Suqatra Island: An Unusual Place in the Middle East

Suqatra Island: An Unusual Place in the Middle East


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Suqatra Island off the Yemen Coast
Suqatra Island off the Yemen Coast


A Surreal Paradise

Not a well-known tourist site, Suqatra Island (also called Socotra), which is situated off the Yemen Coast, is indeed an unusual place. Sitting apart from the remainder of the world, the island features plants that have been sculpted by nature into unique forms and shapes.


Socotran Plants

The Dragon’s Blood Tree is one of the fascinating plants that makes the island its home as is the Elephants Leg Tree, the Socotran Fig, the Cucumber Tree and the Desert Rose. The island, which is listed among the top ten endangered island ecosystems globally, also showcases a variety of bird species too.


Trees and Birds and Beautiful Shores

Trees on the island attract around 100 bird species, 14 of which are listed as being in danger of extinction. Three of the species include the Socotran Learner, Socotran Starling, and Socotran Alhazijah. In addition to featuring unusual plants and a large bird population, the island is also the setting for a number of beautiful beaches as well.


A Little Bit about the Island and its Activities

Nawjed Beach is especially popular because it is home to a large number of fish and marine life. The island features white sand shores that stretch for 300 miles.

Green turtles and coral reefs add to the diversity on the island too. In fact, over 800 various species of coral have been identified thus far. The island offers such activities as camping, caving, snorkeling, fishing, surfing, and hiking.


Keeping the Island Eco-friendly: Some Rules for Visitors

While visiting the island, tourists are asked not to:

  • Speak loudly while exploring caves (instead, speak softly or whisper);
  • Touch the corals;
  • Take photos without asking permission;
  • Feed the fish; or
  • Leave litter or debris behind.