Socotra Island is considered a continental island, as it was separated from the Arabian Peninsula and the African continent in prehistoric periods, and developed in the form of a small continent, and the island of Socotra is located in the Arabian Sea and its southern coast faces the strong waves coming from the Indian Ocean constantly, it is noteworthy that the city of Hadibu, which is located on the northern coast of the island, is considered its capital and largest city, and it is worth noting here that the name “Socotra” refers to the Sanskrit language and means the island of bliss or happiness.
Geography of Socotra Island
Socotra Island is located northwest of the Indian Ocean, 340 km southeast of Yemen, 700 km southeast of Aden, 225 km from the Horn of Africa and an area of approximately 3600 km 2, and thus it is the largest island among the group of islands Which extends east of the Horn of Africa and together form what is known as the Socotra Archipelago, which is located near the Gulf of Aden, and consists of four main islands: Socotra, Abd al-Kuri, Samha, Darsa, and a number of other small islands.
The Socotra Archipelago is of global importance due to its biodiversity represented by rare plants and animals; About 37% of the plant species in it are not found anywhere else in the world, and the same applies to 90% of reptiles and 95% of wild snails, and the archipelago is distinguished by many endangered land and marine birds, in addition to various marine animals. The island also contains about 900 endemic plant species; Such as fodder trees or what is known as dragon’s blood trees (in English: Dracaena cinnabar), patience trees, and others, and the total of these types reaches about 307 species, which led to the classification of the archipelago as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008.
The demography of Socotra Island
The population of Socotra island reached about 100,000 people, in 1966 AD the population reached about 16,000 people, and it reached 30,000 people in 1973 AD, while in 1994 AD the results of the census carried out by the Republic of Yemen were estimated at 44,880 people By an increase of up to 21,000 people within 21 years, and it is worth noting that this number does not constitute a burden on the island, as the elements of the geological island encourage decision-makers on the island to allow immigration to it to open industrial facilities or for investment. Socotra enjoys a diverse population, where the population goes back to Arab, Somali, and Greek origins, in addition to South Asia.
Socotra has diversified economic resources, as it is distinguished as one of the important fishing areas, as it contains large reserves of it, and on the other hand, the availability of many types of soils, such as histosol soil, which is characterized by its containment of organic materials, in addition to other types of soil; Such as flood soil, red soil, and African soil, contributed to facilitating the possibility of palm cultivation in it, as more than 25 types of dates are produced on the island of Socotra, and the main occupations of the permanent inhabitants of this island include: agriculture, fishing, and extraction Pearls, and the Bedouins in the interior regions depend on raising livestock and other animals and cultivating some crops. Tourism has also contributed in recent decades to the prosperity of the island’s economy.
Tourism on the island of Socotra
The island of Socotra is an important international tourist destination, especially for ecotourism, so the island is proposed as a reserve and an important place for studies and research work due to the rich biodiversity in it. Given the development of ecotourism and its conjunction with the guidelines of the Convention on Biological Diversity, it is imperative to establish vital places in addition to anthropological reserves. It improves the standard of living of the inhabitants of the island as well as preserving their traditions, which has a positive impact on the future of the archipelago as a whole.
The northeast of Socotra is characterized by white sandy beaches, other rocky beaches, and a number of valleys and plateaus, in addition to coral reefs, and the island is also famous for its caves, and the northern side of the island is distinguished by its beaches, in addition to the diversity of marine life in it, and it also includes the city of Qalansiyah The second largest city on the island, as for the center of the island, it includes deep valleys, rocky peaks, and multiple plateaus, as well as a large group of rare plants and wildlife, and it is also home to the Hajher Mountains, and it is worth noting that the southern part of Socotra Island is characterized by a low population and large dunes Sandy