Located within the geographic zone historically known as Yemen east between Ma’rib and Hadramout governorates, it comprises areas of different relieves, plains, mounts and deserts extending north towards Al Rub’ Al khali Desert and long coasts on the Arab sea.
Shabwa includes many historic, monumental and tourist cities and sites belonging to many old Yemeni kingdoms:
Ataq city: …up...
The capital of Shabwa govemorate, located 458 km SouthEast of Sana’a, the capital, linked by a paved road across Ma’rib
- Hureib- Beihan- Nisab - Ataq governorates, the paved road continues to link it with Abyan governorate and Hadramout governorate through Naqba.
Ataq, Amoder city, it includes airport, hospital, and a museum containing valuable moments collected from different areas of Shabwa governorate, from ancient Shabwa in particular, the capital of ancient Hadramout kingdom, and cities from Qatban kingdom and the monumental sites belonging to Osan kingdom, and the oldest antiquities which date to 3000 B.C., to the stone ages, the museum had been established in 1984.
Dheiban palace (Al- Dheiban house) consisting of six floors of area 40X40m lies in Ataq city, the 6the and 5th floor are constructed in pyramid shape, it is built of clay coated with Alnoura substance, the building is more than 200 years old, Hamar village lies near Ataq city, and a small village 16km from Ataq city, on the paved road on the side of wadi Hamar, the buildings of this village are old, made of clay and stone with the traditional style of distinguished shape, semi engraved mountain shapes appear in the valley.
A historic dam known as Kureif Habban or Habban Dam exist in Habban centre of Ataq directorate, the dam is 150m long and lOOm wide, a tunnel excavated in the rock, 30 m long and 3m wide for water coming to the dam.
A directorate of Shabwa governorate, Al- Sa’eed is the capital, located at the head of known Yashbam valley, 45 km south of A taq city, a beautiful city with its clay built 5-6 floor buildings, the city is decorated with grapes trees spreading on the banks of Yashbam valley
Many villages and houses under the feet of the mountains forming the valley including some palaces and monumental sites. One of the Yemeni original tribes known through the ages with their kindness inhabits this area and bravery, they are called AL
Yashbam historic city lies in Al Sa’eed directorate on the right side of Yashbam valley, it had been mentioned in the old inscriptions, distinguished with clay 5-6 floor building, Saint obeidullah bin Abdul Malik died there, many old writings and inscriptions spread in the surrounding mountains.
A directorate of Shabwa govemorate, located south - west of Ataq city, it is rich with historic, monumental and tourist sites as:
Khoura city: located 100km south - west of Ataq in the middle of khoura valley where many monumental sites are located, it is a beautiful valley decorated by palm trees.
Wasit city: located 95 km south- west of Ataq city on the west bank of Markha valley, in the middle, many monuments sites of Osan civilization are spreading around in the valley, it is distinguished with four floor clay buildings.
The archeological places in Wasab directorate:
Hijar Amdthbiya: which dates to pre-Islam Awani, Qatbani, Hadrami, Himiari civilizations came successively to this site
andHijer- urn Huseinia: it dates to pre-Islam, it has remains of the buildings foundations and the features of the wall in the east side, which are still clear, and
Hijer Yahar: it is considered the largest monument site in Shabwa governorate, it is the historic capital of Osan state, the place had been surveyed by the French in 1977 and in 1983
and by the German mission in 1993 - 1995, it lies on the
eastern bank of Markha valley, in addition to other significant
A directorate of Shabwa governorate, located North-West Ataq governorate center, rich with historic, archeological and tourist places as:
- Olaya city:
- The directorate center, the largest city in Bihan valley, beautiful city, which buildings are built of clay mixed with straw, the style of building prevalent in east of Yemen, Olaya city forms a model of this architecture, the houses reach 5 floors high, the sheriff palace in the city, Ridan known mount overlook this city, it has some handicrafts and many archeological places of pre-Islam civilizations, it contains antiquities museum comprising a good variety of exhibits.
Al- Naqoub city: …up...
The second city in Bihan valley and the most beautiful city, in the valley, (Naqoub is a Himiar word which means the high land), the market is named on the king name (Shammar), the temple as well, it comprises some beautiful palaces of Bihan nobles and some archeological places.
Al- Harjah city:
Located at the head of Bihan valley, many archeological sites and some irrigation channels spread around it representing Qutbani, Saba’ I and Himiar: civilizations.
Dhe Nasr village: it is an ancient historic and archeological place of B.C. time, it has monuments of Qutbani state and others of Himian State and it contains ancient irrigation channels. In addition to many other archeological historic sites such as:
Al-Harja which is rich with significant archeological sites and Himiar wells, and Al-Sho’ba mount: known with its peak and its amazing shape rising in the sky and which is rich with ancient inscriptions, it is distinguished with the road leading to its peak paved carefully with stones, old water pools, setting mastabas engraved in the rock and decorated with rock pictures (animals).
Ridan mount: an ancient place named on Himiar major king (Dhu Ridan), it is said that king Dhu Ridan was sitting at the peak of this mount for two months a year, the peak at sunrise is falcon like if seen from a remote distance, the mount contains many ancient inscriptions and writings and drawings of animals, in addition to Hijar Al-Shajan, khadra, and Bihan Em (Mablaqa), Al- Badi, mount and other sites.
