Yemen’s Socotra archipelago awaits ecotourists

yemens socotra archipelago awaits ecotourists

SOCOTRA, Yemen: With its lush landscape, distinctive trees, unique animals and turquoise waters home to dolphins, Yemen is hoping its Socotra archipelago will become a dream destination despite the country’s nightmarish conflict.Lying in the Indian Ocean some 200 kilometers (120 miles) off the Yemeni coast, the four islands and two rocky islets are home to some 50,000 people and have remained relatively untouched by the war that has devastated the mainland.While most of Yemen is embroiled in a conflict that erupted in 2014 between Houthi militia and the government — plus the ravages of the coronavirus pandemic — adventurous travelers are showing a growing interest in visiting Socotra.Many set off from the wealthy United Arab Emirates, which is close to the authorities that control the islands.“Fortunately, Socotra has never been affected by the war dynamics of the Yemeni mainland,” local travel agency Welcome to Socotra told AFP.“No tensions or fights have ever been reported, hence there is no reason for tourists to worry.”Since flights resumed with a chartered Air Arabia aircraft once a week from Abu Dhabi, the agency has received “hundreds” of requests, it said…

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