Do you know the street identification system in Sana’a? [Archives:2007/1102/Reportage]

November 12 2007

Hamed Thabet
For visitors and even residents, identifying Sana'a streets is a major problem. Hamed Thabet interviews an expert, who explains how Sana'a zones are divided.

According to Badiullah Sanai, technical advisor for the Urban planning Sector at the General authority for land and survey and Urban develpoment of Public Works and Highways, Sana'a is divided into nine districts, each further divided into a maximum of nine zones, numbered one to nine.

Each zone has a maximum of nine neighborhoods, numbered one to nine, and no neighborhood should have more than 99 main streets.

Except for those streets between adjoining districts and zones, each of these main streets has a five-digit number. The first, second and third digits of any street number correspond respectively to the district, zone and neighborhood in which that particular street is located. The fourth and the fifth digits represent the street number itself in a particular neighborhood.

“Zero isn't used at the beginning to number any district, zone or neighborhood; rather, it's only to be used in case of future emergency,” Sanai notes.

Under such system, all street numbering is for postal purposes.

Further details on district, zone, neighborhood and street numbering in Yemen's capital city are presented as follows. Additionally, a system of numbering primary roads between adjoining neighborhoods, zones and districts is given at the end of this article.

Sector numbering system

Sana'a is divided into nine districts, numbered one to nine, which easily identify a particular area.

Number one is allotted to the area mainly occupied by the walled Old City, where the development of Sana'a originated. Subsequent areas are numbered clockwise, beginning from the city's eastern district and ending at the northeast district, as outlined below:

District 1 is bounded by the Old City wall on the east, Zubairi Street to the south, Abdulmughni Street to the west and Bab Al-Shuoub Road to the north.

District 2 is bounded by the Da'iri or Ring Road and the Al-Asha Boulevard extension on the north, Marib road and the Old City wall to the west and Taiz Road to the southwest. The east and southeast sides are open for development.

District 3 is bounded by Taiz Road on the east, Zubairi Street to the north and Hadda Road to the west, whereas the south side remains open for development.

District 4 is bounded by Hadda Road on the east and Zubairi Street to the north, while the southwest sides are open for development.

District 5 is bounded by Zubairi Street on the south, Abdulmughni Street to the east and Wadi Dhahr Road to the north. The west side remains open for development.

District 6 is bounded by Wadi Dhahr Road on the north and Airport Road and Sa'ada Road to the east, while the north and west sides are open for development.

District 7 is bounded by Sa'ada Road on the west and Airport Road to the east. The north side remains open for development.

District 8 is bounded by Airport Road on the west, Bab Al-Shoub Road to the south and Marib Road to the east, while the north side remains open for development.

Finally, District 9 is bounded by the Da'iri or Ring Road and Al-Asha Boulevard to the south and east, while the north sides are open for development.

In some cities such as Aden, Mukalla and Sana'a, more area has come under planning for development.

Zone numbering system

Each of these nine districts is divided into zones mostly bounded by primary roads.

Each also is divided in such a way that every district's zones encircle the city's central Tahrir Square. In numbering any district, the first zone begins from that located first on the ring when traveling clockwise around the city center. Likewise, the second number corresponds to the zone next to it on the same ring, also when moving clockwise.

Care has been taken not to divide any district into more than nine zones so that the number allotted to any zone is not more than that of the district to which it belongs.

For example, district 6 currently is divided into six zones. The first ring has three zones numbered 61, 62 and 63. Traveling clockwise, 61 is located first on the ring, 62 is located beside 61 on the same ring when moving clockwise from zone 61 and likewise, 63 is located beside 62.

The next ring of zones around the first ring in district 6 also has three zones: 64, 65 and 66. Again, traveling clockwise around the city, 64 is first on the second ring, while 65 and 66 are beside it on the same ring.

It's clear that the first digit is the district while the second is the zone. In this way, zone numbering has a maximum number of 99.

Zonal roads

To distinguish zonal roads from others, all of these roads have four-digit numbers only. For example, the road between zones 5 and 6 is numbered 5-00-6. The smaller number is given first, followed by the larger one.

Neighborhood roads

Like other arterial roads, all of these roads have five digits. The only difference is that the central or third digit is zero. Normally, other roads' central digit corresponds to the neighborhood number. As mentioned above, no neighborhood is zero, as all neighborhoods are numbered between one and nine.

For example, the road between neighborhoods 2 and 3 is district 6, zone 1 and zero for the neighborhood road, while 2 is neighborhood number 2 and 3 is neighborhood number 3.