Yemen Country Overview

Yemen is a country located in the southwestern corner of the Arabian Peninsula, neighbouring Oman and Saudi Arabia. It has an estimated population of 33-34 million people and is considered one of the poorest and least developed countries in the Arab world.

Yemen General Information

Capital: Sanaa

Language: Arabic is the official language

Religion: Islam is the predominant religion. The majority of Yemenis are Muslims, with most being Sunni Muslims and a sizeable Shiite population as well

Currency: Yemeni rial

Cryptocurrency: No official cryptocurrency

Time zone: Yemen is in the Arabia Standard Time zone, which is GMT+3

The State of Israel was declared in 1948, after Britain withdrew from its mandate of Palestine. The division of the former British Mandate of Palestine and the creation of the State of Israel in the years after the end of the Second World War was the culmination of the Zionist movement, whose aim was a homeland for Jews hitherto scattered all over the world. It has been locked in conflict with the Palestinians and its Arab neighbours over ownership of land considered holy by many Jews, Christians and Muslims since its creation. 


About Yemen

The Republic of Yemen is located in the south of the Arabian Peninsula neighbouring Oman and Saudi Arabia. It has a population of 28.04 million people, making it the 48th most populated country on Earth.

The vast majority of this population inhabit the Asir Mountains, located in the far west of the country, including the capital Sana’a, which has a population of 2.96 million inhabitants.

The strategic southern port city of Aden forms the other major urban centre, with a population of 882,000 denizens. Arabic is the official language, although Mahri is widely spoken in Eastern Yemen and the distinct Socotri language is used on the Socotra Archipelago. 99% of the population are Muslim, with an estimate of 65% adhering to Sunni Islam, and 35% following Shi’a Islam.

Yemen is classified as a very high-risk country, politically and economically. Indeed, the Fragile States Index currently lists Yemen as the fourth most fragile state in the world. The security situation is dire owing to the civil war which broke out in March 2015, and the Gulf Cooperation Council’s military intervention to restore President Hadi’s government. The threat of terrorism is also severe. Over 10,000 people have been killed as a result of the conflict, and 18.8 million need humanitarian aid.

Yemen is one of the most corrupt countries in the world, being ranked at 170 of 176 countries by Transparency International’s 2016 Corruption Index. Corruption exists across the state and society; Nepotism and patronage networks are widespread as are bribery and extortion.

The Yemeni economy has been drastically hit since the 2014 fall in oil prices and the onset of the civil war in 2015. GDP has fallen from US$43.23 billion in 2014 to US$25.67 in 2017, whilst real GDP growth has remained negative since 2014. Although forecasts are positive, they are highly dependent on the oil price and conflict resolution.

Yemen is officially a presidential republic, although the CIA World Factbook currently defines it as ‘in transition.’ The current internationally recognised President is Abd Mansour Hadi, elected in 2012.

In 2014, however, Houthi rebels allied with forces still loyal to former President Saleh and staged an armed takeover, capturing Sana’a and forcing the government into exile. In 2016 the Houthis and Saleh’s political party formed the Supreme Political Council, followed by the National Salvation Government, neither of which has been recognised. 

The conflict has continued since, with significant military involvement from Saudi and UAE led Arab coalition, backed by Western powers. Islamist groups have also gained footholds in Yemen, filling the political-military vacuum in rural areas. This is particularly true of AQAP, who have a presence across large areas of central Yemen.

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