17 Fun Facts About Yemen For The Most Daring Adventurers

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Who doesn’t love some unexplored history of the Middle-East that feels just like a fairy tale? Well, that’s Yemen for you!

From rich culture to fascinating heritage, paired with exquisite beauty – Yemen has a lot to offer the most daring adventurers. I’ve rounded up some of the most interesting fun facts for a virtual wanderlust.

1. Standard Arabic Is Spoken In Yemen

Though there are many different languages and dialects spoken in Yemen, Standard Arabic is the national language – according to Article 2, passed in 1991. So, if you are in Yemen and don’t understand a single word of Arabic, exploration certainly becomes more difficult.

2. Yemen Has The World’s Most Interesting Buildings

There have been exquisite soaring constructions all over Yemen, be it in bigger towns or smaller villages, since the 1930s. These buildings flaunt top-notch architectural finesse and are a treat to the eyes.

Yemen buildings

Undoubtedly, these buildings serve as great photographic locations for some Instagram-worthy pictures!

3. It’s the Only Republic in the Arab Peninsula

Though it might sound weird, it’s indeed the only republic in the Arabian Peninsula. Its neighbours are either emirates or kingdoms, so Yemen stands out as the only republic area, representing a symbol of pride for its people.

4. Yemen is Extremely Conservative

Being an obedient Muslim republic, Yemen is conservative and strict regarding rules and religion. Homosexuality is considered an offense in Yemen and is even punishable by death. And women can’t even be photographed openly which can lead to jail time.

5. Peugeot Has Influenced The Yemen Language

The Yemen taxis have been known as Peugeot cars for a long time. And later, they were transformed into “bijou,” a generic taxi name. For safety, exploration is best done by taxis rather than crowded buses.

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6. Yemen’s Capital Is One Of The World’s Oldest Cities

Sana’a is one of the oldest cities in Yemen – and it also happens to be the capital city of Yemen.

Sana’a city

The city is so old that it even has its reference in the Bible, which says that one of Noah’s sons, Shem, built the city.

7. Mocha Comes From Yemen

As you know, Mocha is one of the world’s best coffees and it comes from Yemen. In fact, a city named Mocha in Yemen has been named after the Red Sea Coast.

8. Yemen’s Silversmiths Were World-famous

Since the existence of Jewish craftsmen in Yemen, the silversmith’s works have gained a lot of popularity. Even today, the republic boasts a rich heritage of silversmiths dating back to the 18th century.

If you are in Yemen, shop for silver jewelry because they have intricate, unmatched designs that you can hardly see anywhere else.

9. The Dragon Blood Tree Grows On Yemen’s Island Of Socotra

Classified as an evergreen tree and known for its red resin – the Dragon Blood Tree only grows in harsh dry climates.

the Dragon Blood Tree

And Yemen’s small island, Socotra, does justice to the tree by offering it ideal dry climate conditions where the soil is filled with limestones.

10. 33% Of Plants Found On Socotra Are Not Found Anywhere Else On Earth

Socotra’s climate is harsh and dry, leading to bountiful ecological growth. Around 825 plant species presently exist in this Yemen island; among them, only 37% of those species are native to Socotra.

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11. Yemen Was Referenced In The Bible

Have you ever read the Bible? If you have, you can recall when Noah referred to it as “the land of milk and honey.” In fact, the Three Wise Men mentioned in the Bible who came to visit Baby Jesus gave Him gifts from the Yemen mountains.

12. Yemen Has The World’s Oldest Skyscraper City

Contrary to popular belief, Manhattan wasn’t the first skyscraper city. Yemen’s city Shibam is the first one and is widely famous for its high-rise buildings made of mud brick. Around five hundred such buildings are built for a population of seven thousand in the city.

Shibam buildings

While these buildings are made from mud bricks, their foundations are strong and some go up to even eleven stories. Many of these buildings have been around since the 16th century in Yemen, recently receiving recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

13. The Queen of Sheba, or Balqees, Lived In Yemen

If you know the story of King Solomon and Queen Sheba, you probably know that it’s adapted from the Bible. According to that story and archaeological research, it is believed that Queen Sheba lived in Yemen when the Axumite Empire ruled the republic.

14. Yemen Was Known As The “Happy Land”

In Latin, Yemen was popularized as “Arabia Felix,” which meant “Happy Land” in English. This name was given to Yemen as it was extremely fertile, contrary to present time where most of its fertile land has turned into a desert.

15. Tipping Isn’t Popular In Yemen

Unlike the countries of the United States, you don’t need to tip any labor for their service. However, you can always tip them if you wish. Think of the money you’ll save during your trip to Yemen!

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16. Yemen’s Internet Is Super Slow

The maximum internet speed in Yemen is 4 MB per second and many places (such as tourist hotels) are actually far slower. You’ll be able to put down your phone and live in the moment, at least until Starlink becomes active in Yemen.

17. Yemeni Weddings Are A Very Big Deal

Asingle wedding feast can last several weeks in Yemen. Can you imagine the number of delicacies? We won’t be surprised if you run out of numbers while counting!

Joshua Smith

Joshua has visited 10 countries and has another 110 to go! He plans to sail around the world over 5 years, and then spend the next 5 years driving around the world in a 4×4. He prefers to explore the more remote places without the tourists, and yet, doesn’t mind the ritzy feel of business class at 10,000 feet either.

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