Tamanna, (capital of Qatban kingdom): located on the left bank of Bihan val~ey overlooking the desert plain, 30km from Olaya city, the center of Bihan directorate, it is called at present (Hijar Qahlan), it is the capital of the ancient kingdom (Qutban) which flourished in the 4th century B.C., it is considered ofd the largest Yemenis archeological places, it was an important station on the old trade route known as Al-Labban route, in the middle between Shabwa, the capital of ancient Hadramout kingdom and Ma’rib, the capital of Saba, Kingdom
The American mission for human study excavated in 1951 at Tamanna’ city and at Hijar Bin Hamid Wahid bin Aqil, the excavation results indicate that Tamanna, was a rich city with gold, heritage and goddesses temples (Am) (The moon) and discovered important antiquities, inscriptions and statues as:
Two bronze lions, one ridded by a child in the shape of (kubid) the son of Venus, the goddess of love and an obelisk on which the laws of (the Qatbani obelisk) are inscripted water channels built with stones fixed by a substance similar to cement resistant to water. the mission discoved also a 24 km water distributing channel extended from Bihan to a place close to Hijar Bin Hamid, it dates to the 5th century B. C.
Bin Hamid Hijar: …up...
One of the Qutbani archeological cities, 15 km south of Tamanna’ city, located on oval like hill 70 ft above valley level at the old cross road, less in size than Tamanna’ city, the historians say that it was called Dhee Ghil or Dhat Ghil which was rebuilt, by the Hadrami king called Ab Ghilan Bin Ghilan, that work has been recorded in a known inscription, the American mission for human study considers that the establishing date of the city might be between 1100 to 900 B. C.
Qutbanis might be more in control of the old trade route (Al-Labban route) passing through the Qutbani lands and station through performance of an action which was gigantic in well control and prevention of smuggling, since they cut through the rock a mountainous route linking Bihan valley and Hureib valley through Mablaqa mount which is 380 m high, the road was about 5km long in dangerous curves, where the road was 12-15 ft wide, paved with rocks and the sides were protected with walls, Nuqail Mablaqa the start, point of many of Al-Labban routes and road.
Ancient Shabwa city: …up...
The ruins of ancient Shabwa city lies on the bank of Arma valley bank at the head of Hadramout valley in the western side, 100 km north Ataq, the capital of Shabwa governorate. it was the ancient capital of Hadramout kingdom and the largest city and an important center for gathering of the ancient trade caravans. The city place remained unknown for a long time for the European travelers until Felbi identified the place in 1936, then Hamilton made some discoveries in 1938, the French archeological mission headed by Jacklin Berm then Jane Francois Briton made many excavations from 1974- 1987, the examining studies indicated perfect system of irrigation
The first establishment dates to the 13th century B. C, then the city expanded and provided with wall in double system for defensive purposes.
The city comprise 120 base of stone supporting the upper foundations of the houses built of wood, but excavations had not been carried out extensively, except at the site of the royal palace called (Shugair), the mission excavated other many houses, the temple of goddess (Sian Dhu Aleen) and two graves date to the time of prosperity during the first three centuries A. C.
Mayfa’ a: …up...
located on the bank of Mayfa’a valley adjacent to the paved road linking Shabwa governorate with Hadramout governorate near Azan village, it is believed that Mayfa’a is the oldest capital of
Hadramout before Shabwa, or one of the old capitals, it was surrounded with stonewall and towers indicating that it was of the significant cities in Hadramout state, it had old temples and destroyed in the 4th century, today it is ruins, which indicates glory in the ancient time.
Haban and Azan:
of the beautiful villages in Shawa governorate on the paved tourist road coming from Abian governorate and Attaq towards Al-Mokalla, distinguished with beautiful architecture of clay mixed with straw and high buildings, Azan village in particular surrounded by palm trees.
Bir Ali (Gana old Port): …up...
Bir Ali area located on the coast of the Arab sea, today it consists of a number of beautiful sand coast, it is considered the best shore in Yemen, it is now a coastal village and fishing port on the gulf margin which is 120km from Mokalla and 140 km from Attaq, on the other side of the gulf a volcanic height over looks the south- west entrance of the gulf, it is the place of the old port (Gana) the main port of Hadramout Yemenis state from which the gum an incense were exported by the historic Labban road or by sea, the port (Gana) was in trade ties with Dhafar-Oman and with the Somalia shores and India shores, the volcanic hill is known at present as (Hisn Al Ghorab) it contains remains of the observatory tower belonging to the port and water tanks, remains are also noticed at the castle foot on the northern side, it is believed to be the original site of Qana city.
Hot Springs: …up...
Many hot spring are existing in Shabwa, the most important are Radoum Springs close from Bi’r Ali, it is considered of the most important hot spring in Yemen which are useful in treating many skin and joints diseases and others, Houta spring in Mayfa’a it is a well and Sulpher water, used for treatment, drinking and medical treatment of skin diseases and insects.
Some traditional handicrafts are spreading in the governorate, including good sesame oil known in the area, axes and knife and poniards handicrafts manufacture of silver utensils and different types of jewelry.