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Yemen Geography

    Location: Middle East, bordering the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden, and Red Sea, between Oman and Saudi Arabia

    Geographic coordinates: 15 00 N, 48 00 E

    Map references: Middle East

    Area:
    total: 527,970 sq km
    land: 527,970 sq km
    water: 0 sq km
    note: includes Perim, Socotra, the former Yemen Arab Republic (YAR or North Yemen), and the former People's Democratic Republic of Yemen (PDRY or South Yemen)

    Area—comparative: slightly larger than twice the size of Wyoming

    Land boundaries:
    total: 1,746 km
    border countries: Oman 288 km, Saudi Arabia 1,458 km

    Coastline: 1,906 km

    Maritime claims:
    contiguous zone: 18 nm in the North; 24 nm in the South
    continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    territorial sea: 12 nm

    Climate: mostly desert; hot and humid along west coast; temperate in western mountains affected by seasonal monsoon; extraordinarily hot, dry, harsh desert in east

    Terrain: narrow coastal plain backed by flat-topped hills and rugged mountains; dissected upland desert plains in center slope into the desert interior of the Arabian Peninsula

    Elevation extremes:
    lowest point: Arabian Sea 0 m
    highest point: Jabal an Nabi Shu'ayb 3,760 m

    Natural resources: petroleum, fish, rock salt, marble, small deposits of coal, gold, lead, nickel, and copper, fertile soil in west

    Land use:
    arable land: 3%
    permanent crops: 0%
    permanent pastures: 30%
    forests and woodland: 4%
    other: 63% (1993 est.)

    Irrigated land: 3,600 sq km (1993 est.)

    Natural hazards: sandstorms and dust storms in summer

    Environment—current issues: very limited natural fresh water resources; inadequate supplies of potable water; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification

    Environment—international agreements:
    party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection
    signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

    Geography—note: strategic location on Bab el Mandeb, the strait linking the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, one of world's most active shipping lanes

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)