the same way for hundreds of years. [world travel guide]

Little Aden – Lounge on several superb beaches fringing the Indian Ocean at Little Aden, situated in the crater of an extinct volcano; this is an area of small fishing villages in sheltered bays. Hike and camp on Socotra Island; the island’s remarkable landscape is home to a huge array of wildlife and plants. [world travel guide]

National Museum – Tour the National Museum in Taherir Square in Dar al-Shukr (Palace of Gratefulness); it contains engravings of pre-Islamic times, bronze statues, a beautiful mashrabia (cooling place for water) and several examples of folk art. [world travel guide]

Rawdha – Visit Rawdha, some 8km (5 miles) north of Sana’a, a garden city famous for its sweet grapes, the mosque built by Ahmed ibn al-Qasim and the Rawdha Palace, now used as a hotel. [world travel guide]

Sa’dah – Tour the walled city of Sa’dah. The al-Hadi Mosque is still an important institution for education in Zaydism. It is possible to walk along the top of the city walls, which offer good views of the city. [world travel guide]

Sad’ah Basin – Walk amongst Yemen’s early crops of grapes in the strikingly fertile Sad’ah Basin. [world travel guide]

Sana’a – To see Old Sana’a, drive along the sunken street of the Sailah towards Sana’a’s ancient heart, which for many visitors, is their first and possibly most enduring memory of Yemen. Here the treasure of Sana’a, its characteristic tower houses defines a capital like no other the world over. Other highlights include the Souk al Milh for a shopping experience that’s a far cry from the global High Street, and for a street bursting with simple and cheap Yemeni food head to Restaurant Street off Hadda Street. [world travel guide]

Sana’a Mountain Villages – Even those limited to San’a can still make a full day excursion to its surrounding villages. Head for fortified Kawkaban, the silversmiths of Thula and the famed Hamida restaurant of Shibam. [world travel guide]

Shibam (Hadhramawt) – This walled desert city on the open plain is another architectural gem designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Likened to a ‘Manhattan of the Desert’ by early 20th-century traveller and writer Freya Stark, Shibam’s 500 mud tower houses, some nine stories high, are 500 years old and are home to 5,000 people. [world travel guide]

Socotra – Finally designated as a World Biosphere Reserve in 2008 the remote Socotra archipelago is the Arabian answer to the Galapagos in terms of unique flora and fauna. 700-year-old Dragon’s Blood trees and Socotra Desert Rose set against the Tolkeinesque peaks of the Haggier Mountains characterise a unique lanscape. Undeveloped, unspoilt, with few roads – only 2,000 visitors make landfall each year. [world travel guide]

Ta’izz – Capital of North Yemen until 1962 this town has a very different feel to Sana’a. Though the ‘old city’ has been all but swallowed up by the fast-growing modernity, beautiful old houses and mosques remain within the line of the 13th-century city wall, still intact along the southern perimeter. [world travel guide]

Wadi Wa’aar – Enjoy the subtropical climate of Wadi Wa’aar, lying between Sana’a and Sa’dah in the north. Out of this rises the Shahara, a huge mountain massif, the highest point being nearly 3,000m (9,840ft) above sea level. This can be climbed by foot or by 4-wheel drive car. [world travel guide]

Festivals

Festivals

Al-Baldah Tourist Festival – Each year on August 10, Mukalla City holds this well-known and popular event. The festival is named after a star that is seen each year on this date. It is said that when the star appears, the sea becomes exceptionally cold. The focus of the festival is to promote tourism to the Yemen coast by way of recreational activities. It also shows off the city’s natural beauty and therapeutic agents. This is one of the most important festivals in the region and as well as holding a number of activities, it sees exhibits of the beautiful jewelry and handicrafts of the region. [iexplore]

Eid al-Adha – This is an important Muslim holiday, whose name translates to ‘Feast of the Sacrifice’. It is celebrated in honor of the Prophet Abraham who sacrificed his first-born son to God, who then gave him a lamb to sacrifice instead. This four-day holiday starts on the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah, which is anywhere between September and November. This is the last month of the Islamic calendar and starts the day after the Hajj pilgrimage. The rituals in the mosques themselves are closed off to visitors though visitors can participate in the feast that follows. [iexplore]

Mouloud – This day celebrates the birth of the Prophet Mohammed. It takes place each year on the 12th day of the month of Rabi’ al-awwal, which falls in the winter of the Georgian calendar. A large street carnival takes place in cities and towns all over the country, as well as a large street procession. Houses and mosques are decorated, and food is distributed to everyone. Stories about the life of Mohammed are told and children recite famous Arabic poetry. Unlike other festivals in Yemen, Mouloud is a national holiday so all banks and businesses are closed. [iexplore]

National Unity Day – This is the day that North Yemen and South Yemen united and became one nation. It is celebrated each year in May through parties, public entertainment, and carnivals. It is also a day of family for locals and many citizens travel throughout the country to be together. [iexplore]

Sana’a Summer Festival – This month-long festival kicks off a series of events in the capital city each year during July. This colorful festival starts off with a huge carnival at Bab al-Yemen, the main gate to the Old City. Numerous people participate in the carnival and perform the traditional folkloric dance and take part in a fashion show to show off the traditional clothing of the country. Different events take place throughout the month-long event in parks, theatres, at historical attractions, and on the streets of Sana’a. The main focus of the festival is the handicrafts and industrial items of the country, with the crafts made by women of particular interest. [iexplore]

Public Transit

Public Transit

Taxis and Car Rental – Shared taxis (bijou) are common in Yemen and every city and town will have at least one shared taxi station. These taxis generally don’t leave until all nine seats are filled. Private taxis are also available in major cities such as Sana’a and Aden, and of course, at the airport. Raha Taxi (+967-448-888) is a reliable taxi company based in Sana’a that has new cars that run on meters. [iexplore]

Trains and Buses – There are currently no railway lines to or around Yemen though several proposals have been made. International buses arrive in Yemen from Salalah, Oman, which terminate in Sayu’n or Al Mukalla. These buses run two days a week between each destination and travel times are anywhere from nine to 16 hours. Inter-city buses operate between all major cities and large towns throughout the country and are comfortable and provide a cheap way to get from one destination to the next. It should be noted that each town has a checkpoint and visitors are required to produce their travel permits at each of these stops. [iexplore]

Water Taxis – Boats, which are predominately cargo vessels (sambuq), travel between the African country of Djibouti and the port at Mocha, across the Red Sea. However, they are not the safest way to arrive in the country as the boats are frequently hijacked or attacked by the Yemeni Navy for illegal smuggling. For a leisurely cruise on the sea, visit the port in Aden to charter a boat. [iexplore]

Professional Groups & Events

Professional Groups & Events

PixelPro – Media/News Company in Aden, Yemen. [facebook]

PRO Media – Media/News Company in Sanaa, Yemen. [facebook]

Language Exchange

Language Exchange

Your Expat Community in Yemen – As-salām ‘alaykum to all you expats in beautiful Yemen. Here at InterNations we are passionate about bringing expats together to share their knowledge and experience, so if you’re looking for advice and support, from those who know exactly what life in Yemen is like, then you’ve come to the right place. Not sure yet where your expat adventure will take you? We have members all over the world just waiting to welcome you. [internations]

LGBT Groups

LGBT Groups

Resources

Resources

Places in Yemen

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