DAMT: Touristic Attraction Awaits Investment [Archives:1999/17/Culture]

April 26 1999

Damt is a magnificent touristic location. In spite of many tourist advantages – its location, historic significance, hot water springs, and other attractions – tourist investments are no where to be seen.
The climate, ever spring, is an extra bonus for visitors. It has many green valleys and lush mountains. Thus mountain-climbing is exciting and offers beautiful views. The place boasts impressive historic relics dating back to the Sabean civilization – 3000 years ago.
The area is comfortably located halfway between Sana’a and Aden. It lies about 60 km south east of Yarim, itself an ancient town. Along one-side of the tarmac road, verdure blooms abundantly and wells give life to this greenery, although digging them costs a lot and takes a long time.
The scenic beauty and the chain of dark-brown mountains accompany travellers driving south until the northern approaches of Aden.
About three kilometers before you knock at the doors of this district, the first crater, on the left, stands high. The volcano is not yet dead. The evidence is the steam and hot water that flows out of the crater. Given the high mineral content, many people come to bathe in this water, as they believe it has medicinal properties.
Unfortunately, garbage is a big problem here, as it is in many parts of the nation. One can’t see the edges of the asphalted road because of the dust and garbage covering them. Bright-blue stalls, full of everything one needs, are like the guards at an entry gate. Many private clinics, like Dar Al-Shifa and Al-Salam serve those who need urgent therapy. The hot springs esplanade, as they named it, is situated in the center of Damt. Two superb hotels wall the natural fountain. Sulfuric water squirts out of the top of this fountain through an iron pipe covered by a rounded source and wrapped by sulfur sedimentary matter. On the right side of the fountain, there is a swimming pool with vaporizing water and adjacent to that is a small cafeteria which shows video films and serves many kinds of fresh drinks. Vapor baths, next to the cafe, are natural ones, even with a light look one can see the rocky walls and many deep pools. They have been adopting the Turkish baths idea.
Really, this is not the most magnificent thing in Damt, but the best is the two craters on the left side of the way leading to Aden. One can walk up to the big crater on an iron ladder with 117 stairs. The big crater’s diameter is approximately 70 meters and it is about 100 meters high. The top way circles around the seemingly bottomless mouth, holding green water. From there, a fantastic scenery enraptures the eye; one can easily behold the traces of the drying sulfuric water line whirling and turning gently.
In fact, that was a brief description of the site, now I must draw upon the focal point concerning the tourist needs to set up there.
First, and most importantly, cleanliness campaigns and washings must be looked to, particularly the vegetables municipal souk. Furthermore, there must be enough order for licensing shops and stalls. In this respect, there must be a two lane road and asphalt through the whole town of Damt as well. Pavements are also a civilized feature to have on the road. As a complement, parks and gardens must be worked out to deck the town and please the visitors and tourists.
Sports have their fascinating effects on the body and soul, so it is necessary to set up halls and stadiums equivalent to the number of visitors: tennis, billiards and ping-pong tables must find their way there. Fun fair is another pastime to be also considered hereby. Yemen has a remarkable cultural and historical heritage along eras, and our handicrafts are unique – there is nothing like them all over the world. Therefore, we must show off these features to let the whole world know about us.
As long as we have a conscious understanding of such needs and suggestions, “why don’t we do it today and not to put off till tomorrow?”
We hope to see a promising effort to do so.
Habeeb Ibrahim
Member of the International
Translation Federation (FIT)