تعز (Taʿizz)

Taiz in January 2007

Location in Yemen

Coordinates: 13°34′44″N 44°01′19″E / 13.57889°N 44.02194°E / 13.57889; 44.02194
Country Yemen
Governorate Taiz
Elevation 4,600 ft (1,400 m)
Population (2014)
  Total 615,222 Increase
Time zone Yemen Standard Time (UTC+3)
Aerial view of the city
Cairo Castle's garden

Taiz (Arabic: تعز Taʿizz) is a city in the Yemeni Highlands, near the famous Mocha port on the Red Sea, lying at an elevation of about 1,400 metres above sea level. It is the capital of Taiz Governorate. With a population of over 600,000 in 2005, it is the third largest city in Yemen after the capital Sana'a and the southern port of Aden. When Yemen was at peace, it was considered to be the cultural capital of Yemen.

During the 2011 Yemeni Revolution, a battle in Taiz between supporters and opponents of Ali Abdullah Saleh led to a rebel victory. As part of the 2015 Yemeni Civil War, the city endured a military confrontation between Houthis and the government forces of Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi. The city was effectively under siege and the United Nations warned of an "extreme and irreversible" food shortage if fighting continued.[1]



In 130 CE the Jewish quarter was established in the city.

Taiz was ruled by Turan-Shah, the older brother of Saladin, after he had conquered Yemen in 1173 CE. Turan-Shah built the citadel on the hill overlooking the old city.[2]

The second Rasulid King, Almaddhafar (1288 CE), established Taiz as the second capital of the Rasulid Dynasty after Zabid. Ibn Battutah visited Taiz in the fourteenth century and described it as one of the largest and most beautiful cities of Yemen.

Taiz remained a walled city until 1948 when Imam Ahmed made it the second capital of Yemen, allowing for expansion beyond its fortified wall.

1994 Shooting

The Taiz shooting took place on March 25 and 26 1994. A Yemenite killed eleven women and seven men, among them his wife and his mother, before he was arrested by police. When he was led away he managed to wrest the gun from a police officer and kill another four people, three of them police officers, before he himself was shot dead. A total of 23 people were killed, including the suspect[3]

2011 Yemeni uprising

During the 2011 Yemeni uprising fighting in Taiz resulted in anti-government forces seizing control of the city. On 22 March 2015, the Houthis and forces loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh took the city in the aftermath of their coup d'état in Sana'a.[4] In August 2015 Yemeni MP Muhammad Muqbil Al-Himyari reported Houthi attacks on civilians in Taiz and appealed for help on Suhail TV (Yemen).[5][6]


1175: Taiz is made capital of Yemen as it was incorporated into dominions of the Ayyubid dynasty by Turan-Shah.

1500 (approximately): The capital is moved to Sana'a by the ruler of the Taharid dynasty.

1516: Taiz comes under Ottoman control.

1918: The Ottomans lose Taiz to the new independent Yemen.

1948: Taiz becomes the administrative capital of Yemen, as it is made the residence of the imam.

1962: State administrations move back to Sana'a.

1960s: The first purified water system in Yemen is opened in Taiz.



Taiz has a Humid subtropical climate. The average daily temperature high during August is 33 °C (91 °F). Annual rainfall of Taiz is around 600 millimetres (24 in), but on Jabal Sabir it is probably around 1,000 millimetres (39.4 in) per year.

Climate data for Taiz
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 24.3
Average low °C (°F) 11.1
Average rainfall mm (inches) 9
Source #1: Hydrological Sciences[7]
Source #2: Journal of Environmental Protection[8]

Main sights

The city has many old and beautiful quarters, with houses that are typically built with brown bricks, and mosques are usually white. Most famous among the mosques are the Ashrafiya, the Muctabiya and the Mudhaffar. Also memorable are the old citadel and the governor's palace that rests on top of a mountain spur 450 metres above the city centre. It also has one of the most famous mountains in Yemen, the Saber mountain (almost 3000 meters above sea level), which affords panoramic views over the city. The city has a Muslim madrasa that has university status.


Historically, the mountainous city of Taiz was known for coffee production. The coffee produced in Taiz was considered some of the finest in the region in the early 20th century.[9] Today, coffee remains a major part of the economy but mango, pomegranate, citrus banana, papai, vegetables, cereals, onions, and qat are also grown in the surrounding landscape.[10] Cheese from Taiz is also renowned throughout Yemen.

Industries in the city of Taiz include cotton-weaving, tanning and jewellery production. Taiz today is the largest industrial base in Yemen.


Taiz has many road connections with the rest of the country. The city is served by Ta'izz International Airport.


  1. "UN warns of 'extreme' and 'irreversible' food shortage in Taiz". Al Jazeera. Al Jazeera. 30 October 2015. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
  2. Steven C. Caton: Yemen. ABC-CLIO, 2013, p.52
  3. Amoklaufer in Jemen tötet 22 Personen Neue Zürcher Zeitung (March 29, 1994)
  4. "Rebels Seize Key Parts of Yemen's Third-Largest City, Taiz". The New York Times. 22 March 2015. Retrieved 22 March 2015.
  5. "#5060 - Yemeni MP Muhammad Muqbil Al-Himyari Breaks Down in Tears When Discussing Situation in Taiz, Yemen Suhail TV". Memritv. August 24, 2015.
  6. "Transcript #5060 - Yemeni MP Muhammad Muqbil Al-Himyari Breaks Down in Tears When Discussing Situation in Taiz, Yemen". Memritv. August 24, 2015.
  7. "Rainfall and Runoff in Yemen" (PDF). Hydrological Sciences. Retrieved 2013-03-18.
  8. Al-Buhairi, Mahyoub H.; "Analysis of Monthly, Seasonal and Annual Air Temperature Variability and Trends in Taiz City - Republic of Yemen"; in Journal of Environmental Protection, 2010 (1) ; pp. 401-409
  9. Prothero, G.W. (1920). Arabia. London: H.M. Stationery Office. p. 83.
  10. Yementourism.com, http://www.yementourism.com/services/touristguide/detail.php?ID=2044

Media related to Taiz at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 13°34′44″N 44°01′19″E / 13.57889°N 44.02194°E / 13.57889; 44.02194

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