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The Republic of Yemen (Al-Jamahiriya al-Yemeni), is situated in the south-west of the Arabian peninsular. It borders to the west with theRed Sea , to the south with the Indian Ocean , to the north with Saudi Arabia , and to the east with the Sultanate of Oman. According to the peace treaty with Saudi Arabia and Oman , Yemen has an area of around 528,000 square kilometres.
Large parts of the country, especially to the east, are controlled by perimeter areas of the great Arabian Desert . This area is cut off from the coastal lowlands in the south and west by up to 3000-metre high mountains. The capitol city of Sana’a with a population of nearly two million is situated in the western mountain area and lies at about 2200 metres above sea level.
The former Marxist orientated republic, the Peoples Republic of South Yemen (Independence from Great Britain in 1967) and the republicanNorth Yemen (Revolution war against the Imamat 1962-1970), were united on the 22nd of May 1990.
The population growth of around 3,5% has enabled the number of Yemeni to jump to over 21 million during the past 20 years (status 2006). Despite intensive efforts made by the government, the provision of schools and hospitals as well as the improvement of drinking water and electricity supplies, cannot keep pace with the needs of the population. The counties language is Arabic, far to the east of the country, in theprovince of Mahra and on the island of Soqotra, there are small groups who speak two of the ancient South Arabian related languages. The official state religion is Islam. The population subdivides into the Sunnis who mainly live in the south and the Shias majority who live in the north. Additionally there is an Ishmaelite minority belonging to the Bohra. There only remains a small part of the once large and renowned for their craftsmanship Jewish community, these have mainly settled in the area around Sada. Foreign Christians and Hindus form two further small religious communities.
The climate in Yemen differs depending on the region:
Around the coastal lowlands at the Red Sea (Tihama), such as at theIndian Ocean, there is a humid and hot tropical climate with temperatures ranging between 25 and 48 degrees centigrade and a humidity of between 65 and 90 percent. In comparison, the mountainous areas have a climate with an average annual temperature of 21 degrees centigrade and a relative humidity of between 20 and 50 percent. Both the rainy seasons in March/April and from July to September provide a “cooling down” during the summer. The maximum temperature in June/July lies at around 38 degrees centigrade, and in December/January, the temperature could well drop to below freezing during the nighttime. There is a dry hot climate in the desert, whereby during the summer months, the temperature can climb to above 45 degrees centigrade.
The whole year over it is advisable to choose light clothing made of natural fibres, In addition, during the winter months a pullover or wind tight jacket, sturdy shoes, and socks should be taken along. Take into account when choosing clothing that Yemen is a conservative Islamic country, ones clothing should not be figure accentuating, and should cover ones arms and legs. It is not always expected that western females wear a headscarf (but would be registered very positively as a sign of respect). It is however, advisable that both men and women wear some form of headdress due to the altitude, and ultra violet radiation. Sun and insect protection lotion should by all means be taken with on tour, because these products are not normally on offer in Yemen.
GSM & CDMA mobile telephones function in Yemen. Inform yourself beforehand with your provider about charges. Not all regions ofYemen have complete coverage for mobile phones. In some mountainous and desert areas, there are “dead zones”.
The time difference between Central European Time and Yemen is +2 hours, During the European summer +1 hour, this means, it is either one or two hours later than in Europe.
Non-Muslims are permitted to take two litres of alcoholic beverages into the country, in addition to this, for all those entering the country, 200 cigarettes, or 50 cigars, or 250 g pipe tobacco. One may also take jewellery and cosmetics with one for personal use.
Yemen is a primordial country that has several controllable dangers. Quite often due to the western media, we have a misinterpretation of the situation and status. We would therefore like to inform you about safety measures, which should make your stay here in Yemen as safe as possible.
The safety measures of the Yemeni authorities
When taking international crime statistics into consideration, one becomes aware of the fact that Yemen is still one of the safest countries in the world. One of the things that most tourists are afraid of is being abducted. This point is linked to Yemen by the Media. It is an indisputable fact that there have repeatedly been abductions. It is also a fact, apart from one exception, that none of the victims has ever had cause for complaint. During the past few years, Yemen has increasingly opposed abductors; severe punishments have started to show signs of having a deterring effect. Furthermore, the Republic ofYemen has introduced a number of precautionary measures to ensure the safety of all guests during their travels: Certain areas that are mainly under the control of individual tribes are inaccessible for tourist traffic; therefore, no foreigner is able to access these areas. Within areas where increased care is necessary, tourist vehicles gather at meeting points from where they are accompanied by military vehicles. An alternative is that tourists are sometimes accompanied by soldiers. On leaving larger towns, all tourists are registered. Checkpoints are positioned at irregular intervals along all main routes; this enables easy location of tourists when travelling.
ATG precautionary measures
Traditional tribal structures quite often existing alongside the democratic structure of the state, allow us, in addition to the protection measures provided by the state, to make our own arrangements.
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