At the time the capital city was quite safe, though German tourists would get kidnapped in the countryside on a regular basis. The Yemenis had a reputation as very hospitable kidnappers. Usually the kidnappers would hold the tourists in return for promises about infrastructure."Leave three small dams with the serial numbers filed off in airport locker No. 403, or Frau Snifflefritz gets it!"
From Tyler Cowen's reminiscences about traveling in Yemen in 1996, at the ever-interesting Marginal Revolution.