Yemen has announced the reopening of Riyan International Airport (RIY) with the arrival of a state-owned Yemenia domestic airline from its Aden International Airport (ADE).

This marks the reopening of the main airport in Hadhramaut after operations were suspended for nearly six years due to al-Qaida.

The Riyan airport, which is claimed to be the country’s third-largest airport, was closed in 2015 when the Yemen-based al-Qaida branch of militants completely captured the Yemeni city by taking advantage of the ongoing civil war.

Xinhua quoted an official as saying: “The United Arab Emirates (UAE) trained hundreds of local Yemeni fighters and played a significant military role in pushing the al-Qaida militants out from different areas in Hadramout and recapturing all the government facilities, including the airport.”

UAE is said to be the main participant in the reopening of the Riyan International Airport by providing funding and overseeing all the rehabilitation operations.

According to officials, the UAE has provided over $6bn in foreign assistance to the war-torn Yemeni regions since 2015.

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This funding was utilised for rebuilding various sectors in the country such as vital infrastructure and restoring health and social services.

After ending the anti-terror military campaign against the al-Qaida militants in Hadramout, UAE started rebuilding the damaged and destroyed state facilities in 2016.

In January, the Saudi Development and Reconstruction Program for Yemen (SDRPY) launched the first phase of Yemen’s Aden International Airport rehabilitation project.