The geography of Al-Mahrah is similar to that of neighboring Dhofar in Oman. Rigid peaks rising to around 1,300 m (4,300 ft), and the Empty Quarter Desert
lies to the north. Along its coast near the border with Oman
, Al Mahrah is affected by the seasonal monsoon
, or Khareef
. The mountains become water-soaked and the atmosphere becomes moist and foggy as vegetation turns the barren coast into lush valleys and forests. Hauf National Park is located in Al-Mahrah.
On 10 September 2016, Three militants in the Al Mahrah governorate declared the formation of a new wilayat belonging to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
(ISIL) via Social Media. Official ISIL media did not acknowledge the declaration.
From 2015 to late 2017, Al Mahrah was under the control of the Yemeni 123rd and 137th Mechanized Brigades.
From mid-November 2017 onwards, Saudi Arabia began increasing its presence in the governorate, taking control of facilities, Nishtun port, the Sarfit, and Shehen border crossings, and al-Gaydah Airport while establishing military outposts around key infrastructure and coastal areas.
On 27 November 2017, Mohammed Abdullah Kuddah, the Governor of Mahra, was replaced by Rajeh Said Bakrit, following his objections against Saudi influence.