Sunday, October 6, 2013

Al Mukalla, an ancient city in Yemen, South of Arabia

Al Mukalla is the capital of Hadramaut, a coastal province South of Yemen. It used to be a part of Oman until it was annexed by Yemen.

This place is undeniably rich in history aside from being a melting pot of Indian and Arab cultures due to its proximity to both Indian and Arabian Seas.

I am fortunate to have visited this place twice. Before the so-called "Arab Spring" reached Yemen the expats workers in our company used to travel to Mukalla City to undergo blood test for our residence visa renewal.

We would travel for 4 hours along plateaus and barren landscapes before we reach this place. It was a welcome relief for us after spending many days on top of the mountains to be back to civilization again.

The place is truly magical. I could see the unadulterated crystal clear sea even from afar while inside the city is a man-made canal that is connected to the wide expanse of the sea. Along its banks are roads with lamp posts that remind me of Grenoble City in Southern France.

What complement its natural beauty aside from the absence of tall structures is the unique Arabic design of each and every houses and miniscule buildings dotting the river bank while having barren and rocky hills at the background. All told, there is something about this place that will make one long to stay here for a few more days than just several hours.

Famished, together with our local driver cum guide, we would take our lunch in one of the eateries at the public market along the coastline and would order "kubosh" (arabic bread) and fresh grilled fish. We would delightfully eat with our bare hands unmindful of curious eyes staring on strangers who eat like locals and can communicate in basic Arabic as well, lol.  

After our business has been completed, we would leave this place at mid-afternoon and arrived in our work site late evening.

I have never seen a place like this in all the countries that I have visited and to say the least, this place is indeed breathtaking!


  1. Wow! You went to Yemen?! It's in my bucket list! Did you go to Sana'a as well?

    1. I worked for more than 6 years in Yemen. Yes, I stayed and explored Sana'a City many times. Hopefully my next job will be in Yemen too.