Location: In south-western Arabia, on the Red Sea. Yemen has borders with Saudi Arabia and South Yemen (the Yemen PDR)
Area: 195,000 sq km
National composition: Arabs
Official language: Arabic
Currency: Riyal = 100 fils
Administrative divisions: 7 districts
Other major cities: Hodeida (Al Hudaydah), Ta’izz
Highest elevation: Hadhur Shu’ayb (3,760 m)
Chief rivers: Seasonal streams only
Climate: Arid, except in the mountains; progressively hotter to the east
From the Yemen Arab Republic’s coast plain (known as the Tihamah), the land rises steeply to the Yemen Highlands. Beyond lies the Rub’s al Khali desert in the east.
The best farmland is in the comparatively moist highlands, but agriculture employs three-quarters of the people. Cereals are the chief crop, followed by potatoes and vegetables. Top-quality coffee is grown in the country and exported through the port of Mocha, which gave its name to mocha coffee. The country’s considerable mineral resources include alabaster, coal, copper, gold, iron ore, limestone, manganese, mica and semiprecious stones, but the deposits are largely undeveloped.