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Socotra is one of Yemen’s greatest treasures of biodiversity. Located about 400km south of the mainland in the Indian Ocean, these arid islands play host to a stunning array of plant and animal life. An estimated 30% of the island chain’s plant life is endemic, as are many of the birds found there.


Away from the coast the centre of Arabia is a vast area of gravel plain partially covered in sand dunes. The main sand desert in the eastern part of the peninsula, the Rub al-Khali ( the Empty Quarter), has a much smaller southern arm known as the Ramlat as-Sabatayn. It is 100km wide at its western end near the Yemen foothills, tapering to about 15km as it enters Wadi Hadramout.


Southwest of Sana’a is Al Hajjarah, one of the most impressive and easily accessible mountain villages in Yemen. It is situated west of Manakhah, regional centre of the Jebel Haraz (famous for the beauty of its women).

Ibb Terraces

The highest annual rainfall in Yemen gives the district of Ibb its distinctive green terraces, which can be harvested up to four times a year. Fields of sorghum, and millet carpet the landscape of this highly fertile region.

Jabal Bura

Inland to the east of Hodeidah lies a remarkable relic of a of a past age, one of the last vestiges of extensive subtropical forest in the Arabian peninsula.


Kawkaban sits on top of a 300-metre pile of sandstone deposited by a vast river system some 70 million years ago and subsequently uplifted and eroded to leave the prominent plateau we see today. This rock supplied the raw material for the construction of  Kawkaban with its impressive gateway and wall.

Yemen Tourism Promotion Board.