Here are the roots of Arabia, where the desert sands of Khali begin to crawl into the mountains. Here the rain waters run of the mountains converting in rich Wadis. Here the Yemenis began to tame the water and created dams, the most famous being in Marib.
Sirwah is found among a volcanic rock and barren mountains. It is known as the first capital of the Sabean Kingdom. Ruins of temples dated back to the X C B.C and beautiful castle of later times can be explored.
Marib became the capital of the Sabean Kingdom after the building of the dam at Wadi Adhana, the Kindom reigned here from the V – C B.C. to the Century A.D. Ruins of temples and old palaces are scattered across the now desert landscape which was once the green Arabia Felix. The temple of Bilquis, the queen of Sheba and the temple of the Sun were witnesses to a great civilization that three thousand years ago began here. The visitors will see the old Islamic village with its clay architecture and its beautiful mosque built from the ruins of a temple.
Baraqish is the second major town of the Maenean Kingdom. It overlooks the Wadi Al Jawf, one of the main Wadis, or rivers in the area. Baraqish history is still obscure and it has yet to be excavated. It is supposed to dated back to between the VIII and V. C.A.D. The visitor will immediately see its huge bastions as he approaches the city from the desert. Within the walls one will discover ruins of temples and mosques. This forgotten city, finally deserted at the turn of this century.
The ancient capital of the Kingdoms of the Hadramout, dated back to 2000 B.C. It has been destroyed around first century A.D. by the Sabian. This town was the strongest town at that time, linked with the old port of Qana in the Indian Ocean. Today not much left at the place of full of magic antiquity.
Ramlat al Sabatain
Southern part of empty quarter in Arabian peninsula between Marib, old Shabwa and Seyun (Wadi Hadramout).
Today, Seyun is the main town of the Province of Hadramout after Mukalla. It is a beautiful town completely immersed in Palm trees plantation and hidden gardens. The architecture of Seyun is quite remarkable, all in clay. Here you have most beautiful mosque and minerates of Hadramout after the one in Tarim. There is also a nice market in the center of the town.
Tarim is 35 Kms. East of Seyun and known since the pre-Islamic history as a center for learning of Sunni Islam, quite similar to Zabid in the North of Yemen. The South East Asian influence that can be observed in many of the Villas, especially the famous of Al Mohdhar mosque with it 50 Mtr. high minaret.
Mukalla is nicknamed ‘the gate to Hadramout’ and it is a very old settlement whose story can be traced back to 950 years. The city has few interesting mosques. The building style clearly bears an Indian influence, some beautiful engraved of the city are reminders of a high standing level of craftsmanship in the past.
Sif, Bada, Rashid, Khuriba
All are Wadi Doan villages, the most beautiful Wadi in the Hadramout (Wadi means Valley).
Al Hajarain means ‘two stones’ is built almost right around a steep hill of rocks. Extending from over half-way up can only be reached by foot or donkey. A cistern of pre-Islamic origin lies on the highest point of the town.
Port of Qana: (now is Bir Ali)
It is about 120 Kms. from Mukalla. Well-known since XV B.C. as a famous sea-port in Arabian sea were transported overland to the North on a track (by caravan of camel), Shabwa, Najran, Yatrib (now Madina) to Gaza on the Mediterranean end of the incense road. Later during Sabean ruler and after the improvement of the trade and transport not only the local production of frankincense in Al Shihr (lower Hadramout) and Dhofar (in Oman on border of Yemen) which is highly in demand for religious feast was celebrated from Karnak across the fertile crescent to Nineveh, but, increased the trade from India came important trade partner from Zansibar and Africa like rarewoods, feathers, animal skin and gold and later port of Qanan known as ‘the gold and incense road’ of Arabia Felix.