Sanaa, Amanat Al-Asemah, Yemen

Economy | Poverty and income inequality | Challenges facing local businesses | Energy

馃嚲馃嚜 Sanaa, also spelled Sana式a or Sana, is the largest city in Yemen and the centre of Sanaa Governorate. The city is not part of the Governorate, but forms the separate administrative district of "Amanat Al-Asemah". Under the Yemeni constitution, Sana式a is the capital of the country, although the seat of the Yemeni government moved to Aden, the former capital of South Yemen in the aftermath of the Houthi occupation. Aden was declared as the temporary capital by President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi in March 2015.

At an elevation of 2,300 metres (7,500聽ft), Sanaa is one of the highest capital cities in the world and is next to the Sarawat Mountains of Jabal An-Nabi Shu'ayb and Jabal Tiyal, considered to be the highest mountains in the country and amongst the highest in the region. Sanaa has a population of approximately 3,937,500 (2012), making it Yemen's largest city. As of 2020, the greater Sanaa urban area makes up about 10% of Yemen's total population.

The Old City of Sanaa, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has a distinctive architectural character, most notably expressed in its multi-storey buildings decorated with geometric patterns. In the conflict that raged in 2015, bombs hit UNESCO sites in the old city. The Al Saleh Mosque, the largest in Sana'a, is located in the Old City.

Sanaa faces a severe water crisis, with water being drawn from its aquifer three times faster than it is replenished. The city is predicted to run completely out of water by around 2030, making it the first national capital in the world to do so. Access to drinking water is very limited in Sanaa, and there are problems with water quality.


Economy Historically, Sana式a had a mining industry. The hills around Sana式a were mined for onyx, chalcedony, and cornelian. The city was also known for its metalwork, which the British described as "famous" in the early 20th century, but declining in popularity. As of 1920, Sana式a was described by the British as being "well supplied with fruit and grapes, and has good water".

As the capital city of Yemen, nearly 40% of jobs in Sana式a are in the public sector. The city is also an important centre for commerce and industry in Yemen. Additionally, like many other cities in the developing world, Sana式a has a large informal sector that is estimated to constitute 32% of nongovernmental employment as of 2002.

By far the largest area of the economy, both in terms of number of businesses and in jobs, is in commerce and small services. As of 2004, 58.9% of all establishments and 31.3% of all jobs in Sanaa belong to this category. Another major category is general administration, which only makes up 0.8% of employers but has 18.0% of workers, making it the second largest in that regard. Manufacturing is the third-largest category by both measures, with about 12% for both. Sanaa also has a higher concentration of hotels and restaurants than elsewhere in the country.

About 62% of jobs in Sanaa are working for private, locally owned enterprises, followed by state-owned enterprises which employ 31%. Waqfs, private foreign-owned companies, and private joint ventures make up the rest in that order, with none employing more than 2%.

Sanaa's economy is large compared to its population: as of 2004, it was home to only 9% of Yemen's population but 16% of the country's businesses and 22% of its formal-sector jobs. The average size of a business establishment in Sanaa is small, at 3.88 employees on average; however, this is higher than the national average of 2.87 and only Aden has a higher average at 6.88 employees. Between 1992 and 2006, 39% of all new formal-sector jobs in Yemen were created in Sanaa, along with 33% of new business establishments. In terms of jobs created, Sanaa is ahead of all other governorates in Yemen by a factor of three.


Poverty and income inequality While Sanaa has a vibrant, diverse economy with more jobs being created than anywhere else in Yemen, it also has the highest concentration of poverty in the country. It is home to 6.5% of the country's total poor population and 23% of the poor urban population. About 15% of the city's population lives below the national poverty line as of 2007. There are also many people living just above the poverty line that are still in a relatively precarious financial position. High unemployment is another problem; by some estimates, as much as 25% of Sanaa's potential workforce is unemployed.

Income inequality is also increasing: from 1998 to 2005, the Gini coefficient for Sanaa increased from 37% to 44%: a 21% increase, the highest in the country. High inflation, low per capita income growth, and disproportionate gains by the rich have contributed to a middle class squeeze in Sanaa's middle class since the 1980s.


Challenges facing local businesses A 2005 survey of 488 Yemeni firms by the Mitsubishi Research Institute included a subset of 175 firms in Sanaa. They reported similar challenges in doing business to firms throughout the country. In particular, corruption is a problem in their dealings with the government, and hefty bribes are often a necessity. Certain businesses are able to use their connections to dodge taxes and regulations, which puts other businesses at a disadvantage because they have to abide by the rules. Long delays for customs clearances, especially for imports, are ubiquitous, and over 70% of the surveyed firms reported that they had made extra-legal payments to customs officials. Financial constraints also confront many entrepreneurs in Sanaa: the cost of bank credit is also prohibitively high, and loan guarantees often come with heavy demands that are difficult to meet. Shortcomings in municipal infrastructure are another problem: for example, because access to electricity is unreliable, many firms have to install their own backup generators.


