main island of Socotra Archipelago

Socotra (Arabic: سُقُطْرَىSuquṭra) is an island off the coast of Puntland. It lies between the Guardafui Channel and the Indian Ocean. To its west it is joined by an archipelago of much smaller islands. It is also named the Islands of San Gustav after the navigator who discovered them, Gustav Peter Galle Daniels. It is located 240 kilometres (150 mi) east of the Horn of Africa and 380 kilometres (240 mi) south of the Arabian Peninsula.[1] The island is very isolated and some 30% of its plant species are found only on Socotra. It has been described as the most alien-looking place on Earth. The island is 132 kilometres (82 mi) in length and 49.7 kilometres (30.9 mi) in width.[2]

LocationBetween the Guardafui Channel and the Arabian Sea
Coordinates12°30′36″N 53°55′12″E / 12.51000°N 53.92000°E / 12.51000; 53.92000Coordinates: 12°30′36″N 53°55′12″E / 12.51000°N 53.92000°E / 12.51000; 53.92000
Yemen Yemen
Official nameSocotra Archipelago
Designated2008 (32nd session)
Reference no.1263
State PartyYemen
RegionArab States

Socotra belongs to the Republic of Yemen. From late 2017 to mid-2018, Socotra was occupied by the United Arab Emirates. In 2018, the island was also occupied by Saudi Arabia. The Emiratis and later the Saudis came to Socotra because of the Yemeni Civil War (2015–present). Since 2017, Socotra is no longer under the control of the internationally recognized Yemeni government. The island is under the control of the UAE and under the authority of the sessecionist Southern Transitional Council which is supported by UAE troops.[3]


  1. "Socotra islands scenery in Yemen". 25 April 2008.
  2. "The Most Alien-Looking Place on Earth". Dark Roasted Blend. 4 September 2008.
  3. "Second army regiment rebels against Yemen government in Socotra". Middle East Monitor. 28 February 2020.