The tiny, picturesque island is not typical of the area. It is part of Yemen, but far away from the civil war.
Even many people well acquainted with the region haven’t been to Socotra. Instead, they speak with shining eyes of an island that they long to see one day. Socotra lies off the Horn of Africa. In 2008, the main island and the rest of the archipelago were recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site because of its biodiversity. The hills are dotted with dragon’s blood trees, a species native only here. The place enjoys a strange sense of peace and quiet, 400 kilometers off the south coast of the Yemeni mainland. The civil war is far away and tourism is the main source of income.
Most of the travelers who come to Socotra come here from the United Arab Emirates for the water sports – and many snap up land here. They can afford to buy unlike the islanders. Locals are worried because they fear they are losing control of their home. Others are happy about the economic development that has come about thanks to investment from the Emirates and Saudi Arabia.
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