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Al Mukalla is in the Yemeni Highlands and is eastern Yemen's biggest city, the gateway to the historical Hadhramaut region. A bustling port, it is well developed by Yemeni standards, with good roads and a reasonably smart waterfront. In 2021, it was home to about 566,000 people.


Waterfront of Al Mukalla.

Al Mukalla is close to Cane, the ancient Hadrami trading post between India and Africa, with incense producing areas in its hinterland. The city was founded in 1035 as a fishing settlement. While Al Mukalla has fared slightly better during the ongoing Yemeni Civil War, it was held by Al-Qaida between 2015-2016.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

National carrier Yemenia operates a few domestic flights to Mukalla.

  • 1 Riyan Mukalla International Airport (مطار الريان الدولي) (30km east of the city). RIY IATA Riyan Airport (Q3505034) on Wikidata Riyan International Airport on Wikipedia

Get around[edit]

Map of Al Mukalla


The old historic city core, located on a small peninsula, has many small alleyways worth exploring.

  • 1 Fort Al-Ghwayzi (حِصْن ٱلْغوَيْزِي). Built on the foot of a rock and designed to protect the city from Bedouin attacks, this historic fortress dates back to 1716 when the sultans of the Emirate of Al-Kassad ruled the Hadhramaut area. Fort Al-Ghwayzi (Q12208348) on Wikidata Fort Al-Ghwayzi on Wikipedia
  • 2 Qu'aiti palace museum (قصر السلطان القعيطي). A former royal palace, now turned into a regional museum. Qu'aiti palace museum (Q20396477) on Wikidata Sultan Al-Qu'aiti Palace on Wikipedia


Nearby are Hadhramaut Mountains, such as Husn Ghuraf.





Ramada Al Mukalla Hotel
  • 1 Ramada Al Mukalla. One of the best hotels in the area. It is not in the city centre but is a few kilometres away. It has a private beach, swimming pool and intermittent internet. All rooms have a sea view. It used to be a Holiday Inn, but has changed to the Ramada brand. Be careful on the beach as it is rocky with sharp objects/sea urchins at low tide.
  • Hadhramaut Hotel, +967 5 302060, +967 5 303441. Has swimming pool. On the eastern side of the city.
  • Al Salama Hotel. Cheaper hotel in the old city


Go next[edit]

  • Socotra – an island that is a UNESCO world natural heritage site, and very safe (in contrast to the Yemen mainland)

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