Socotra Governorate

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Coordinates: 12°27′04″N 53°36′43″E / 12.4510°N 53.6120°E / 12.4510; 53.6120

Socotra in Yemen.svg
Country Yemen
SeatHadibu (Tamrida)
 • GovernorSaleh Ali
 • Total44,670
Socotra Archipelago
Topographic map of the districts of Socotra

The Socotra Archipelago (Arabic: أرخبيل سقطرى ʾArḫabīl Suquṭrā) or Suqutra is officially one of the governorates of Yemen. It is composed of the Guardafui Channel's archipelago of Socotra.


Since before British rule, Socotra had been part of the Mahra Sultanate, and remained so after Mahra became part of Aden Protectorate. With the independence of South Yemen in 1967, the archipelago was attached to the Aden Governorate, despite its distance. In 2004, it was moved to the Hadhramaut Governorate.[1] Since December 2013, it has been a governorate of its own.[2]

On 30 April 2018, the United Arab Emirates, as a part of the ongoing Yemen Civil War, deployed troops and took administrative control of Socotra Airport and seaport.[3][4] On 14 May 2018, Saudi troops were also deployed on the island and a deal was brokered between the United Arab Emirates and Yemen for a joint military training exercise and the return of administrative control of Socotra's airport and seaport to Yemen.[5][6]

The Southern Transitional Council seized control of the island in June 2020.[7]


The archipelago consists of four large islands: Socotra, Abd al Kuri, Samhah, and Darsah, as well as 3 small islets to the north of the archipelago.

Island / Islet Coordinates Area (km2) Population
Socotra 12°29′N 53°52′E / 12.483°N 53.867°E / 12.483; 53.867 3,796 44,120
Abd al Kuri 12°11′N 52°13′E / 12.183°N 52.217°E / 12.183; 52.217 130.2 450
Samhah 12°09′20″N 53°02′30″E / 12.15556°N 53.04167°E / 12.15556; 53.04167 39.6 100
Darsah 12°07′10″N 53°16′30″E / 12.11944°N 53.27500°E / 12.11944; 53.27500 7.5 0
Ka'l Fir'awn (north) 12°26′26″N 52°08′17″E / 12.44056°N 52.13806°E / 12.44056; 52.13806 0.17 0
Ka'l Fir'awn (south) 12°26′14″N 52°08′02″E / 12.43722°N 52.13389°E / 12.43722; 52.13389 0.12 0
Sabuniyah 12°38′12″N 53°09′27″E / 12.63667°N 53.15750°E / 12.63667; 53.15750 0.05 0


Socotra Governorate is divided into the following 2 districts. These districts are further divided into sub-districts, and then further subdivided into villages:

  • Hidaybu District (consisting of the eastern two-thirds of Socotra Island)
  • Qulensya wa Abd al Kuri District (consisting of the western third of Socotra Island, together with Abd al Kuri Island, Samhah Island, and (uninhabited) Darsah Island)


  1. ^ Abulohoom, Ali (29 October 2013). "INDEPENDENT SOCOTRA GOVERNORATE: PAVING THE WAY FOR A FEDERAL YEMEN OR A HINT AT SEPARATION?". Yemen Times. Retrieved 10 April 2015.
  2. ^ Yaseen, Mohammad (14 May 2014). "Socotra, promising tourist site facing challenges". Saba News Agency. Retrieved 10 April 2015.
  3. ^ "Yemen officials say Emiratis boost forces on Socotra island". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 2018-05-02.
  5. ^ "Yemen PM: Crisis over UAE deployment to Socotra over". Al Jazeera.
  6. ^ "Yemen, UAE Agree on Deal Over Socotra". Albawaba News.
  7. ^ Mukhashaf, Mohammed; El Yaakoubi, Aziz (June 21, 2020). Kasolowsky, Raissa (ed.). "Yemen separatists seize remote Socotra island from Saudi-backed government". Reuters. On Saturday, the STC announced it had seized government facilities and military bases on the main island of Socotra, a sparsely populated archipelago which sits at the mouth of the Gulf of Aden on one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.