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Aden
عدن
City
Aden. Steamer Point. Aug 2013 (9727325813).jpg
Street Scene Aden Yemen.jpg Old Town Aden Yemen.jpg
Cisterns of Tawila.jpg Aden. Steamer Point. Aug 2013. (9713909915).jpg
Clockwise from top:
Steamer point, Mosque and the old town, St.Francis of Assisi Church, Cisterns of Tawila, Old Town streetview
Country  Yemen
Governorate Aden
Area
 • Total 760 km2 (290 sq mi)
Elevation 6 m (20 ft)
Population (2017)
 • Total 1,760,923
 • Density 2,317/km2 (6,000/sq mi)
Time zone AST (UTC+3)
Area code(s) 967
Port of Aden, Yemen from ISS
Port of Aden from ISS, 2016

Aden is a port city and, since 2015, the temporary capital of Yemen, located by the eastern approach to the Red Sea (the Gulf of Aden), some 170 km (110 mi) east of Bab-el-Mandeb. Its population is approximately 800,000 people. Aden's natural harbour lies in the crater of a dormant volcano, which now forms a peninsula joined to the mainland by a low isthmus. This harbour, Front Bay, was first used by the ancient Kingdom of Awsan between the 5th and 7th centuries BC. The modern harbour is on the other side of the peninsula. Aden gives its name to the Gulf of Aden.

Aden consists of a number of distinct sub-centres: Crater, the original port city; Ma'alla, the modern port; Tawahi, known as "Steamer Point" in the colonial period; and the resorts of Gold Mohur. Khormaksar, located on the isthmus that connects Aden proper with the mainland, includes the city's diplomatic missions, the main offices of Aden University, and Aden International Airport (the former British Royal Air Force station RAF Khormaksar), Yemen's second biggest airport. On the mainland are the sub-centres of Sheikh Othman, a former oasis area; Al-Mansura, a town planned by the British; and Madinat ash-Sha'b (formerly Madinat al-Itihad), the site designated as the capital of the South Arabian Federation and now home to a large power/desalinization facility and additional faculties of Aden University.

Aden encloses the eastern side of a vast, natural harbour that comprises the modern port. This city is rather large, yet has no natural resources available in it. However, Aden does have reservoirs, the Aden Tanks. These reservoirs accumulate rain water for the sole purpose of drinking for the city's citizens. The city is prosperous with rich merchants living here and Indian vessels arriving for trade. The volcanic peninsula of Little Aden forms a near-mirror image, enclosing the harbour and port on the western side. Little Aden became the site of the oil refinery and tanker port. Both were established and operated by British Petroleum until they were turned over to Yemeni government ownership and control in 1978.

Aden was the capital of the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen until that country's unification with the Yemen Arab Republic in 1990, and again briefly served as Yemen's temporary capital during the aftermath of the Houthi takeover in Yemen, as declared by President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi after he fled the Houthi occupation of Sana'a. From March to July 2015, the Battle of Aden raged between Houthis and government forces of President Hadi. Water, food, and medical supplies ran short in the city. On 14 July, the Saudi Army launched an offensive to retake Aden for the Yemeni government. Within three days the Houthis had been removed from the city. Since February 2018, Aden has been seized by the Southern Transitional Council, that is supported by UAE, the Southern Transitional Council was formed from previous Aden Mayor Aidroos Alzubaidi after he was dismissed from his post by Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi together with sacked former Cabinet minister Salfi-religious leader Hani Bin Buraik.

Economy

Historically, Aden would import goods from the African coast and from Europe, the United States, and India. As of 1920, the British described it as "the chief emporium of Arabian trade, receiving the small quantities of native produce, and supplying the modest wants of the interior and of most of the smaller Arabian ports." At the docks, the city provided coal to passing ships. The only item being produced by the city, as of 1920, was salt. Also, the port was the stop ships had to take when entering the Bab-el-Mandeb; this was how cities like Mecca had received goods by ship. Yemen Airlines, the national airline of South Yemen, had its head office in Aden. On 15 May 1996, Yemen Airlines merged with Yemenia.

During the early 20th century Aden was a notable centre of coffee production. Women processed coffee beans, grown in the Yemen highlands. Frankincense, wheat, barley, alfalfa, and millet was also produced and exported from Aden. The leaves and stalks of the alfalfa, millet and maize produced in Aden were generally used as fodder.

As of 1920, Aden was also gathering salt from salt water. An Italian company called Agostino Burgarella Ajola and Company gathered and process the salt under the name Aden Salt Works. There was also a smaller company from India, called Abdullabhoy and Joomabhoy Lalji & Company that owned a salt production firm in Aden. Both companies exported the salt. Between 1916–1917, Aden produced over 120,000 tons of salt. Aden has also produced potash, which was generally exported to Mumbai.

Aden produced jollyboats. Charcoal was produced as well, from acacia, and mainly in the interior of the region. Cigarettes were produced by Jewish and Greek populations in Aden. The tobacco used was imported from Egypt.

Transportation

Aden03 flickr
Aden's harbour in 1960

Historically, Aden's harbour has been a major hub of transportation for the region. As of 1920, the harbour was 13 by 6 km (8 by 4 mi) in size. Passenger ships landed at Steamer Point now called Tawahi.

During the British colonial period motor vehicles drove on the left, as in the United Kingdom. On 2 January 1977, Aden, along with the rest of South Yemen, changed to driving on the right, bringing it into line with neighbouring Arab states.

The city was served by Aden International Airport, the former RAF Khormaksar station which is 10 km (6.2 mi) away from the city, before the Battle of Aden Airport and the 2015 military intervention in Yemen closed this airport along with other airports in Yemen. July 22, Aden International Airport was declared fit for operation again after the Houthi forces were driven from the city, and a Saudi plane carrying aid reportedly became the first plane to land in Aden in four months. The same day, a ship chartered by the World Food Programme carrying fuel docked in Aden's port.

Climate

Aden has a hot desert climate (BWh) in the Köppen-Geiger climate classification system. Although Aden sees next to no precipitation year-round, it is humid throughout the year.


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