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Map of YemenFlag of YemenYemen / Cities and Towns /
Arabic: 'al-hudayda
Other spelling: Hudaydah

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Hudayda, Yemen

Photo: Galen R Frysinger

City in Yemen with 490,000 inhabitants (2005 estimate), lying on the west coast of the Red Sea, on a coastal plain called Tihama.
Hudayda has a picturesque old town surrounded by a thick wall, and featuring many of the typical layer-cake-like multi-storied houses. The old town has a harbour with a length of about 1,5 km. Since 1961, however, the deepwater port of Ahmadi, some kilometres north, has provided an alternative port.
Port activities are central to Hudayda's economy, and it is the second most important port of Yemen (Aden is the major port). Hudayda is also a trade centre for its region, offering some industries for ginning cotton and producing soft-drinks for the Yemeni domestic market.

1454: Hudayda is mentioned for the first time in any sources.
1520's: The Tihama is put under control of the Ottomans.
1849: Hudayda is occupied by the Ottomans, in an attempt to defeat the rulers of Yemen.
1872: Second occupation by the Ottomans, once again with the same purpose. This occupation lasts until 1918.
1911-12: Bombed by Italian forces.
1918: Conquered by the British, who turn the city over to the ruler of Asir (non-Yemeni).
1925: Conquered by Yemeni troops.
1934: Conquered by the Saudis.
— Hudayda is returned to Yemen after the treaty of At Ta'if. Hudayda becomes the capital of a semi-autonomous region of Yemen, ruled by one of the sons of the Yemeni Imam.
1961: The deepwater port of Ahmadi opens.
— An all-weather road is opened to San'a.
— A fire destroys large parts of the city, and it has to be rebuilt.
1962: Becomes part of the new state of Yemen.

By Tore Kjeilen