Visitors may enter Yemen via any one of its international airports in Sana'a, Aden, Taiz or Riyan (Mukalla).
Yemen has three seaports: Aden on the Gulf of Aden, Hodeida on the Red Sea, and Mukalla on the Arabian Sea.
Yemen is accessible through Haradh, which lies on the Northern border near Saudi Arabia or Shahan (Hawf) on the eastern border near Oman.
Visas are required. They may be obtained from the Yemeni Embassy in your home country. Visas are issued in “one month” increments. During this one-month period you do not need to register with the police or to get a departure permit.
Visas cost +/- 30 US$ for a tourist visa single entry and +/- 60 US$ for a double entry visa. (Price depends on the kind of visa and your nationality.)
You need a passport which is valid for six months after your application and two photos. Maximum stay is one month. Your visit to the country must be completed within three months of your application process.
There are departure taxes which all persons leaving, both Yemeni and foreigners, must pay at the port of departure.
Should your visa be delayed for any reason, Arabian Horizons may arrange a tourist visa upon arrival. One must however send a copy of their passport by fax to Arabian Horizons in Sana'a one week prior to departure.
No official vaccinations are required. However Malaria shots are recommended if your travel route is through the tropical coastal region of Tihama.
Tourists may comfortably visit Yemen all year round because the altitudes counteract the high temperatures. During winter months, the highlands experience dry and clear weather, with temperatures falling below freezing at night. Yemen's climate is subtropical with marginal effects from the summer monsoon.
In the north, the temperature is comfortable even during summer months with temperatures between 80 – 90 º Fahrenheit (26 – 32 º Celsius). Short afternoon rains are frequent from June though September and they are typically followed by picturesque rainbowed skies.
In the south, temperatures are 70-80 º Fahrenheit (25 º Celsius) during summer months and the climate is dry. However, on the coast the humidity is high. Summer months along the coast are hot and humid
During summer months, only the desert in the east and the coastal plains are very hot; reaching temperatures of 100-104 degrees º Fahrenheit (38-40 degrees º Celsius).
Yemen is an Islamic and traditional country and the inhabitants dress modestly. For warm seasons, men are suggested to wear long pants or shorts which reach the knee and a T-shirt. Women are suggested to wear longer garments which minimally reach below the knee and loose shirts with sleeve length minimally to the elbow. Transparent clothing is not recommended. Beachwear is appropriate on the beach or in five-star hotels near the pool area. Sun visors and sunglasses are also advised.
Colder seasons may require long-sleeved clothing during daylight hours and sweaters or jackets at night.
Comfortable, stable shoes are always recommended for excursions. In desert regions, take care of excessive sand in the breeze and wear glasses.
Customs & Habits
Eating with hands is common – just remember to wash your hands before and after eating – and always eat with the right hand only.
When visiting a home, tea or coffee will almost certainly be offered. It is customary to accept this, even though you may not drink it.
When visiting a Yemeni home, expect to be separated from your spouses or friends of the opposite sex. Males and females gather separately.
Foreign women are typically free to shake hands or start conversations with men in professional settings; however in social situations, they should allow men to establish the degree of contact they feel is comfortable, and more importantly, appropriate.
Interactions between foreign men and women in public should essentially corm to Yemeni standards of conducts. Specifically, intimate or affectionate behaviour, such as caressing or kissing, is absolutely forbidden in public, and will earn the offending couple an extremely negative response from bystanders. Holding hands is acceptable.
Also keep in mind that not all invitations must or should be accepted. Offering an invitation is a feature of Arab culture, but one should consider before accepting whether the host will be inconvenienced beyond politeness.
Generally only bottled water is drunk, even by many locals. Remember also to refrain from using ice in your drinks unless you are certain it's been made from bottled water.
Exhibitions & Goings-On
The local papers, The Yemen Times and The Yemen Observer are good sources of information on art exhibits coming up. Your hotel concierge will also be of help; and if your visiting with an Arabian Horizon tour, our guides will provide you the latest information.
When buying silver, be aware that there is much newly imported silver from India of lesser quality. Yemeni silver is heavier and bulkier and often times has a small signature stamp in Arabic from the artist.
It is against the law to take antiques out of the country. There are many fakes for sale so take care when purchasing. Apart from the possibility of having your treasure confiscated at the airport, it may be illegal to take it into your own country.
For the cheapest method of making your international phone calls, use the booths in the city center. The cost is recorded in each booth as you telephone and much cheaper than making them from your hotel room.
Photographing and Video taping
Never take the photo or video of a Yemeni woman without having prior permission. And never film a governmental building, unless you want to forfeit your camera.
Yemen Observer (http://www.yobserver.com )
The Yemen Times ( http://www.yementimes.com )