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Yemen Geography


Yemen's location, combined with its geographical characteristics, gives it the most favourable climate and agricultural resources of any country on the Arabian Peninsula.

Yemen has a narrow, coastal plain, stretching more than 700 mi (1,130 km), along the southern edge of the Arabian peninsula. It also has interior highlands and an eastern desert. The highlands, which are actually a section of the upturned Arabian plateau, are the highest part (rising to more than 12,000 ft/3,660 m) of the Arabian peninsula. They receive an annual average rainfall of c.20 in. (50 cm), making them also the wettest part of the peninsula; most of the precipitation occurs during the summer rainy season. The remainder of Yemen is hot and virtually rainless in the coastal regions. Numerous wadis radiate from the highlands, but Yemen has no permanent streams; oases and springs provide local water needs.


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

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

1,906 km

Maritime claims
territorial sea 12 nm
contiguous zone 24 nm
exclusive economic zone 200 nm
continental shelf 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin

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

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