Dubbed  “Manhattan of the Desert” for its centuries-old skyscrapers, Yemen’s ancient city of Shibam escaped damage in the civil war – but now faces collapse from disrepair amid rains and floods.

Against a stunning backdrop of cliffs, the UNESCO World Heritage Site sits on a rocky spur high above the river valley of Wadi Hadramout in the arid centre of Yemen.

Some of the hundreds of fantastical sun-dried mud-brick towers, many dating back to the 16th century, soar seven stories high, nestled within a traditional fortified wall built for protection.

The UN describes the city, once an oasis stop for camel caravans on the spice and incense routes across southern Arabia, as “one of the oldest and best examples of urban planning based on the

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