Yemen Holidays, Events, Climate and Sightseeing

Yemen: Holidays, Events, and National Customs

Public holidays

There are a number of public holidays that do not have a fixed date, but are based on the time of Easter. Easter falls on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the beginning of spring. Lent, which lasts 46 days, begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday. Pentecost is 50 days after Easter. The Corpus Christi festival is celebrated on the 2nd Thursday after Pentecost. All Saints’ Day is celebrated for Orthodox Christians on the 1st Sunday after Pentecost, but for Catholic Christians the date is fixed on November 1st. On October 31, Protestants celebrate Reformation Day. The Halloween festival also takes place on this day.

Date Holiday
January 1 New Years Day
1st of May Labor Day
May 22 Day of the unification of Northern and Southern Yemen
30th of November Independence Day of South Yemen from the British

Source: Countryaah – Yemen Holidays

National customs

  • Photographing military facilities, government buildings, political security buildings, military personnel and weapons, and the homes of high-ranking figures are prohibited. Before photographing people, it is important to ask permission.
  • Homosexual acts are forbidden under Islamic law and can be punished with death.
  • In Yemen, people eat with the right hand. The left hand is considered unclean. There is no cutlery.
  • The public consumption of alcohol is a criminal offense.
  • The Kath plant is one of the people’s drugs of Yemen and is an important economic factor in the country. From the early afternoon about 80 – 90% of male Yemenis indulge in the pleasure of the Kath, which has a stimulating and cheering effect.
  • The individual tribes are very important in Yemen, some of which may be beyond the actual power of the government. Almost every citizen of Yemen belongs to one of the many tribes.

Yemen: climate

Travel times

The idea of what is meant by a particularly favorable travel climate depends on various factors. Pure cultural travelers certainly see the climate differently than people planning a beach holiday. Health status and age can also play a role in the experience of the climate.

For sun seekers

The following times of the year for a stay in Yemen are particularly recommended for people who like to enjoy a lot of sun and for whom higher temperatures do not cause problems: All year round.

Weather or climate table

The following table shows climate data for. It should be noted that the climatic conditions in different regions of the country can differ from each other and thus also from the values shown. In addition, the monthly temperature averages have little informative value with regard to the minimum or maximum temperatures. It is possible that at average temperatures of around 20 ° C maximum values of 30 °C or more occur. The table therefore only provides a general overview of the climatic conditions in.

Month Average number of rainy days Mean maximum temperatures in (°C) Mean minimum temperatures in (°C)
January 0 – 01 30 03
February 0 – 01 30 06
March 0 – 01 30 08
April 0 – 01 34 12
May 0 – 01 36 12
June 0 – 01 36 14
July 0 – 01 38 14
August 0 – 01 38 12
September 0 – 01 36 10
October 0 – 01 32 08
November 0 – 01 32 04
December 0 – 01 30 03

Yemen: sightseeing

UNESCO World Heritage Site

Old town of Shibam and its city wall

In the old town of Shibam there are 500 high-rise buildings made of clay in a very small space. The skyline resembles – but with a little imagination – that of Manhattan or Chicago. Shibam is located in the desert and is almost 2,000 years old. Shibam was the capital of Hadramaut Oasis and was on the Frankincense Route. It was a rich city. People lived in high-rise buildings because they felt safer from attacks by foreign warriors. Today nobody wants to live in the skyscrapers anymore and they fear that the city will fall into disrepair. Shibam has been on the list of endangered monuments of the world cultural heritage since 1982.

Old town of Sana’a

Sana’a (Sanaa) is the capital of Yemen and is located in the center of an approximately 2,400 m high plateau. It is said to be the most beautiful city in Arabia. The architecture of Sana’a can be traced back to a 2,500-year tradition, the buildings – three to eight storeys – attract attention with their rich stucco decorations. In Sana’a, many Jews lived in a special part of the city that bordered a neighborhood where wealthy Yemenis lived and built magnificent palaces. Around 1900 an eight meter high wall was built that separated the two parts of the city. Only one gate allowed a connection.

