Without adventure civilization is in full decay.
— Alfred North Whitehead, 1861 - 1947
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Yemen

Background

Yemen

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.

About

Yemen is on the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula, and sharing borders with Saudi Arabia and Oman. Yemen has had a troubled recent history with civil wars and tribal conflicts predominating.

Read more about Yemen in our Yemen travel guide »

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Yemen

Full name
Republic of Yemen
Capital
Sana'a
Location

Middle East, bordering the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden, and Red Sea, between Oman and Saudi Arabia

Geographic coordinates

15 21 N, 44 12 E

Area comparative

slightly larger than twice the size of Wyoming

Border countries

Oman 288 km, Saudi Arabia 1,458 km

Coastline

1,906 km

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 center slope into the desert interior of the Arabian Peninsula

Lowest point

Arabian Sea 0 m

Highest point

Jabal an Nabi Shu'ayb 3,760 m

Natural resources

petroleum, fish, rock salt, marble; small deposits of coal, gold, lead, nickel, and copper; fertile soil in west

Population

23,495,361 (July 2010 est.)

Ethnic groups

predominantly Arab; but also Afro-Arab, South Asians, Europeans

Religions

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

Languages

Arabic (official)

Government type

republic

Independence

22 May 1990 (Republic of Yemen was established with the merger of the Yemen Arab Republic [Yemen (Sanaa) or North Yemen] and the Marxist-dominated People's Democratic Republic of Yemen [Yemen (Aden) or South Yemen]); note - previously North Yemen became independent in November 1918 (from the Ottoman Empire) and became a republic with the overthrow of the theocratic Imamate in 1962; South Yemen became independent on 30 November 1967 (from the UK)

National holiday

Unification Day, 22 May (1990)

Chief of state

President Ali Abdallah SALIH (since 22 May 1990, the former president of North Yemen, assumed office upon the merger of North and South Yemen); Vice President Maj. Gen. Abd al-Rab Mansur al-HADI (since 3 October 1994)

Head of government

Prime Minister Ali Muhammad MUJAWWAR (since 31 March 2007)

Internet country code

.ye

Internet users

2.349 million (2009)

Airports

55 (2010)

Ports and terminals

Aden, Al Hudaydah, Al Mukalla

Other countries in the region