Yemen and therapeutic tourism [Archives:2005/836/Last Page]

April 25 2005

Yasser Mohammed Al-Mayyasi
Yemen is the country which has preserved its treasures of beauty. Its jaw-dropping valleys and eerie mountains inspire you with a heartening feeling. It is rich in resources of therapeutic tourism in the form of natural baths scattered here and there and giving a prospective about medical tourism.

Located on Sana'a-Aden road close to the town of Yarim, Damt town is an example of many typical Yemeni urban settlements. It is 210 km south of Sana'a and is dwelled by some 17 people in addition to visitors estimated at thousands seeking the therapeutic properties of the many hot springs.

Yemen enjoys tourist and therapeutic potentials. Its topography is created magnificently. Baths have been formed as a result of geological reactions and volcanic activity. Statistics show that Yemen possesses some 50 natural baths in different places as well as hot springs.

Those baths and springs represent a store for hot mineral waters which are important in terms of medical qualities useful in treating many diseases either by washing or drinking. They are useful for skin diseases, rheumatism and blood cycle troubles. International scientific studies reveal that natural baths and volcanic hot springs are associated with therapy, health, refreshing beauty and vitality.

These baths are frequented by aged people who suffer from joint paints, laziness, and lethargy due to its sulfur content proven by a water analysis.

Some of them are also used to treat scabies and fungus, while others contain rare beneficial radioactive materials and high concentrations of dissolved salts and carbon dioxide. Such waters, usually with temperature of 185, are used for treating many chronic diseases. Some of these baths are hot and permanently flowing and others are not. However, there are other springs which are of no use.

These springs and baths are spreading all over the country. Areas where they lie enjoy enchanting scenes and greenery covering the fact which encourages Arab and foreign investments to establish investment projects, taking advantage of the availability of therapeutic natural waters and the virgin nature.

Difficulties faced by areas which enshrine these springs are not that big if they are to get projects. For example, they lack services such as water, electricity and roads. They also lack restaurants and hotels to accommodate visitors.

Many people do not realize the significance of these baths and do not realize that they have great and manifold benefits. There is also lack of awareness on therapeutic tourism issues either on the part of officials or of citizens. This hides this kind of tourism in the shadows although its potentials are available. The shortcoming lies in inefficient or absent promotion of introduction of such tourism which would make it remain unexplored.

Today, many countries worldwide resort to this type of tourism because it is exceptionally sought in this world of annoyance and unbearable noise.

Damt is an example of natural baths:

The district of Damt which is administratively part of Dhale'a province has 10 baths, six of which are natural and can be seen in many forms such as a haradhah (bowel-shaped). Damt is visited by locals, Arabs and foreigners for therapy. Many hotels and private health centers have been established as well as houses serving as shelters for visitors.

Yemen's natural baths need attention and great efforts as well as large investment capitals to attain a regional and international status so as to beef up the public treasury and strengthen the national economy.