UNESCO listed World Heritage site, Yemen’s Shibam city, risks collapse - GulfToday

UNESCO listed World Heritage site, Yemen’s Shibam city, risks collapse


An aerial view of Shibam City in Yemen's central Hadramawt governorate.

Gulf Today Report


Yemen’s city of Shibam is at high risk of collapse due to floods and rains in the region.


The city is called the ‘Manhattan of the Desert’ because of its ancient muddy skyscrapers.


The UNESCO listed World Heritage site is situated in the centre of Yemen above the Wadi Hadramawt valley.


yemen12 Against the backdrop of what resembles the Grand Canyon stands Yemen's ancient city of Shibam.


This beautifully made ancient city, Shibam, is now struggling to survive.

UN describes the struggle Yemen faces with one of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis since 2014.

"The city looks like it was hit by a disaster -- without precedent," said Abdulwahab Jaber, a local official in the town, 480 kilometres (300 miles) east of the capital Sanaa.

The roofs and the walls have slowly started crumbling down due to the sun.


yemen13 The 'Manhattan of the desert' that has largely been spared by war but remains at the mercy of natural disasters.


Restoration has been nearly impossible due to the lack of funds and loss of manpower.

Aidid said an emergency response plan in cooperation with UNESCO is under way, with approximately 40 buildings being restored at a cost of $194,000.

"There have been some difficulties," he said. "The work is slow due to lack of local skilled manpower that meets the standards."

Shibam is one of three historical sites that bear witness to the mud-brick architectural past of the Hadramawt region in Yemen.

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