Ahlam al-Watary
Last updated: 1 October, 2012

Socotra: island of beauty

Known by some as the pearl of the Indian Ocean, Socotra is an isolated Yemeni island where beauty and uniqueness have come together to form pure magic.

This hidden gem of the Arabian Sea is the perfect place for those who are looking to enjoy a vacation away from the stress of the modern world.

Socotra has only recently been rediscovered, but the island is truly taking its veil off to present some of the most unusual and untouched landscapes on earth. Indeed, its magnificent white beaches, crystal clear blue waters, fascinating caves and even its simple-natured people have always made a lasting impact on its visitors.

“I never knew that such beauty existed. It is the perfect place for a perfect vacation. I’ll surely be here for my next vacation as well,” said Sami, a visitor.

The island is not only known for its incredible beauty but also for having the rarest species of creatures and plants, some of which are not found anywhere else on the planet. Natives have used certain plants for healing and other purposes. In fact, the island is mostly famous for the very rare endemic tree species known as Dragon’s Blood tree. Its red sap has been sought after as a medicine but today is also used for cosmetics.

“You can use its red sap to make your lips and cheeks look naturally red,” explains Noah, a local guide and tribal chief. “You do that by rubbing your lips and cheeks with that red substance,” he adds.