Energy Before the civil war, Yemen's electricity was primarily supplied by the Ma'rib gas-fired power plant, which came online in 2009 and supplied 27 to 40 percent of the country's electricity while active. (Before that, power came from six diesel power plants in Sanaa itself.) The Ma'rib plant is connected to the Bani Hushaysh substation by a power line with a capacity of 400 kV, and the Bani Hushaysh substation is then connected to substations in Dhahban and Hizyaz by two 132-kV lines. However, the Ma'rib-Sanaa power line was frequently targeted by attacks; there were 54 attacks on the power line between 2010 and 2013. The Ma'rib plant ceased operations in 2015.

The Dhahban and Hizyaz substations also have generating capacity in addition to being supplied by the Ma'rib plant. The Dhahban station is the main one in Sanaa; located 10聽km north-west of the city, it had an original generating capacity of 20 MW, with another 30 MW installed during the 2000s, bringing the total to 50 MW. The Hizyaz station consists of three power plants: the first, with a capacity of 30 MW, was completed in 2002. Another 60 MW plant was added in 2004, and then in 2007 the third plant, with a capacity of 30 MW, was also completed.

While most of prewar Sanaa was connected to the electrical grid, including at least partial coverage in most of the city's 35 informal settlements, access to electricity was unreliable. Power outages were common, and one 2011 report suggested that electricity was only available for one hour per day.

The civil war has severely impacted the energy sector in Yemen, due to several factors including damage from attacks, lack of funding for maintenance, and fuel shortages. As of 2018, 43% of Sanaa's energy assets were completely destroyed, while another 38% had suffered partial damage; in addition, 81% of the facilities were not functioning. As a result, the public power supply in Sanaa has become almost nonexistent: of the daily 500 MW electricity demand in the city, the city receives 40 MW. The public electricity supply is now mostly or entirely supplied by the Hizyaz station, whose capacity has been reduced to 7 MW. Public grid access covers around 2% of the population, mostly in nearby neighborhoods, and it is expensive for consumers. Private services using their own generators also sell electricity to customers; they cover another 2.8% and cost about as much as the public supply. The largest share of electrical supply in Sanaa came from privately-owned solar panels and diesel generators, which together covered 30% of the population. Solar power rapidly gained popularity in Yemen in 2015, and in 2016 it became the leading source of electricity in the country.

Prices of fuel and diesel in Yemen have risen dramatically since the start of the war; current prices are 150% of what they were in 2017. The most recent crisis in Sanaa came in September 2019, leading to days-long lines at gas stations. Black market prices can be three times higher than the official ones, leaving many unable to afford fuel.

Sanaa, Yemen 
Sanaa, Yemen
Image: Adobe Stock Roberto #415321466

Sanaa is rated E+ by the Global Urban Competitiveness Report (GUCR) which evaluates and ranks world cities in the context of economic competitiveness. E+ cities are strong regional gateway cities. Sanaa was ranked #1133 by the Nomad List which evaluates and ranks remote work hubs by cost, internet, fun and safety. Sanaa has a population of over 3,778,000 people. Sanaa also forms part of the wider Yemen state which has a population of over 30,491,000 people. Sanaa is ranked #1000 for startups with a score of 0.037.

To set up a UBI Lab for Sanaa see: Twitter:

Twin Towns, Sister Cities Sanaa has links with:

馃嚡馃嚧 Amman, Jordan 馃嚬馃嚪 Ankara, Turkey 馃嚜馃嚞 Cairo, Egypt 馃嚬馃嚡 Dushanbe, Tajikistan 馃嚠馃嚪 Tehran, Iran

