Sanaa | Gulf Air
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Gulf Air  > Plan and Book  > Destination Guides  > Sanaa


Destination guides
The capital of Yemen is sited about 7,500 feet above sea level in the central plateau of the country. It is still an ancient walled city, famed for its spectacular ancient mud-brick 'skyscrapers'. Local legend maintains that Sanaa is the birthplace of the Arab nation and, like Damascus, claims its founder to be Noah's eldest son, Shem - the city was once called Medinet Sam, the City of Shem.

A later belief is that Yemen was the historic kingdom of Sheba, from which the mystic Queen (long thought to be Abyssinian) travelled to the court of King Solomon (Suleiman). Whatever the real truth of these tales they make for splendid legends and add more character to Yemen's colourful past.

Buildings of interest to the visitor include the old Arab quarter (the Medina), the citadel (Al Qasr) the ruined fort of Al-Birash and the Mutawakil, once the palace of the Imams and now a museum.

Handicrafts are most attractive; finely worked silver and jewellery, weaving and leather artefacts. More modern industries have been developed but the nation has not yet achieved economic stability.

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Fact File
 City: Sanaa 
 Country Name: Yemen 
 Currency: Yemeni rial 
 Local Time: GMT +3 
 Main Language: Arabic 
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