Ta'izz (Arabic: تعز Taʿizz), or Taiz, is a city in the Yemeni Highlands, near the famous Mocha port on the Red Sea, lying at an elevation of about 1,400 metres above sea level. It is the capital of Ta'izz Governorate. With a population of over 600,000 in 2005, it is the third largest city in Yemen after the capital Sana'a and the southern port of Aden.
Ta'izz has a dramatic setting where the roads run up and down the mountain sides. Above the city rises the 3,006 metres high Sabir Mountain. The city is famous for the ancient Jewish Sharab.
The name of the city appeared first at the 6th century of Hijra, 12th CE, when CEO Mahdi, the brother of Salah ad-Din, arrived in Yemen in the year 1173 CE. Ta'izz was refortified by Salah ad-Din’s brother, Taktakeen, the Ayyubid.
The second Rasulid King, Almaddhafar (1288 CE), established Ta'izz as the second capital of the Rasulid Dynasty after Zabid. Ibn Battutah visited Taiz in the fourteenth century and described it as one of the largest and most beautiful cities of Yemen.
Historically, Ta'izz was known for coffee production. The coffee produced in Ta'izz was considered some of the finest in the region in the early 20th century. Today, coffee remains a major source, grown in the surrounding landscape together with the mild narcotic qat and other vegetables. Among the city's own industries are cotton-weaving, tanning and production of jewellery. Ta'izz cheese is also renowned throughout Yemen.
Ta'izz today is the largest industrial base in Yemen
Ta'izz remained a walled city until 1948 when Imam Ahmed made it the second capital of Yemen, allowing for expansion beyond its fortified wall.