Area Total 527,968 sq km
Climate mostly desert; hot and humid along west coast; temperate in western mountains affected by seasonal monsoon; extraordinarily hot, dry, harsh desert in east
Natural Resources petroleum, fish, rock salt, marble; small deposits of coal, gold, lead, nickel, and copper; fertile soil in west
Imports $4.079 billion (2017 est.) partners: UAE 12.2%, China 12.1%, Turkey 8.7%, Brazil 7.3%, Saudi Arabia 6.5%, Argentina 5.5%, India 4.7% (2017) – food and live animals, machinery and equipment, chemicals
Exports $384.5 million (2017 est.) partners: Egypt 29.4%, Thailand 16.7%, Belarus 13.5%, Oman 10.5%, UAE 6.5%, Saudi Arabia 5% (2017) -crude oil, coffee, dried and salted fish, liquefied natural gas
Government in transition
Capital Sanaa
Population 28.7 million (July 2018 est.)
Ethnicity predominantly Arab; but also Afro-Arab, South Asian, European
Language Arabic (official); note: a distinct Socotri language is widely used on Socotra Island and Archipelago; Mahri is still fairly widely spoken in eastern Yemen

Yemen occupies the southwest corner of the Arabian peninsula. Saudi Arabia is to its north and Oman to the east.

Within Yemen, there has traditionally been a divide between north and south. The country has only been unified since 1990. Since 2011, a civil war has been going on between the Houthis in the south and the government forces in the north. Saudi Arabia has been participating on the side of the government.

Although Yemen is poor, it has many places of historical and archaeological significance. The Queen of Sheba is said to have reigned there in ancient times.

News about Yemen

  • Hugh Walker obituary
    by Lesley Curwen on October 19, 2020

    My uncle Hugh Walker, who has died aged 89, was a colonial administrator for the British in Kenya and Aden during the 1950s and 60s before switching to work for the BBC’s Somali Service and then moving to Hong Kong as a civil administrator.Hugh’s life began badly: born in Eltham, south-east London, he was one of three unwanted children from a long […]

  • Celebrations as Yemen civil war prisoners freed in huge swap
    by Patrick Wintour Diplomatic editor on October 15, 2020

    First exchange, of 1,000 people, on flights to and from Saudi Arabia and inside Yemen, after two-year UN/ICRC negotiationsMore than 1,000 political prisoners captured during the Yemen civil war began to be released on Thursday in a massive prisoner swap negotiated over the past two years and largely overseen by the UN and International Committee of the Red […]

  • UK remains second biggest arms exporter with £11bn of orders
    by Dan Sabbagh Defence and security editor on October 6, 2020

    British manufacturers recorded second highest figure ever in 2019 despite court order restricting sales to Saudi ArabiaBritish manufacturers exported £11bn worth of arms during 2019 – the second highest figure on record – despite a court order that the UK must halt any sales to Saudi Arabia that could be used in Yemen.UK exports also exceeded those of […]

  • Sheikh Sabah al-Sabah, emir of Kuwait obituary
    by Ian Black on October 1, 2020

    Ruler of Kuwait for 14 years who was known as ‘the dean of Arab diplomacy’The emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, who has died aged 91, ruled his country for 14 years and acquired a reputation for being committed to peaceful dialogue and unity among other Gulf states known for their divisive quarrels in recent times. Discreet, mild-mannered […]

  • UK judge halts Home Office flight to remove asylum seekers
    by Diane Taylor on September 16, 2020

    Lawyers argue group of up to 20 people will be left destitute in Spain if deportedA senior high court judge has halted a charter flight hours before up to 20 asylum seekers who crossed the Channel to the UK in small boats were due to be forcibly removed to Spain, a country they had previously passed through.The judge, Sir Duncan Ouseley, ordered the flight […]

  • 'Confounding': Covid may have already peaked in many African countries
    by Karen McVeigh on September 16, 2020