Sanaa is a member of the OWHC: Organization of World Heritage Cities with: 馃嚠馃嚤 Acre 馃嚦馃嚜 Agadez 馃嚠馃嚦 Ahmedabad 馃嚢馃嚳 Aktau 馃嚜馃嚫 Alcal谩 de Henares 馃嚫馃嚲 Aleppo 馃嚛馃嚳 Algiers 馃嚠馃嚦 Amber 馃嚠馃嚦 Amer 馃嚭馃嚫 Amsterdam 馃嚦馃嚤 Amsterdam 馃嚭馃嚫 Amsterdam 馃嚢馃嚪 Andong 馃嚨馃嚬 Angra do Hero铆smo 馃嚤馃嚢 Anuradhapura 馃嚜馃嚫 Aranjuez 馃嚨馃嚜 Arequipa 馃嚛馃嚜 Augsburg 馃嚜馃嚫 Avila 馃嚜馃嚫 Baeza 馃嚠馃嚪 Bam 馃嚛馃嚜 Bamberg 馃嚫馃嚢 Bansk谩 艩tiavnica 馃嚫馃嚢 Bardejov 馃嚞馃嚙 Bath 馃嚭馃嚫 Bath 馃嚦馃嚤 Beemster 馃嚙馃嚪 Belo Horizonte 馃嚬馃嚪 Bergama 馃嚦馃嚧 Bergen 馃嚦馃嚤 Bergen 馃嚭馃嚫 Berlin 馃嚛馃嚜 Berlin 馃嚭馃嚫 Berlin 馃嚭馃嚫 Berlin 馃嚚馃嚟 Bern 馃嚛馃嚜 Bernau bei Berlin 馃嚦馃嚨 Bhaktapur 馃嚪馃嚧 Biertan 馃嚢馃嚪 Boeun 馃嚪馃嚭 Bolgar 馃嚝馃嚪 Bordeaux 馃嚙馃嚪 Bras铆lia 馃嚙馃嚙 Bridgetown 馃嚙馃嚜 Bruges 馃嚙馃嚜 Brussels 馃嚟馃嚭 Budapest 馃嚬馃嚪 Bursa 馃嚢馃嚪 Buyeo 馃嚜馃嚫 C谩ceres 馃嚜馃嚞 Cairo 馃嚚馃嚭 Camaguey 馃嚥馃嚱 Campeche 馃嚝馃嚪 Carcassonne 馃嚚馃嚧 Cartagena 馃嚜馃嚫 Cartagena 馃嚚馃嚳 膶esk媒 Krumlov 馃嚚馃嚦 Chengde 馃嚚馃嚮 Cidade Velha 馃嚨馃嚬 Coimbra 馃嚭馃嚲 Colonia del Sacramento 馃嚥馃嚱 C贸rdoba 馃嚘馃嚪 C贸rdoba 馃嚜馃嚫 C贸rdoba 馃嚮馃嚜 Coro 馃嚜馃嚫 Cuenca 馃嚜馃嚚 Cuenca 馃嚥馃嚱 Cuernavaca 馃嚨馃嚜 Cusco 馃嚫馃嚦 Dakar 馃嚫馃嚲 Damascus 馃嚠馃嚛 Denpasar 馃嚪馃嚭 Derbent 馃嚛馃嚜 Dessau 馃嚙馃嚪 Diamantina 馃嚬馃嚪 Diyarbak谋r 馃嚟馃嚪 Dubrovnik 馃嚚馃嚦 Dujiangyan 馃嚞馃嚙 Edinburgh 馃嚘馃嚥 Ejmiatsin 馃嚨馃嚬 Elvas 馃嚠馃嚩 Erbil 馃嚥馃嚘 Essaouira 馃嚨馃嚬 脡vora 馃嚥馃嚘 Fez 馃嚝馃嚪 Fontainebleau 馃嚭馃嚲 Fray Bentos 馃嚤馃嚢 Galle 馃嚢馃嚲 George Town 馃嚥馃嚲 George Town 馃嚤馃嚲 Ghadames 馃嚛馃嚳 Gharda茂a 馃嚠馃嚛 Gianyar 馃嚢馃嚪 Gochang County 馃嚢馃嚪 Gongju 馃嚘馃嚥 Goris City 馃嚦馃嚠 Granada 馃嚜馃嚫 Granada 馃嚚馃嚠 Grand-Bassam 馃嚘馃嚬 Graz 馃嚜馃嚫 Guadalajara 馃嚥馃嚱 Guadalajara 馃嚥馃嚱 Guanajuato 馃嚨馃嚬 Guimar茫es 馃嚢馃嚪 Gwangju 馃嚢馃嚪 Gyeongju 馃嚢馃嚪 Haenam 馃嚛馃嚜 Hamburg 馃嚢馃嚪 Hapcheon County 馃嚜馃嚬 Harar Jugol 馃嚚馃嚭 Havana 馃嚮馃嚦 Hoi An 馃嚮馃嚦 Hu岷 馃嚢馃嚪 Hwasun County 馃嚜馃嚫 Ibiza 馃嚘馃嚳 Icherisheher 馃嚢馃嚪 Iksan 馃嚬馃嚪 Istanbul 馃嚫馃嚘 Jeddah 馃嚭馃嚫 Jerusalem 馃嚠馃嚤 Jerusalem 馃嚢馃嚪 Jongno-Gu 馃嚬馃嚦 Kairouan 馃嚤馃嚢 Kandy 馃嚠馃嚛 Karangasem 馃嚫馃嚜 Karlskrona 馃嚦馃嚨 Kathmandu 馃嚪馃嚭 Kazan 馃嚭馃嚳 Khiva 馃嚛馃嚢 Kolding 馃嚬馃嚪 Konya 馃嚥馃嚜 Kotor 馃嚨馃嚤 Krak贸w 馃嚚馃嚳 Kutn谩 Hora 馃嚡馃嚨 Ky艒to 馃嚦馃嚨 Lalitpur 馃嚢馃嚜 Lamu 馃嚝馃嚪 Le Havre 馃嚝馃嚡 Levuka 馃嚚馃嚦 Lijiang 馃嚨馃嚜 Lima 