Map of AdenFlag of the Colony of Aden










Flag of the State of Aden











Aden, a free port since 1850, has been the chief entrepôt and trading centre of South Arabia since ancient times. It enjoyed commercial importance until the discovery (late 15th century) of an all-water route around Africa to India. With the opening of the Suez Canal (1869), Aden regained its importance and again became a major trading centre and also an important refuelling stop; the harbour was deepened to accommodate the largest vessels able to use the canal. Aden's economy, which depends heavily on canal traffic, suffered from the closing of the canal during and after the 1956 and 1967 Arab-Israeli wars.


Aden's strategic location and its importance as a commercial centre long made it a coveted conquest. Muslim Arabs held the region from the 7th to the 16th century. The Portuguese failed in an attempt to capture it in 1513, but it fell in 1538 to the Ottoman Turks. At the end of the 18th century Aden's importance as a strategic post grew as a result of British policy to contain French expansion in the region. After the British capture of Aden in 1839, its administrative attachment to India, and the construction of the Suez Canal, Britain purchased areas on the mainland from local rulers and entered into protectionist agreements with them. The Perim, Kamaran, and Kuria Muria islands had been made part of Aden in the 1850s. Aden was formally made into a crown colony in 1937, and the surrounding region became known as the Aden Protectorate in 1937.


Aden was granted a legislative council in 1944 and later received other rights of self-government. In 1963 Aden was joined to the Federation of the Emirates of the South, which then became the Federation of South Arabia. With the establishment (1967) of the independent country of Southern Yemen, Aden became the capital along with Madinat ash Shab. In 1970 Aden became the country's sole capital. In 1990 Southern Yemen and Yemen united to form one country, Yemen. Sana'a became capital of the new nation, and Aden was designated its economic capital. The city was severely damaged during the 1994 Yemeni civil war.



Capital:                      Aden

Government:              British crown colony (1937-1963), state within the Federation of South Arabia (1963-1967)

Area:                         257 km² (including several islands)

Population:                 300.000 (1962)

Currency:                   1 Rupee (16 Annas, 1 Anna = 12 Pie), from 1951: East African Shilling (100 cents)



For more stamps see:

South Arabia, Federation of






The Colony of Aden in Wikipedia.

Flag of the Colony of Aden in Flags of the World.

Flag of the State of Aden in Flags of the World.




Stamp catalogue


UPU 75th anniversary

date:                  10 October 1949

designer:            -

printer:               Waterlow & Sons, London (1 and 4), Bradbury, Wilkinson & Co., New Malden (2 and 3); overprint by

                          Waterlow & Sons, London

perforated:         13½:14 (1 and 4), 11:11½ (2 and 3)

remark:              stamps are overprinted with new value; only overprinted stamps were issued


1     2½ ANNAS on 20 cents     Hermes, globe, letter, airplane, boat, train, text "UNIVERSAL / POSTAL UNION / 1874 1949"


                                             (cat. Michel 33/SG 32/Yvert 32)


Aden - stamp as described above


2     3 ANNAS on 30 c              hemispheres, airplane, steamer, text "1874 / UNIVERSAL POSTAL UNION / 1949"


                                             (cat. Michel 34/SG 33/Yvert 33)


Aden - stamp as described above


3     8 ANNAS on 50 c              Hermes scattering letters over globe, text "UNIVERSAL POSTAL UNION / 1874 / 1949"


                                             (cat. Michel 35/SG 34/Yvert 34)


Aden - stamp as described above


4     1 RUPEE on 1/-                UPU monument, Berne, text "UNIVERSAL / POSTAL / UNION / 1874 / 1949" and "UNION

                                             POSTALE UNIVERSELLE"


                                             (cat. Michel 36/SG 35/Yvert 35)


Aden - stamp as described above



Freedom from Hunger Campaign

date:                  4 June 1963

designer:            Michael Goaman

printer:               Harrison & Sons, London

perforated:         14½


5     1/25 sh        collection of 'protein foods', text "FREEDOM FROM HUNGER"

                          bluish green

                          (cat. Michel 35/SG 32/Yvert 35)


Aden - stamp as described above









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last revised: 22 September 2008