The old walled city of Shibam is named after king Shibam Bin Harith Ibn Saba who ruled from here. It was a major city on the overland spice and incense route.
With Jebel Nugum towering over it, Sana'a sits on the narrowest point of a major mountain plateau, (2.286 metres) above sea level. The region's volcanic origin and regular rainfall make it fertile and it enjoys a temperate climate throughout the year with the occasional sharp frost in the small hours of winter nights. One legend tells of its founding by Shem the son of Noah.
Sana'a is the capital of Yemen, located in the Yemeni Mountains and generally the first destination for travellers to that country.