After the civil war, part of the wall was torn down again. In the old town is the museum on Maidan al-Tahrir Square next to the old-style government building. The bronze statue of a striding man from the Sabatean period is a specialty. It is well preserved and provides information about the early Arabic casting techniques. There are 50 mosques in the city. The 600-year-old Al-Abhar Mosque and the Great Mosque near the main Bab-al-Yemen gate are the most significant. During the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad, the oldest mosque was built on the ruins of a large cathedral. From January 10th to 17th, the German Nobel Prize for Literature Günter Grass took part in the Arab-German novelists’ meeting in Sana’a. Sana ‘

Medina of Zabid

The Zabid Medina is the historic old town of Zabid. With a population of around 20,000, it is only a small provincial town. However, from 819 to 1018 it was the capital of the Ziyadid dynasty. The Ziyadid rulers were murdered and afterwards Zabid belonged to the Najahid dynasty. It became their capital from 1022 to 1158. The great mosque and the ruins of the former university should be seen when visiting. The historical souq is no longer used, and many buildings have been replaced by modern concrete structures. The houses are made of baked brick. Zabied was once the center of indigo dyeing. Up until the middle of the 20th century, cloth was dyed there in over 50 workshops.

Socotra Archipelago

Socotra is an island and at the same time the name of an entire group of islands in the north-western Indian Ocean. The archipelago belonging to the Republic of Yemen is located on the Gulf of Aden. The highest point on Socotra is 1,519 m. However, in the lower regions and on the mountain slopes, the island has often densely overgrown, pristine and largely endemic flora and fauna. Endemic species include a tree-shaped cucurbit and the Socotra grosbeak; therefore it was declared a biosphere reserve. The coastal dunes are among the largest on earth. Socotra is home to the dragon tree, a holdover from the Cretaceous period. The sap of this tree is used for the production of natural medicines and frankincense. The entire archipelago sits on a shelf base.

Special cultural assets

Boulder with engravings

In the valley of Wadi Darr there is a light boulder with engravings from pre-Islamic times. The engravings depicting ibexes and hunters adorn the rock over a length of 30 m and a height of 3 m.


Castle Hill The Thulla Castle Hill was once built in the Himajarite period and used by Zaidite imams as an exit for their campaigns. Defensive walls with towers, a cistern and water holes for water tanks have been preserved.

Excavation site on the mountain Djebbel al Aut

On the approximately 3,000 m high mountain Djebbel al Aut there is a 150 by 300 m large excavation site. Archaeologists from the German Archaeological Institute have been digging a former settlement from the 1st century BC there since 1998. Chr. From.

National Women’s Center

In the former Samsarat Al-Halaqah caravanserai in Sana’a, a National Women’s Center for handicrafts and textile work by Yemeni women has been established.

Samsarat al Nahass

Caravanserai The Samsarat al Nahass caravanserai in Sana’a has several craft shops and a gallery.

Samsarat Mohammed Ibn al Hassari

caravanserai The Samsarat Mohammed Ibn al Hassari caravanserai in Sana’a is the largest warehouse in Yemen and was built in the 17th century. It has numerous floors and around 220 rooms. The warehouse has been unused since 1948.

Suk al Mälch

The Suk al Mälch in Sana’a is one of the most beautiful markets in the Arab world. In numerous alleys you can marvel at the oriental goods in various shops.

Souk of At Tauwilah

The souk (market) of At Tauwilah is an outstanding example of the construction of the souks. Shops, separated by stone walls or columns, are lined up in narrow streets and together form a harmonious architectural unit. Market day is Wednesday.

Special buildings and structures, Sultan’s Palace


Castle Al Kaser The city castle Al Kaser in Sana’a is a mighty castle from the Himjarite times. Unfortunately, it is not open to the public.

Old Imamsbrücke near Hammam Dammt

The old Imamsbrücke near Hammam Dammt dates back to the 16th century. The old trade route from Sana’a to southern Yemen once ran there.

