Overview of Yemen
Overview of Yemen Last updated on Monday 26th April 2010
Republic of Yemen
Sana'a, in the north, is the political capital
Aden, the former capital of South Yemen, is the commercial capital
al-Hudayah on the Red Sea
Council of Ministers appointed by the president on the advice of the prime minister
Unicameral House of Representatives (301 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
17 governorates: Abyan, Adan, Al Bayda' Al Hudaydah, Al Jawf, Al Mahrah, Al Mahwit, Ataq, Dhamar, Hadhramawt, Hajjah, Ibb, Lahij, Ma'rib, Sa'dah, Sana'a', Ta'izz
Based on Islamic law, Turkish law, English common law and local tribal customary law.
Yemen has been a Muslim country since 628 AD. Islam is the state religion and the religion of the vest majority of Yemenis; there are also small communities of Jews.
The population is estimated at 18 million. Approximately one million live in Sana'a and half the number in the second city Aden. Three quarters of the people live outside larger towns in villages and remote locations throughout the county.
About 45 people per sq km (about 117 per sq mile)
Arabic is the official and predominantly spoken language. The use of English is widespread and is the most important non-Arabic spoken language.
Exchange rates are variable. In mid-1996, they were around 50 riyals = U.S.$1 at the official rate, rising to around 135 riyals = U.S.$1 from some money-changers.
Friday is the official day of rest, when offices are closed. On weekdays, banks and government offices open from 8 or 9am until 12 noon or 1pm and close in the afternoon. Shops and restaurants open in the mornings and again in the evenings.
Islamic holidays are observed and in addition to these, there are the following secular holidays:
May 1st, Labour Day
May 22nd, Day of National Unity
September 26th, Revolution Day
October 14th, National Day
November 30th, Independence Day
*Other public holidays occurring at variable dates every year, according the Gregorian calendar, include:
Islamic New Year's Day.
Birth Day of Prophet Mohamed.
Al-Esra wa Al-Mi'raj (Prophet Mohamed's ascension to Heaven).
Eid El-Fitr (three days holiday).
International dialing codes
+ 967 (areas formerly Yemen Arab Republic)
+ 969 (areas formerly People's Democratic Republic of Yemen)
GMT + 3 hours