24 January, 2006

Al Mukalla: The Capital Of Hadhramout

Al Mukalla: the capital of Hadramaut and one of Yemen’s main and busiest ports on the Arabian Sea. It was known as Khaisa or Bandar Yakoub and has been called Al Mukalla only recently. Below is a prominent feature of Al Mukalla and the city’s symbol: Al Ghuwaizi Fort – built in 1884 AD at the entrance of Al Mukalla as a guard post.

Fishermen were the first to settle in Al Mukalla, having immigrated from adjacent regions, In this city, the first Princedom of Al-Kasad was established in the 18th 19th century AD, This prosperity gave this city the architectural style of Coastal cities which lie on the Arabian Sea and the Red Sea such as Aqaba, Jeddah, Hodeidah, Mokha, Luhayya, and Aden. All these cities lost their original style, which may now be seen only in the old ‘downtown’ of Al Mukalla city. It is a style combining the features of Arabian and south-east Asian architecture.

Al Mukalla’s most prominent feature and one of the main tourist attractions is Ma’een Palace, which was built by Sultan Omar Bin Awadah Qu’aiti. The city’s Archaeological Museum now occupies a part of this palace.

Al Mukalla or Mukalla is where I live and call home. My home is just a short distance from Guweizy; for me Ghuweizy does not only symbolize Al Mukalla, but home too!