Yemen Geography and Climate

The territory of present-day Yemen became inhabited as early as the 2nd millennium BC. The country has a rich history, which you can learn about by visiting the ancient cities. Yemen has the largest number of cultural, historical and natural monuments in comparison with other states of the Middle East. The old city of the country’s capital – Sana’a, the city of Shibam, located in the valley of the Masila River near Sayun, and the ancient city of Zabid in the vicinity of Taiz are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. In 2008, the unique Socotra archipelago, known for its unique nature, was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. In addition to natural and historical attractions, Yemen can offer beach holidays on the coasts of the Red and Arabian Seas and the Gulf of Aden, dive sites with hundreds of species of tropical fish and some of the most “windy”

It is best to relax on the coast of Yemen and on the islands from October to March, when there is no sweltering heat. In mountainous areas, the most favorable weather conditions are observed from April to May and from September to October.

The official language of Yemen is Arabic. In the extreme east of the country and the island of Socotra, some ancient South Arabic Semitic languages are common. Residents of large cities of the country know English.

Geography in Yemen

According to top-engineering-schools, Yemen is located in the Middle East in the southwestern part of the Arabian Peninsula. The country borders Oman to the east and Saudi Arabia to the north. The western coast of Yemen is washed by the waters of the Red Sea, the southwestern – by the waters of the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, the southern – by the waters of the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea. The Bab el-Mandeb Strait separates the Arabian Peninsula from Africa and is one of the busiest waterways in the world. The state also includes numerous islands of the Red Sea, the largest of which are Hanish, Kamaran and Perim, and the islands of the Arabian Sea, among which the island of Socotra stands out, which is the largest island in the country. The total area of the country is 527,970 sq. km.

Along the coast of Yemen stretches a narrow semi-desert strip of plains. Its length is 2400 km, and its width varies from 3 to 60 km. On the west coast of the country, the plains area is called Tihama, it has a length of 419 km. In the east, Tihama abruptly turns into a mountainous plateau, which occupies most of the country’s territory and has heights from 200 to almost 4000 m. In the western part of the plateau in the vicinity of the capital of Yemen the maximum mark is located not only of the state, but of the entire Arabian Peninsula – Mount En-Nabi-Shaib (3766 m). From the southern parts of the mountainous regions to the eastern borders of the country stretches a low volcanic plateau, where earthquakes occur from time to time. In the northern and northeastern parts of the country, two deserts extend, belonging to the vast desert zone of Rub al-Khali: Ramlat es-Sabatain and Shikak el-Maatif.

Almost all rivers in Yemen are temporary, that is, they dry up during the dry season. They are called “wadis”. The only non-drying river in the country is the Masila. It flows in the eastern part of Yemen and flows into the Arabian Sea.

The state includes about 120 islands, most of which are located in the Red Sea. Many islands are of volcanic origin, there are also coral islands. In the Arabian Sea, almost 200 km from the southern coast of the country, lies the largest island of the state – Socotra. The island is known for its rich flora and fauna and sandy beaches, which are popular with tourists.

Climate in Yemen

In Yemen, the tropical desert type of climate prevails, but the climatic conditions are highly dependent on the altitude of the area. On the coast of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, as well as on the islands in the summer (June-August), daytime air temperatures reach +36..+38 degrees, and night temperatures drop to +27..+29. In winter (December-February) in these areas during the daytime the air warms up to +26..+28 degrees, and at night it cools down to +22..+24 degrees. On the coast of the Arabian Sea, air temperatures are 2-3 degrees lower, the influence of monsoons affects here. It is worth noting that the air humidity in coastal areas is very high, it can reach 90%. This makes the climate of the coasts difficult to bear. During the year, especially in summer, sand and dust storms are frequent on the coast. As the altitude increases, the climate becomes milder. The mountainous regions of Yemen are considered among the most comfortable for living in the Arabian Peninsula. In the capital of the country in the summer, daytime temperatures reach +28 degrees, night – 20 degrees Celsius.  In winter, during the daytime, the air warms up to +22 degrees, and at night it cools down to +10 degrees. In higher mountainous areas, daily temperature fluctuations increase, and in winter, frosts often occur at night and in the morning. In the northern and northeastern parts of Yemen, where deserts stretch, in summer the daytime air temperature can reach +40 degrees, and at night it can drop to +20 degrees. In winter, in the desert during the daytime, up to 25 degrees of heat is noted, and at night – about +10 degrees.

During the year on the territory of Yemen falls from 40 to 1000 mm of precipitation. The western and southern slopes of the mountains located in the western part of the country and the islands of the Arabian Sea receive the greatest moisture, and the coasts and deserts receive the least moisture. The maximum amount of precipitation falls during the periods from March to May and from July to September. Most often, rains in Yemen are short-lived showers.

Best time to visit:
Vacationing on the coast of Yemen and on the islands is best between October and March, when there is no sweltering heat. In mountainous areas, the most favorable weather conditions are observed from April to May and from September to October.

Yemen Geography

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