Footbridge in Schahaara

The footbridge in Schahaara dates back to the 16th century and is the real attraction of the village with 800 residents. It is 12 m long and spans an approx. 200 m deep mountain cut.

New Marib Dam

The new Marib Dam was completed in 1986. It accumulates around 400 million m³ of water and is intended to irrigate around 20 km² of land.

Sultan Al Kathiri Palace in Seyun

The huge Sultan’s Palace in Seyun was built around 1920 and is slightly elevated on a hill and is one of the highlights of Yemeni clay construction.

The palace is not open to the public – it cannot be visited with a group either.



Museum The Sejuhn Museum is housed in a Sultan’s palace from the 19th century. An archaeological and ethnological collection can be found there.

Library in Tarim

In the library in Tarim there are around 5,000 handwritten books that are up to 400 years old.

National Museum

The National Museum in Sana’a is housed in a former palace from 1930. It houses objects related to folklore as well as from the pre-Islamic and Islamic periods, Koran manuscripts, coins and clothing.

Military Museum

The history of the Yemeni military is explained in 11 rooms in the military museum in Sana’a.

Summer residence of Imam Yachya

The former summer residence of Imam Yachya in the valley Wadi Darr in Sana’a was built in 1904-1948 and is one of the most visited buildings of Yemen. It is a beautiful rock palace.

National Museum of Taiz

The National Museum of Taiz is housed in the former palace of the penultimate Imam of Yemen. The museum shows ethnological objects and living rooms that are true to the original of Imam Ahmad, who lived in the palace in the 20th century.

Salah Palace Museum

The Salah Palace Museum in Salah houses a pre-Islamic collection, postage stamps, old documents and paintings, as well as cultural and historical objects and photographs of Yemen on three floors.

Museum von Zabied

The Museum von Zabied shows archaeological finds from the region, including old coffee dishes, smoking tools, pottery and a basalt stele from 4,000 years ago.

The ruined city of Baraagisch The ruined city of Baraagisch is around 2,000 years old and is surrounded by an almost intact city wall. Italian archaeologists have been working on the excavation of the city since 1989.

Sultan’s Palace in Mukalla

The Sultan’s Palace in Mukalla was built in 1929 in the Indian style. Today the palace can be visited as a museum.

Tombs of Cain and Abel

The tombs of Cain and Abel are said to be in Aden. Noah supposedly built his ark in the city.

National Museum in Aden

The National Museum in Aden is housed in a former palace and shows a good overview of the country’s pre-Islamic times, including bronze sculptures and inscription panels. You can also visit a jewelry collection, an Islam section and an ethnographic section.

Military Museum in Aden

The Military Museum in Aden opened in 1971. It depicts the struggle for freedom against the British occupation.


Great Mosque in Sana’a

The Great Mosque in Sana’a was built in the form that you can admire today in 1130/31. It is located at the place where a mosque was built during the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad. Today’s Great Mosque has been expanded and redesigned again and again over the centuries so that it combines different styles.

Janah Mosque, Madhab Mosque

The Janah Mosque and the Madhab Mosque in Sana’a have a common minaret. To the right of the minaret is the Janah Mosque with two large and sixteen small domes, which was built in the 17th century. The Madhab Mosque to the left of the minaret dates from the 16th century.

Dawud Mosque

The Dawud Mosque in Sana’a originally dates from the 12th century, but was expanded in the 16th century and restored in the 20th century.

Fulayhi Mosque

The Fulayhi Mosque in Sana’a is one of the largest mosques in the city. It was completed in 1267 and expanded in the 16th century. The roofed main hall of the mosque is 18 x 20 m.

Al Shahidayn Mosque

The Al Shahidayn Mosque in Sana’a is one of the oldest mosques in the city. It was built in the 8th century. The minaret was not completed until 1884/85.

Bakiriyah Mosque

The Bakiriyah Mosque in Sana’a is the most important Ottoman building in Yemen. It dates from the 16th century. The dome of the main hall has a diameter of 17 m.

