The Socotra Archipelago is a UNESCO-listed Natural World Heritage Site since 2008.
Socotra, the archipelago's main island, is located at the entrance to the Gulf of Aden, only 233 kilometers (145 miles) from the Horn of Africa and belongs to Yemen.
Due to its nature, the archipelago is believed to be a prolongation of the Horn of Africa rather than Arabian peninsula.
Socotra is a site of global importance for biodiversity and unique species of both animals and plants.
UNESCO says "37% of Socotra’s 825 plant species, 90% of its reptile species and 95% of its land snail species do not occur anywhere else in the world."
Socotra also supports globally significant populations of land and sea birds, including a number of threatened species.
Socotra is sometimes referred to as the "Galapagos of the Indian Ocean." The Ecuadorian archipelago is also famous for its isolated geography and plant and animal species.
The symbol of the island is the rare Dragon Blood Tree (Dracaena cinnabari).
The tree is so called due to the red sap it produces.
Socotra is also home to countless beaches unsurpassed in their wild beauty.
All of them are covered by white coral sand, which also lies on the seabed.
The beaches then morph into unique giant white sand dunes moving inland.
Unfortunately, the devastating Yemeni civil war did not leave Socotra untouched.
Both the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, nominal allies in the conflict who fell out, established military presence on Socotra.
As recently as May this year explosions rocked the archipelago as an armed unit funded by the UAE fought to wrest control of the provincial capital Hadebo.
The UAE-backed separatists and forces loyal to the Yemeni government engaged in destructive clashes around the island.
The fighting threatens to cause irreversible damage to Socotra.
The Yemeni conflict has pushed the Arab world’s already poorest nation to the brink of famine and killed over 100,000 people.