    One explanation for virus not behaving as expected could be previous exposure to other infections, experts tell MPsCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe coronavirus pandemic has peaked earlier than expected in many African countries, confounding early predictions, experts have told MPs.Scientists do not yet know why, but one […]

  • 'I had to kill so many people': the battle to protect children in conflicts
    by Paddy Dowling on September 9, 2020

    25,000 grave violations were committed against children in conflict in 2019, says the UN, which hopes to highlight issue with new international dayWhen Islamic State fighters rolled into Mosul, Iraq, they made promises.“When they arrived they promised us salvation, a better life, but within months our schools were closed and we were living in fear, […]

  • Saudi commander in Yemen removed in fresh purge
    by Associated Press in Riyadh on September 1, 2020

    Crown prince Mohammed bin Salman behind ousting of Lt Gen Fahad bin Turki bin Abdulaziz and othersSaudi Arabia’s top military commander in its years-long war in Yemen and his prince son have been removed from their posts along with other officials as part of an anti-corruption investigation.The announcement, early on Tuesday, attributed the actions to a […]

  • Sons must leave UK after boat crossing but father stays after flight arrival
    by Diane Taylor on August 30, 2020

    Asylum claims all based on risk to life in Yemen but three sons to be sent to Spain leaving father in UKThree members of the same family who arrived in the UK in a small boat have been locked up in an immigration detention centre while a fourth member has escaped incarceration because he arrived in the UK by plane.The family, who have asked to be referred […]

  • Soldier backed over Whitehall protest against Yemen war
    by Dan Sabbagh and Damien Gayle on August 27, 2020

    Ahmed al-Babati was arrested for protesting in uniform against UK links to Saudi bombingAnti-war campaigners are calling on the army to drop proceedings against a soldier who was arrested after he staged a one-man protest against Britain’s involvement in the Saudi bombing of Yemen near Downing Street.Ahmed al-Babati, a lance corporal in the Royal Signals, […]

  • Yemeni asylum seeker found dead in Manchester hotel room
    by Diane Taylor on August 23, 2020

    Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah Alhabib arrived in UK in June after crossing Channel in boatA man who fled war-torn Yemen, made a difficult journey to Europe and two months ago survived a Channel crossing in a flimsy boat has been found dead in a Manchester hotel room.Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah Alhabib 41, was found dead on 6 August in a room where he had been placed […]

  • Children forced to beg or work as hunger eclipses fear of Covid-19 in Yemen
    by Kate Hodal on August 18, 2020

    Hikes in food, water and petrol prices adds to ‘triple emergency’, as coronavirus spreads unchecked and humanitarian aid dwindlesFamilies in Yemen are having to send their children out to work and to beg as concerns mount over rising food, water and petrol prices, a survey has found.Despite coronavirus spreading undetected across the war-ravaged nation, […]

  • Pompeo failed to 'fully assess' civilian cost of Saudi arms sales, watchdog finds
    by Julian Borger in Washington on August 11, 2020

    State department’s inspector general office finds Pompeo acted within the law, but did not ‘fully assess’ risk of deaths in YemenA US government watchdog investigation into the “emergency” sale of more than $8bn in weapons to Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies has found the state department failed to “fully assess” or mitigate the risk of […]

  • Agencies fear hidden cholera deaths in Yemen as Covid-19 overwhelms clinics
    by Peter Beaumont and Patrick Wintour on July 28, 2020

    Thousands of deaths potentially missed as patients avoid health centres, with both diseases set to peak in coming weeks, warn NGOsAid agencies are warning that thousands of people in Yemen could be dying undetected from cholera as people are too frightened to seek treatment in health facilities overwhelmed by coronavirus.Coronavirus cases in the war-torn […]

  • Covid-19 kills scores of health workers in war-torn Yemen
    by Bethan McKernan Middle East correspondent on July 23, 2020

    Data gives insight into scale of pandemic in country already hit by humanitarian crisisCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageAt least 97 Yemeni healthcare workers have died from Covid-19 as the disease ravages the war-torn country, according to a report that gives an insight into the true scale of Yemen’s poorly documented […]

Yemen map