Ma'rib Travel Guide

  • Ma'rib
    by TheLongTone
  • Ma'rib
    by TheLongTone
  • Ma'rib
    by TheLongTone

Ma'rib Things to Do

  • The Southern Arabian Inscriptions

    The Southern Arabian language dates from Sabaean times (Queen of Sheba) and had 29 letters, all in upper case. Inscriptions were mostly carved into stone and used to describe administrative and commercial achievements, battle victories and building work. The oldest found so far is from the 9th century BC, the most recent from the 2nd century BC.At...

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  • The Old Town of Marib

    Set on a hill outside the present town, the old town of Marib is a crumbling wreck, but is worth a look. It is said to date from the first millennium BC. The old town of Marib was mostly destroyed in the civil war in the 1960’s.

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  • Temple of Bilqis (Sheba)

    Believed to have been built in 8000BC, this is supposed to be a more important temple than the Throne of Bilqis/Moon temple and was dedicated to the Sun god. It is desperately in need of excavation and restoration and it is surrounded by a wire fence which you cannot go through. At present it contains a high wall, a row of 12 metre high columns and...

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  • The Throne of Bilqis

    The Throne of Bilquis (Sheba) is also known as the temple of the Moon as it was dedicated to the Moon God Almaqah.Thought to have been built around 2000 BC, this temple has five and a half pillars set high up on steps. There is a sacred wall with a row of seats along the edge as well as a plinth where a holy oxen statue used to be. The sign outside...

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  • Marib New Dam

    The new Marib dam was built in the 1980’s with help from UAE and is actually smaller than the Old Dam originally was, which was built in the 8th century BC!

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  • Marib Old Dam

    Marib Dam was built around the 8th century BC across Wadi Adhana to hold and divert the flood water which fell during the rainy season for use in agriculture. The old dam allowed the area to prosper from cultivation, as it was built at the bottom of the surrounding valleys to gain the most water collection. It was made from massive stone blocks...

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  • Temple of Bilquis

    This temple, lying on a side road, was dedicated to the sun god (dating from 800 BC). Unfortunately the area is fenced, police escort is prerequisite, so you can only take some photos of the row of 8 high columns. There is an elderly guard (???) keeping the keys of the area and he can point you to see were some ruins with inscriptions on them (see...

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  • "Camel" mills

    In Marib surroundings tradition is mantained. In some places, you can visit these mills moved by camels, as it was done years ago. As the camel move , the stones mill grain in order to obtain flour or oil.

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  • The route across the desert

    Marib is the starting point on the route across the desert to Seyyun and Hadramawt.It´s the last "civilized" area untill you reach Seyyun and Hadramawt´s vities. In your way, you may only find beduin camps sparsed in some dry "wadis".Before starting the route, you should hire a beduin guide, in order beduin people allow you to cross the desert.

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  • Old Marib city

    The old Marib city was builded over the ruins of a Sabean fortress. It had a wall around the city with only three gates. The city was nearly razed during Civil war in the sixties, as it was allied to the old king of Yemen and suffered bombing. Now, you can visit the ruins of Soleiman mosque and the old house of the Iman, near the entrance of the...

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  • Modern dam

    In 1980 was builded up a new dam thanks to a rich yemenian cheik. This cheik gave to the goverment 75 million dollar in order to build a new dam and water again the fertile valley.The new dam is 760 m long and 40m high, and it is like the old dam should be.

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  • Old dam walls

    As lots of mud were placed by the river in the reservoir, Marib people had to rebuild the dam in order to rise the walls of the dam. So, although firstly the walls were 7m high, in 250 B.C. they were over 14m high, and finally, in the last times of Saba kingdom in VI century A.D. they were 16m high. This impressive construction was known and...

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  • The old dam

    The old Marib dam is the biggest and most important construction that have survived from the ruin.It was builded in a gorge, between the mountains Jebel al Qibli and Jabel al Awsat, and was 680m. long. You can see the gorge in the next picture, at the end of the green valley.This hughe construction was builded over 750 B.C. , in order to stop...

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  • The Queen of Saba

    It is commonly believed that queen of Saba who appears in the Bible and the Coran, as Salomon lover, was the famous queen Bilqis of Marib, who ruled the kingdom in 950 B.C.This queen was a wise and fair woman, and under her government Marib grew got wealthier and more powerful. Salomon, the Jewish King, was so affected of the stories he listened...

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  • Mahram Bilqis (Temple of Bilqis)

    You can visit different archeological sites of the ancient Marib at this moment. One of them, is the Mahram Bilqis.First excavations were in 1952, stopped during years because of the beduin people, who bcame more dangerous.Years later, excavations went on, but at this moment, and important area of the site is still under the sand.The most important...

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Ma'rib Restaurants

  • The Proprietors

    Being the only restaurant around made it pretty special. The young proprietors hustled the visitors.

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  • Watch your Kalishnikov

    The chaps at the next table who laid their Kalisnikovs on their Yemeni flatbreads added that little extra ambience Stewed camel and the flat breads.

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  • Ma'rib Hotels

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Ma'rib Nightlife

  • TheLongTone's Profile Photo

    by TheLongTone Updated Jul 4, 2007

    As a Western tourist you are confined to your hotel after six pip emma. I was the only foreigner in town: my guide got us a takeaway then I retired early with a good book. What I saw of the towndid not suggest I was missing much.

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Ma'rib Transportation

  • janiebaxter's Profile Photo

    by janiebaxter Written Mar 9, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    You can take a day trip to Marib from Sana’a.
    The drive is between 2.5 to 3 hours each way. Many tours then continue across the empty quarter to Hadramaut. I took the trip from Sana’a there and back in a day as Brits were advised not to go to Marib so I got a driver to take me.
    The tourist vehicles travel in a convoy with a police escort, meeting at 9am at a police checkpoint just outside of Sana’a. There were only 2 vehicles in our convoy.
    There are many check points along the way, where they always ask your nationality and check yours and the driver's papers, and the police swop over about 1 hour from Marib.
    I had the sites to myself once I got there.

    Police Escort at Marib
    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology

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Ma'rib Warnings and Dangers

  • janiebaxter's Profile Photo

    by janiebaxter Written Mar 9, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Since the shooting of the Spanish tourists in May 2007, Brits have been advised not to go to Marib. Other European tour groups do go though, and there is a police escort along the road (see getting to Marib tip)
    I went anyway, without my group and with a driver, as I was desperate to see it and came back to tell the tale.
    I had the sites to myself once I got there and I did have 2 policemen walking around with me all the time I was there. The policemen were in full uniform and armed and the car was obviously a police car - blue and white with a siren. They certainly made their presence obvious to onlookers. The Yemenis are taking the security situation very seriously.
    The police were extremely friendly and had of photographs taken with me.
    The guide at Bilqis temple also had a gun - 3 guns for one tourist!

    Police protection at Marib
    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Archeology
    • Historical Travel

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