馃嚤馃嚘 Luang Prabang 馃嚛馃嚜 L眉beck 馃嚚馃嚘 Lunenburg 馃嚤馃嚭 Luxembourg City 馃嚭馃嚘 Lviv 馃嚝馃嚪 Lyon 馃嚥馃嚧 Macau 馃嚥馃嚲 Malacca City 馃嚥馃嚘 Marrakesh 馃嚥馃嚘 Meknes 馃嚮馃嚜 M茅rida 馃嚥馃嚱 M茅rida 馃嚜馃嚫 M茅rida 馃嚥馃嚱 Mexico City 馃嚨馃嚟 Miagao 馃嚠馃嚬 Modena 馃嚢馃嚜 Mombasa 馃嚝馃嚪 Mont-Saint-Michel 馃嚥馃嚱 Morelia 馃嚪馃嚭 Moscow 馃嚭馃嚫 Moscow 馃嚙馃嚘 Mostar 馃嚥馃嚳 Mozambique 馃嚙馃嚟 Muharraq 馃嚝馃嚪 Nancy 馃嚡馃嚨 Nara 馃嚛馃嚜 Naumburg 馃嚙馃嚞 Nessebar 馃嚦馃嚧 Notodden 馃嚥馃嚱 Oaxaca 馃嚥馃嚢 Ohrid 馃嚙馃嚪 Olinda 馃嚙馃嚪 Ouro Preto 馃嚭馃嚫 Oviedo 馃嚜馃嚫 Oviedo 馃嚠馃嚬 Padula 馃嚠馃嚬 Palazzolo Acreide 馃嚨馃嚘 Panama City 馃嚝馃嚪 Paris 馃嚭馃嚫 Paris 馃嚭馃嚫 Paris 馃嚞馃嚪 Patmos 馃嚭馃嚫 Philadelphia 馃嚨馃嚬 Porto 馃嚙馃嚧 Potos铆 馃嚛馃嚜 Potsdam 馃嚭馃嚫 Potsdam 馃嚚馃嚳 Prague 馃嚝馃嚪 Provins 馃嚥馃嚱 Puebla 馃嚥馃嚥 Pyay 馃嚚馃嚘 Qu茅bec 馃嚛馃嚜 Quedlinburg 馃嚥馃嚱 Quer茅taro 馃嚜馃嚚 Quito 馃嚥馃嚘 Rabat 馃嚝馃嚠 Rauma 馃嚛馃嚜 Regensburg 馃嚞馃嚪 Rhodes 馃嚤馃嚮 Riga 馃嚨馃嚜 R铆mac 馃嚙馃嚪 Rio de Janeiro 馃嚦馃嚤 Rotterdam 馃嚦馃嚧 R酶ros 馃嚬馃嚪 Safranbolu 馃嚪馃嚭 Saint Petersburg 馃嚝馃嚪 Saint-Louis 馃嚜馃嚫 Salamanca 馃嚙馃嚪 Salvador 馃嚘馃嚬 Salzburg 馃嚭馃嚫 San Antonio 馃嚚馃嚤 San Antonio 馃嚠馃嚚 San Crist贸bal de La Laguna 馃嚠馃嚬 San Gimignano 馃嚥馃嚱 San Miguel de Allende 馃嚥馃嚱 San Pablo Villa de Mitla 馃嚚馃嚧 Santa Cruz de Mompox 馃嚜馃嚫 Santiago de Compostela 馃嚙馃嚪 S茫o Lu铆s 馃嚜馃嚫 Segovia 馃嚬馃嚪 Sel莽uk 馃嚢馃嚪 Seongbuk 馃嚲馃嚜 Shibam 馃嚪馃嚧 Sighi葯oara 馃嚫馃嚞 Singapore 馃嚨馃嚬 Sintra 馃嚬馃嚦 Sousse 馃嚟馃嚪 Split 馃嚙馃嚥 St George's 馃嚫馃嚜 Stockholm 馃嚛馃嚜 Stralsund 馃嚝馃嚪 Strasbourg 馃嚙馃嚧 Sucre 馃嚠馃嚛 Surakarta 馃嚢馃嚪 Suwon 馃嚪馃嚭 Suzdal 馃嚚馃嚦 Suzhou 馃嚜馃嚜 Tallinn 馃嚜馃嚫 Tarragona 馃嚠馃嚤 Tel Aviv 馃嚚馃嚳 Tel膷 馃嚞馃嚙 Telford 馃嚥馃嚘 T茅touan 馃嚥馃嚤 Timbuktu 馃嚦馃嚧 Tinn 馃嚥馃嚱 Tlacotalpan 馃嚙馃嚪 Toledo 馃嚭馃嚫 Toledo 馃嚨馃嚟 Toledo 馃嚜馃嚫 Toledo 馃嚨馃嚤 Toru艅 馃嚚馃嚳 T艡eb铆膷 馃嚚馃嚭 Trinidad 馃嚟馃嚪 Trogir 馃嚟馃嚦 Trujillo 馃嚨馃嚜 Trujillo 馃嚬馃嚦 Tunis 馃嚢馃嚳 Turkistan 馃嚜馃嚫 脷beda 馃嚥馃嚬 Valletta 馃嚚馃嚤 Valpara铆so 馃嚮馃嚘 Vatican City 馃嚪馃嚭 Veliky Novgorod 馃嚭馃嚫 Vienna 馃嚭馃嚫 Vienna 馃嚘馃嚬 Vienna 馃嚨馃嚟 Vigan 馃嚤馃嚬 Vilnius 馃嚦馃嚧 Vinje 馃嚫馃嚜 Visby 馃嚨馃嚤 Warsaw 馃嚭馃嚫 Warsaw 馃嚚馃嚰 Willemstad 馃嚛馃嚜 Wismar 馃嚥馃嚱 Xochimilco 馃嚢馃嚪 Yangsan 馃嚪馃嚭 Yaroslavl 馃嚠馃嚪 Yazd 馃嚢馃嚪 Yeongju 馃嚘馃嚥 Yerevan 馃嚲馃嚜 Zabid 馃嚥馃嚱 Zacatecas 馃嚨馃嚤 Zamo艣膰 馃嚬馃嚳 Zanzibar City

