Aden (عدن) is a city, and temporary capital of Yemen, located near the eastern approach to the Red Sea (the Gulf of Aden), some 170 km (110 mi) east of the strait Bab-el-Mandeb. Aden's natural harbour lies in the crater of a dormant volcano, which now forms a peninsula joined to the mainland by a low isthmus. This harbour, Front Bay, was first used by the ancient Kingdom of Awsan between the 7th to 5th centuries BC. The modern harbour is on the other side of the peninsula. Aden gives its name to the Gulf of Aden.
Aden consists of a number of distinct sub-centres: Crater, the original port city; Ma'alla, the modern port; Tawahi, known as "Steamer Point" in the colonial period; and the resorts of Gold Mohur. Khormaksar, on the isthmus that connects Aden proper with the mainland, includes the city's diplomatic missions, the main offices of Aden University, and Aden International Airport, Yemen's second biggest airport. On the mainland are the sub-centres of Sheikh Othman, a former oasis area; Al-Mansura, a town planned by the British; and Madinat ash-Sha'b, the site designated as the capital of the South Arabian Federation and now home to a large power/desalinization facility and additional faculties of Aden University.
Aden encloses the eastern side of a vast, natural harbour that comprises the modern port. The volcanic peninsula of Little Aden forms a near-mirror image, enclosing the harbour and port on the western side. Little Aden became the site of the oil refinery and tanker port operated by the Yemeni government.
Historically, Aden would import goods from the African coast and from Europe, the United States, and India. As of 1920, the British described it as "the chief emporium of Arabian trade, receiving the small quantities of native produce, and supplying the modest wants of the interior and of most of the smaller Arabian ports." At the docks, the city provided coal to passing ships. The only item being produced by the city, as of 1920, was salt. Also, the port was the stop ships had to take when entering the Bab-el-Mandeb; this was how cities like Mecca had received goods by ship.
During the early 20th century Aden was a notable centre of coffee production. Women processed coffee beans, grown in the Yemen highlands. Frankincense, wheat, barley, alfalfa, and millet was also produced and exported from Aden. The leaves and stalks of the alfalfa, millet and maize produced in Aden were generally used as fodder. As of 1920, Aden was also gathering salt from salt water. An Italian company called Agostino Burgarella Ajola and Company gathered and process the salt under the name Aden Salt Works. There was also a smaller company from India, called Abdullabhoy and Joomabhoy Lalji & Company that owned a salt production firm in Aden. Both companies exported the salt. Between 1916 and 1917, Aden produced over 120,000 tons of salt. Aden has also produced potash, which was generally exported to Mumbai.
Aden produced jollyboats. Charcoal was produced as well, from acacia, and mainly in the interior of the region. Cigarettes were produced by Jewish and Greek populations in Aden. The tobacco used was imported from Egypt.
Aden has a population of over 800,000 people.