Amerija Mosque

The Amerija Mosque in Rada was built in the 15th century. It measures 23 m by 40 m. A Koran school is attached.

Mosque of Janaad

The mosque of Janaad is also called the Ascension Mosque and is considered the oldest mosque in Yemen and one of the three oldest mosques in the world. It was built at the beginning of the 7th century, while the Prophet Muhammad was still alive. The prayer room is supported by 99 pillars that stand for the 99 names of the prophet.

Ashrafija Mosque

The Ashrafija Mosque in Taiz was built in 1396. The ceiling paintings of the mosque also date from the 14th century and are considered the most important works of art in Yemen from this period.

Muzaffa Mosque

The Muzaffa Mosque in Taiz dates back to 1303 and stands out because of its numerous domes and the beautiful reliefs. The interior of the mosque is supported by octagonal pillars that end in pointed arches.

Mosque of Yafrus

The mosque of Yafrus was built in the 16th century and is one of the most beautiful mosques in the area. It shines in blinding white and has an old colorful gate.

Al Hadi Mosque

According to tradition, the Al Hadi Mosque in Saada was built on the spot where the camel of the Prophet Mohammed settled. Twelve imams are buried under the dome of the mosque. The mighty minaret dates from the 10th century.

Al Midhar Mosque

The Al Midhar Mosque in Tarim was built in 1429 and has the highest minaret in the South Arabian world with a height of 38 m. It was built in 1915 in a square shape.

Aidrus Mosque

The Aidrus Mosque in Aden is considered the most important Islamic building in the city. In its current form, it dates from 1859 and is adorned by a minaret with three wooden galleries.

Anglican Church

The Anglican Church in Aden was built in 1885. A mass is held there every Friday.

Archaeological sights

Tunnel near Bainun

The tunnel near Bainun, which guides rainwater from the neighboring valley into the Bainun valley, was dug in the 4th century. It is approx. 96 m long, approx. 4 m wide and approx. 4 m high. A pre-Islamic inscription on the inlet side reports on the work.

Old City of Shabwa

The old city of Shabwa was a splendid city at the time of the Hadramaut kingdom, but was conquered and burned down by Saba in the 3rd century. From 1974, French archaeologists undertook the excavations.


Ancient Dam The Marib Ancient Dam was built in the times of the Saba Kingdom and is considered to be one of the most important builders of that time. It is a water distribution system, the earliest elements of which date from the 6th century BC. And were rebuilt and restored several times in the following centuries. The main building dates back to the 6th century AD.

Almaqah Temple of Bar’an

The Almaqah Temple of Bar’an dates back to the 9th century BC in its oldest part. It is estimated that it was used for 1,300 years and was dedicated to the moon god Almaqah. German archaeologists uncovered the temple complex between 1988 and 1997. It is a 62 by 75 m facility with several buildings.

Awam Temple

The Awam Temple at Marib was also dedicated to the moon god Almaqah and was built in the 7th century BC. Built in BC and used for about 3 centuries. During excavations in the middle of the last century, an 80 by 125 m large assembly room was uncovered with a 300 m long surrounding wall.

Natural beauties

Socotra Archipelago

Socotra is an island and at the same time the name of an entire group of islands in the north-western Indian Ocean. The archipelago belonging to the Republic of Yemen is located on the Gulf of Aden. The highest point on Socotra is 1,519 m. However, in the lower regions and on the mountain slopes, the island has often densely overgrown, pristine and largely endemic flora and fauna. Endemic species include a tree-shaped cucurbit and the Socotra grosbeak; therefore it was declared a biosphere reserve. The coastal dunes are among the largest on earth. Socotra is home to the dragon tree, a holdover from the Cretaceous period. The sap of this tree is used for the production of natural medicines and frankincense. The entire archipelago sits on a shelf base.

Lime cone near Mammam Dammt

The lime cone near Mammam Dammt was formed when hot, mineral-rich water flowed over the edge from the hot springs there. Today it is over 30 m high. In the village there are numerous bathing facilities that are fed with the mineral-rich water.

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