The old city of Zabid is one of the most prominent historical cities in Yemen. It is very famous for its unique architectural style and urban cultural heritage. Thereby, it has been classified, by the UNSCO, as part of the international community heritage.
It is situated about 100 km south of Al-Hodeidah city which is some 265km away from the capital Sana’a.
It sits in- between mountain and sea flanked by two great valleys known as Wadi Zabid and Wadi Rima'. Its history dates back to 204 A.H (819 AD).
The town is circular in shape centered by the old souq. It was surrounded by a wall of four gates, some of them are still remaining.They are : Bab Al-Shabariq from the east,Bab Al-Nakhl from the west,Bab Al- Qartab from the south and Bab Siham from the north.
The town was divided into 4 sections, each is inhabited by traders,scholars, dignitaries and artisans. Its urban cultural heritage contains 29 mosques and 53 Koran schools, the most famous of which are al-Asha'ir mosque built by Abu Musa al-Asha'iri in the 8th year A.H, and Zabid's (grand Mosque that dates back to the (16th Century.
Zabid was one of the most outstanding religious and scientific centers, not only in Yemen, but also all over the Islamic world.It had already played a pioneering role in the Arabic and Islamic culture.
Zabid was well known as a center for several handicrafts such as weaving , dyeing and tanning industries. The facade of houses tells a story of a glorious past.The dazzling, richly ornamented walls, alters, pedestals, pillars and wooden gates reveal the aesthetic aspect of architecture.
The grandeur of construction can be seen in the surviving structures of Al Nassir Palace, Nassir citadel and towers.
There are a number of tombs of the followers of Ismaeli sect visited by many people especially from India .
The old souq is one of the most important cites of the town. It was divided into several sections on the basis of the type of craft or product.
Some 20 km to the west. It is a beautiful natural port used to be a resort for the Kings of the Rasulid dynasty. It lies in a fertile area between wadi Zabid and Wadi Rima' surrounded by high palm trees and clean beaches.
About 130 km in the middle of Al-Hodeidah-Taiz road. Sunday, market day, brings many people into this very densely built, busy little town. It is an important center of traditional industries and it is reputed for the manufacture of various pottery utensils.