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Lines of small clouds cling to the margins of the dust plumes south of Oman (lower right).
These clouds may result from the same weather front that kicked up high winds and stirred the dust storm.
The capital is Sana'a, and Aden is referred to as the country's economic capital.
The approximate size of the nation, since some of its borders are not demarcated, is 187,000 square miles (North: 75,000 square miles; South: 112,000 square miles), or 482,100 square kilometers. The Tihama, a coastal plain and hilly area along the Red Sea, is fifteen to twenty-five miles (twenty-five to forty kilometers) wide.
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It is an area of fishing, commerce, and trade in the ports of al-Mukha (Mocha) and al-Hudayda as well as agriculture in oases (the main crops are millet, maize, sugarcane, watermelons, tobacco, and cotton) as well as livestock breeding.
Handicrafts are made in Zabid, Bayt al-Faqih, and other centers.
There are salt deposits near Shabwa, Safir, and Harib.
This region is one of the world's most prolific dust-producing areas, thanks in part to the presence of the sand sea.
The Rub al Khali holds about half as much sand as the Sahara Desert.
The Gulf of Aden coastal plain, which is five to ten miles (eight to sixteen kilometers) wide, is discontinuous.
Its ports, from Aden in the west to Sayhut and al-Ghayda in the east, are connected with the inland regions rather than with one another. The population is ethnically Arab, divided between Sunni Muslims of the Shafi'i school and Shi'a Muslims of the Zaydi school.