Contained within the desert towers are the earliest examples of high-rise apartment buildings.
Soaring many stories over the desert city of Shibam, Yemen, desert towers scrape the Arabian sky. Often called "the oldest skyscraper city in the world" or "the Manhattan of the desert", Shibam is one of the oldest and best examples of urban planning designed around vertical construction. The city is home to the tallest mud buildings in the world, with some of them over 30 meters. Contained within the desert towers are the earliest examples of high-rise apartment buildings.
In order to protect the buildings from the elements, the façades are thickly coated with and must be routinely maintained.