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August 2 1999
ADEN When Will it Really Be The Second  Capital?
Aden is a rocky peninsula linked to the land by a sandy area on the north, on which the town of Khoormaksar stands. It is located on 12° and 45 seconds latitude – north and 45° and 4 seconds longitude – east. It is surrounded by a number of islands, the biggest one being Seira on the north. 
Aden, for a long time in the past, has been known as a vital port that played an important role in the field of wide and diversified trade and cultural activities between Yemen and different nations.
Aden lies in a strategic location that has allowed it, in the past, to contribute significantly to world commerce and trade. Besides its important location, it now has international anchorage facilities with state of the art technology built in to its modern equipment. Aden, with its magnificent shores and coastline, present a very fascinating prospect. 
Aden in History
Lots of tourists come from all over the world to see the beauty of heaven manifested so well on earth, the site of one of the most ancient civilizations that dates  back to 3000 years. 
At that time Aden had the unique distinction of being the main port in the country and there were no other ports, except for a port in Shabwa. In 1847,  Aden began to expand absorbing the towns of Al-Tawwhee and Al-Mualla. The Al-Mualla terrace was built in 1855 when the port used to receive a lot of ships. 
Crater is Adens historic city and was given this name after the colonization of Aden. The best available historic sources indicate that the existence of Crater goes back to 3000 years. The name of Aden was also found engraved on a number of inscriptions found in a dilapidated castle near the Al-Ahbash mountain. 
Adens historic city, Crater,  still holds many of its huge vestigial installations, which prove the existence of a once great and magnificent civilization in the past. This fabulous and rich heritage shows us how dynamic Yemenis were in the past. Aden, like other towns, is moving towards the future.  Technology, modernization is beginning to set in, but at the same time it will be able to maintain its rich ancient civilization, which is  reflected in many of its age old monuments that are unmistakable testimony to the past cultural heritage of Yemen.
Aden Today
Aden today is trying to revive its former glory and prosperity. The government of Yemen has declared Aden a duty free zone, in order to attract international attention and investment. Several laws have also been made  to facilitate investment in the town. There is hope that such government action will help to restore the glory and prosperity of the city.
However, the tourism sector in Aden is now practically stagnant, despite the citys numerous attractions. There are some attempts that aim at reviving the tourism sector and increasing the facilities which investors can make use of in Aden. Some of the factors that affect the tourist industry in Aden  are influenced by the economic downturn Yemen is going through. People in the tourist industry envisage Aden as becoming a promising tourist attraction
It is quite evident that Aden has  developed extensively since the reunification of  Yemen in 1990.   The coastal shops and port facilities, all but abandoned in 1974, are now bustling and expanding rapidly. Aden is the fastest growing city in Yemen, and some citizens believe it could eventually surpass Sanaa, the capital, in importance as an important economic center.

On the other hand, even though the city is moving forward in the area of tourism, there is much that still needs to be done. One of the major headaches of the city is the random giving away of beach land. Beaches these days have become the place where waste and sewage is dumped. Construction remains are evident in many beaches, yet no one is doing anything about it. Similarly, the airport of the city should be given priority in the improvements that need to be undertaken to make the city more attractive to tourists and businessmen.  

Landing at Aden International Airport, one is depressed to see the damages caused by the 1994 Civil War, which are still evident, even after 5 years. Why cant the government allocate a budget to clear that mess, which reminds us of the miseries of wars?  This gives the impression that the airport is totally ignored by the state. Some Yemenis even think that this is an indication that the whole city is ignored. Every person who has entered the airport of Aden is dissatisfied with its building, and organization, in addition to the procedures that travelers must go through when arriving or departing Aden. The airport is too small to be considered an international airport, and its modesty and primitiveness is evident everywhere in the building. Year after year, the airport is still the same, no improvement. 

This is the time when we should all begin thinking of this city and its future, and the government should begin implementing a long-term plan for improving the city, with a view towards attracting tourists and international investment Investment in the tourism sector is not and has never been a waste of money. Enhancing the airport will be a strong factor in this respect. We will wait and see whether the government will realize the true dimensions of the importance of Aden as the future tourist city of Yemen.  Aden is no easy rival for Sanaa, but there should be considerable effort to make the city the commercial and leisure capital of the country, which it was envisaged to be. Many believe that if the city is given the attention it deserves, it has the factors that could make it the second capital of the country.
Yasser M. Ahmad
Yemen Times