Dhamar is a city in southwestern Yemen. It is at an elevation of around 2400 metres.
Dhamar is situated 100 km to the south of Sana'a, north of Ibb, and west of Al-Beidha, 2700 m above sea level. Its name “Dhamar” goes back to the king of Sheba and Dou-Reddan at 15-35 AD. whose name was Dhamar Ali Yahber, and whose statue was found at the city of Al-Nakhla Al-Hamra’a ("The Red Palm"). This city is one of the archeological sites that are found near Dhamar.
The city of Dhamar is the capital of the governorate and is situated on the main road, which connects Sana’a with a number of other governorates. This city was one of the famous Arabic and Islamic culture and scientific centers in Yemen. Its Great Mosque was built in the period of the caliph Abi-Bakr Al-Sadeek.
As Dhamar city had a great role in the politic and trading life in Yemen. It had a very important historical role in Yemen before the Islamic age. The antique Yemeni engravings mentioned Dhamar city as being a very famous center of the Islamic studies and sciences, and many of the great scientists are attributed to this historical town.
In past times, the people of Dhamar were famous for bringing up horses; the city was an early center of horse-breeding in Arabia. The town is still famous in Yemen for its numerous historical mosques and schools, which are distinguished by their beautiful characteristic architecture in harmony with the colors of its volcano land.
The city of Dhamar, in the center of the Dhamar basin, is of ancient origin. It was built by the legendary Himyarite King Dhamar Ali, renowned for restoring the great dam of Ma’rib. Dhamar is the only town in northern Yemen, which is not surrounded by a wall or natural defensive formations; it is just a settlement on the plains. Centrally situated with good connections to the nearby governorates, the town has prospered as a Wednesday market and meeting place for tribes living nearby.
It is home to the University of Dhamar the largest university in the country.