Text Atribution: Wikipedia Text under CC-BY-SA license | GUCR | Nomad | StartupBlink

Antipodal to Sanaa is: -135.789,-15.367

Locations Near: Sanaa 44.2112,15.3667

馃嚲馃嚜 Dhamar 44.4,14.567 d: 91.2  

馃嚲馃嚜 Hodeidah 42.971,14.789 d: 147.8  

馃嚲馃嚜 Al-Hudaydah 42.95,14.8 d: 149.4  

馃嚲馃嚜 Zabid 43.317,14.2 d: 161.5  

馃嚲馃嚜 Taiz 44.017,13.567 d: 201.2  

馃嚲馃嚜 Aden 47.49,15.888 d: 355.9  

馃嚫馃嚘 Abha 42.508,18.22 d: 365.4  

馃嚛馃嚡 Djibouti City 43.145,11.594 d: 435  

馃嚛馃嚡 Djibouti 43.133,11.583 d: 436.5  

馃嚛馃嚡 Arta 42.833,11.517 d: 453.3  

Antipodal to: Sanaa -135.789,-15.367

馃嚨馃嚝 Papeete -149.566,-17.537 d: 18526.6  

馃嚘馃嚫 Pago Pago -170.701,-14.279 d: 16264.3  

馃嚰馃嚫 Apia -171.76,-13.833 d: 16145  

馃嚬馃嚧 Nuku'alofa -175.216,-21.136 d: 15813.1  

馃嚭馃嚫 Hilo -155.089,19.725 d: 15578.9  

馃嚭馃嚫 Maui -156.446,20.72 d: 15411.9  

馃嚭馃嚫 Kahului -156.466,20.891 d: 15394.5  

馃嚭馃嚫 Wailuku -156.505,20.894 d: 15392.2  

馃嚭馃嚫 Maui County -156.617,20.868 d: 15388.7  

馃嚭馃嚫 Honolulu -157.85,21.3 d: 15280.5  

Bing Map

Option 1