Al Hudaydah Port Guide

Al Hudaydah Port is located in Yemen’s fourth largest city of Al Hudaydah (a.k.a. Hodeidah) on the shores of the Red Sea. This historic port serves as the trading port of the country; it exports coffee, dates, hides and cotton. It was later developed as a seaport by the Ottoman Turks in the mid nineteenth century. Thereafter, it served as a wireless station during the First World War and subsequently as a Soviet naval base in the 1970s and the 1980s. Cruise ship visitors of the Al Hudaydah port enjoy this port’s rich history, old mosques and distinct ambiance.

Transportation in the Al Hudaydah port of call is limited. It is best for cruise ship visitors make prior transportation arrangements when going to and from the Al Hudaydah port of call to travel around the city.


Al Hudaydah cruise port offers a modest selection of shopping adventures for its visitors; nevertheless, shoppers typically find unique souvenirs and gift items for family and friends back home.

One of the interesting shopping adventures in Al Hudaydah port is its fish market. It is located near the harbor; visitors can enjoy the sight and sounds of local fishermen and shoppers haggling for freshly caught fish such as tuna and lobster from the Red Sea. The booths along the fish market also sell tea products and other farm products.

Handicrafts and art pieces by local artists are offered in small shops throughout the city. Local potteries such as the Hais are well liked by cruise tourists. Local markets frequently have restricted hours; e.g. the Az-Saydiya Market is open on Tuesdays, Al Mansuriyah Market on Wednesdays and the Zabid Market on Sundays. If you are looking for spices, Mohammed A. Latif Rashed Stores is the place to be. Here you can find spices imported from India, Vietnam and Madagascar among others.

Things to See

Visitors to Al Hudaydah port will be immediately attracted to the dhows. The dhows are a type of commercial vessel, locally known as za’ima, which sail to India and East Africa.

Al Hudaydah is also the gateway to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Zabid. Zabid is one of the oldest towns in the country. It’s one of a kind domestic and military architecture earns it the distinction of being a valuable archaeological and historical site. Aside from these, it is the capital of Yemen from the thirteenth until the fifteenth century. The city is one of the most significant religious centers because of its Islamic university, the University of Zabid. Ziyadid and Najahid dynasty influences can be seen all throughout the site. The Great Mosque is among the well-known landmarks of the town. The ruins of the old university can also be visited by tourists.

Cruise tourists are sure to enjoy the unspoiled shores of the Red Sea with its beautiful coral reefs and lovely beaches. There are boats for hire along the area. Diving facilities are limited so, if possible, it is best to bring your own diving gear.

Restaurant and Bars

Al Hudaydah port cuisine is a mixture of tastes. Its local foods are simple and tasty; these include soups and various seafood dishes. The town is also famous for its custom of chewing Khat; this is a locally cultivated plant, which has an amphetamine-like effect.

The town has African as well as Arab influences in their foods. For a greater variety in dining experiences, visitors can travel to the nearby town of Sanaa.  Visitors will find local food and a choice of Lebanese and Egyptian food in Alshaybani Restaurant and Al-Fakher respectively. Fast food and desserts are served in Déjà vu.

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