It rained heavily on Socotra. Many roads are blurred. Fortunately, no one was hurt.
There are two news. One is good, the second is not very. This year, with the advent of the new governor and the withdrawal of the military from the Emirates from the island, the situation has changed for the better. All papers are issued to yachtsmen and tourist visas are issued for those who want to see the island. The bad news is that clearance in Socotra has become more expensive.
On May 24-25, another powerful tropical cyclone passed through Socotra. About 19 people died, many houses and roads were destroyed. The Emirates began a company to help the island of Socotra.
The Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation (UAE) has inaugurated the Hawlaf Port in Socotra Governorate, Yemen. An official source from the Foundation stressed that, as per the directives of the wise leadership, it has launched many important development projects in Socotra, most notably Hawlaf Airport and Hawlaf Port, while adding that the enlargement of the port was completed in just over one year, which is a significant achievement. The port project included the enlargement of its berth by 110 metres, as well as the installing perimeter fences, lighting, pavements, and a mobile crane with a 100-tonne capacity.
Yemen’s Minister of Tourism Dr. Mohammed Qubaty said that his country has received promises from international parties to facilitate the financing of tourism projects by the private sector in safe areas that fall under the control of the legitimate government.
Very soon we expect more than 10 sailing boat that will come to Socotra to refuel diesel fuel, water, purchase food and look at this wonderful and peace-loving island. We hope that the new leaders of Socotra will help the yachtsmen on their difficult and dangerous way crossing HRA (High Risk Area).
Summer south-west monsoon begins on Socotra. We hope that the summer wind will scatter away all those oddities, lies and misunderstandings that are now happening around tourism on Socotra. We hope that in September there will be a regular flight from the Emirates that will be available to ordinary tourists without fear that the flight will be canceled or postponed.
"Today, we need to benefit from the experiences and experiences of our Emirati brothers who are distinguished in the governing of the country and the activation of laws. And here they are reaching out to help us in all fields, including the improvement of administrative performance, qualification of cadres,..."
Emirates Red Crescent (ERC) delegation, currently visiting Yemen's Archipelago of Socotra, has launched the first phase of its development projects there. These include the first phase of Sheikh Zayed City with 161 houses, clinic, school, public council for residents and a mosque with a capacity of 600 worshippers.
When a powerful cyclone struck Yemen's Socotra in November 2015, killing three people and injuring about 100, the UAE came to the rescue of the islanders, offering them whatever they needed. The effort had nothing to do with politics. Nor was it just for show. It was purely a humanitarian effort. Since then, the UAE's humanitarian efforts and initiatives have been in full swing, helping the people of Socotra. This has prompted some to suspect the UAE’s motives. However, those who think – and have been spreading the rumour – that it is seeking to "occupy" the island need to consider some facts.
The island of Socotra is becoming a popular destination for yachting cruisers. Several sailing boats visited Socotra in the last month. We help sailors with all the necessary formalities, to buy diesel, food and of course to see our amazing island.
"And then came the boat, it wasn’t exactly pristine, in fact it was downright shoddy. A run-down wooden Yemeni fishing boat semi-converted to carry 8,000 bags of cement to Socotra, Yemen. It barely looked sea-worthy. I would be lying if I wasn’t concerned that it could even make the 50 hour journey but at this stage I was so happy that all the paperwork had been processed I jumped on in a hurry."
197 countries in the world, it’s taken me 10 years to reach 195. Aside from a year teaching English in Chiang Mai, Thailand and a year in Sydney, Australia during my only ‘real’ job, I’ve been on the road, averaging over 2 weeks per country. But I’ve been stuck on 195/197 for 6 months now, and it’s breaking my heart. So what are my last 2 countries? Yemen and Norway. Admittedly, people are often surprised why Norway is still left, but that’s strategic. Ever since I reached 150 countries, I’ve planned to ‘save’ Norway for my last country. It’ll be a huge party, a big celebration and it’s close to the UK and Ireland so my mum, sister, friends etc can come and celebrate with me. I can’t exactly invite them all to Yemen to pop Champagne, now can I?! So that leaves me with Yemen. Good old Yemen. I’ve been trying to visit Yemen for more than 6 months now, and it’s been quite the adventure.
Socotra became popular for sailors going in the direction of the Red Sea. Three sailing boats came to Socotra at the same time.
60-foot catamaran with a Russian-Ukrainian crew came to Socotra. They were the first who visited Socotra in the season the south-east monsoon, which still strong now.
Two more sailing boats have visited Socotra on their way to the Red Sea. German catamaran and Irish yacht spent on Socotra for about a week. It was a pleasure to meet interesting people, some of them live aboard for more than 10 years.
Sailors is lucky people. Now they are the only ones who can come to Socotra and see our beautiful island. The rest are waiting until direct flight from Dubai starts.
Good news! November 27 will start a new direct flight from Dubai to Socotra.
Socotra was hit again by the storm. A lot of destroyed houses all over the island. There are several dead. Half of our restaurant was destroyed. The ship carrying humanitarian aid ran aground during a storm.
Strong cyclone passed near Socotra. We had heavy rain, strong wind and big waves. Several photos taken before and after the storm.