Forces affiliated with the Saudi-led coalition retook the coast of the Yemeni province of Hadramawt from Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula in spring 2016. While Hadramawt witnessed limited fighting during that period, it has largely remained insulated from the Yemeni civil war because Houthi forces never managed to secure a foothold inside the southeastern province.
Navanti researchers visited three remote villages in Hadramawt in October of this year to conduct research into development issues. They found that while Shaheer, Rukob, and al-Reyan are economically depressed, they remain stable compared to areas in neighboring provinces.
Researchers found merchants selling produce on the streets of Shaheer. Hadramawt has served as a trading hub on the Indian Ocean since antiquity, although the port of Aden captured the lion’s share of trading activity in the modern era.
Residents gather in the street to play cards, chat, and do business. Shops are open during the day.
In nearby Rukob village, residents shop at a streetside market.
The town of Al-Reyan boasts a functioning industrial complex. The United Arab Emirates has conducted development work in Hadramawt province since the civil war began.
Time will tell if Hadramawt is able to withstand the stresses of the ongoing war. Yemen is suffering acute economic and security crises: recent estimates show that 22.2 million people are in need of humanitarian or protection assistance.