Al Mukalla

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Al Mukalla
al Mukalla as seen from its port
al Mukalla as seen from its port
Al Mukalla is located in Yemen
Al Mukalla
Al Mukalla
Location in Yemen
Coordinates: 14°32′N 49°08′E / 14.533°N 49.133°E / 14.533; 49.133
Country  Yemen
Governorate Hadramaut
Founded as a fishing settlement in 1035
Occupation Sons of Hadhramaut
Population (2004)
 • Total 531,205
Time zone Yemen Standard Time (UTC+3)

Al Mukalla (Arabic: المكلاAl Mukallā) is a main sea port and the capital city of the Hadhramaut coastal region in Yemen in the southern part of Arabia on the Gulf of Aden close to the Arabian Sea. It is located 480 km (300 mi) east of Aden and is the most important port in the Governorate of Hadramaut, the largest governorate in Yemen.

Al Mukalla is the fifth largest city in Yemen with a population of approximately 300,000. The city is served by the nearby Riyan Airport.


Al Mukalla is situated not far from "Cane" or "Qana'", the ancient principal Hadrami trading post between India and Africa, with incense producing areas in its hinterland.[1]

Al Mukalla was founded in 1035 as a fishing settlement. This area was included in Oman state until middle of the 11th century, and later this area was included in Yemen states.

It was the capital of the Qu'aiti State of Hadhramaut until 1967 when it became a part of South Yemen. The Qu'aiti State was part of the Eastern Aden Protectorate until that merger. A British Resident Advisor was stationed at Al Mukalla.

In 1934, British traveler and explorer Freya Stark began her journey into the hinterland of the Hadhramaut from Al Mukalla, and her stay in that city is recorded in her book, The Southern Gates of Arabia.[2]

Battle of Al Mukalla[edit]

Main article: Battle of Al Mukalla

On April 2, 2015, Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) stormed the central prison, freeing hundreds of prisoners including two senior AQAP commanders. They attacked the central bank and seized 17 billion Yemeni riyals and 1 million U.S. dollars before taking control of the presidential palace in the city. It is reported the entire city is under their control and they plan to establish an Islamic emirate in the wider Hadramaut region.[3]

In April 2015 Nasser bin Ali al-Ansi was killed in a drone strike in the city, the SITE Intelligence Group said, citing media reports.[4]

On 3 November 2015, Cyclone Chapala struck the city and destroyed the city's seafront.[5] Casualties are unknown due to the difficulty of getting information from the war zone held by Al-Qaeda.


Mukalla port
Trading bread in the old town

The main market soukh is one of the main commercial hubs of the city.

Mukalla port is located to the east of the town. The port is available for vessels with length not more than 150 meters as per Pilot Book Pilot Directions (up to 2010 year). At the same time two vessels with the length 150 meters each and about 20 small fishing vessels can stay alongside in Mukalla port (fishing vessel moored alongside one to another). The port is fitted with oil pipe line for tankers. Oil tanks located close to the port.

Cement factory of "RAYSUT" cement company (Oman-Yemen company) located in the port and is able to receive cement in bulk from cement carriers.


The old town is open for tourists. Sights include the royal palace of the sultan. Guard towers that were outposts surmount the mountains around the old town.


The College of Medicine HUCOM of the Hadhramout University is located in Al Mukalla.


  1. ^ "Myos Hormos". Maritime Incense Route. Retrieved 7 Dec 2008. 
  2. ^ Stark, Freya, The Southern Gates of Arabia, John Murray, London, 1936 (and reprinted in many modern editions)
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Cyclone Chapala batters war-torn Yemen". BBC. 3 November 2015. Retrieved 14 November 2015. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Al Mukalla at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 14°32′N 49°08′E / 14.533°N 49.133°E / 14.533; 49.133