- General Info
- Health Risks
- Security Concerns
- Weather Notes
- Electrical Standards
- Visa Info
- Time Zone
North Yemen became independent of the Ottoman Empire in 1918. The British, who had set up a protectorate area around the southern port of Aden in the 19th century, withdrew in 1967 from what became South Yemen. Three years later, the southern government adopted a Marxist orientation. The massive exodus of hundreds of thousands of Yemenis from the south to the north contributed to two decades of hostility between the states. The two countries were formally unified as the Republic of Yemen in 1990. A southern secessionist movement in 1994 was quickly subdued. In 2000, Saudi Arabia and Yemen agreed to a delimitation of their border.
Source: CIA World Factbook
The preventive measures you need to take while traveling in the Middle East depend on the areas you visit and the length of time you stay. You should observe the precautions listed in this document in most areas of this region. However, in highly developed areas of Israel, you should observe health precautions similar to those that would apply while traveling in the United States.
Travelers diarrhea, the number one illness in travelers, can be caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites, which can contaminate food or water. Infections may cause diarrhea and vomiting (E. coli, Salmonella, cholera, and parasites), fever (Typhoid fever and toxoplasmosis), or liver damage (hepatitis). Make sure your food and drinking water are safe.
Malaria is a serious, but preventable infection that can be fatal. Your risk of malaria may be high in these countries, including some cities. Prevent this deadly disease by seeing your health care provider for a prescription antimalarial drug and by protecting yourself against mosquito bites.
Travelers to malaria-risk areas, including infants, children, and former residents of the Middle East, should take an antimalarial drug. Travelers to some areas of Iran, Iraq, Oman, Saudi Arabia, the Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey, and Yemen may be at risk for malaria. There is no risk of malaria in Bahrain, Cyprus, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.
Chloroquine is the recommended antimalarial drug for Iraq, Syria, and Turkey.
Travelers to Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen should take one of the following antimalarial drugs: (listed alphabetically): atovaquone/proguanil, doxycycline, mefloquine, or primaquine (in special circumstances).
In Oman, the risk of malaria is in the Musandam Province only; because the risk is very limited, no antimalarial drug is needed in this area.
Dengue, filariasis, leishmaniasis, onchocerciasis, and plague are diseases carried by insects that also occur in this region. Protecting yourself against insect bites will help to prevent these diseases.
There is no risk for yellow fever in the Middle East. A certificate of yellow fever vaccination may be required for entry into certain of these countries if you are coming from countries in South America or sub-Saharan Africa. For detailed information, see Comprehensive Yellow Fever Vaccination Requirements. Also, find the nearest authorized U.S. yellow fever vaccine center.
CDC recommends the following vaccines (as appropriate for age):
See your doctor at least 46 weeks before your trip to allow time for shots to take effect.
- Hepatitis A or immune globulin (IG).
- Hepatitis B, if you might be exposed to blood (for example, health-care workers), have sexual contact with the local population, stay longer than 6 months, or be exposed through medical treatment.
- Meningococcal vaccine is required for pilgrims to Mecca for the annual Hajj. However, CDC currently recommends the vaccine for all travelers to Mecca, including those traveling for the Umra.
- Rabies, if you might be exposed to wild or domestic animals through your work or recreation.
- Typhoid, particularly if you are visiting developing countries in this region.
- As needed, booster doses for tetanus-diphtheria and measles, and a one-time dose of polio for adults. Hepatitis B vaccine is now recommended for all infants and for children ages 1112 years who have not completed the series.
All travelers should take the following precautions, no matter the destination:
- Wash hands often with soap and water.
- Because motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of injury among travelers, walk and drive defensively. Avoid travel at night if possible and always use seat belts.
- Always use latex condoms to reduce the risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.
- Dont eat or drink dairy products unless you know they have been pasteurized.
- Dont share needles with anyone.
- Eat only thoroughly cooked food or fruits and vegetables you have peeled yourself. Remember: boil it, cook it, peel it, or forget it.
- Never eat undercooked ground beef and poultry, raw eggs, and unpasteurized dairy products. Raw shellfish is particularly dangerous to persons who have liver disease or compromised immune systems.
- Drink only bottled or boiled water, or carbonated (bubbly) drinks in cans or bottles. Avoid tap water, fountain drinks, and ice cubes. If this is not possible, make water safer by BOTH filtering through an absolute 1-micron or less filter AND adding iodine tablets to the filtered water. Absolute 1-micron filters are found in camping/outdoor supply stores.
- If you visit an area where there is risk for malaria, take your malaria prevention medication before, during, and after travel, as directed. (See your doctor for a prescription.)
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites:
- Pay special attention to mosquito protection between dusk and dawn. This is when the type of mosquito whose bite transmits malaria is active.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and hats.
- Use insect repellents that contain DEET (diethylmethyltoluamide).
- Read and follow the directions and precautions on the product label.
- Apply insect repellent to exposed skin.
- Do not put repellent on wounds or broken skin.
- Do not breathe in, swallow, or get into the eyes (DEET is toxic if swallowed). If using a spray product, apply DEET to your face by spraying your hands and rubbing the product carefully over the face, avoiding eyes and mouth.
- Unless you are staying in air-conditioned or well-screened housing, purchase a bed net impregnated with the insecticide permethrin or deltamethrin. Or, spray the bed net with one of these insecticides if you are unable to find a pretreated bed net.
- DEET may be used on adults, children, and infants older than 2 months of age. Protect infants by using a carrier draped with mosquito netting with an elastic edge for a tight fit.
- Children under 10 years old should not apply insect repellent themselves. Do not apply to young children’s hands or around eyes and mouth.
- To prevent fungal and parasitic infections, keep feet clean and dry, and do not go barefoot.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
SAFETY AND SECURITY: The Department of State has received credible reports that terrorists associated with Osama bin Laden's Al-Qaeda organization have planned attacks against U.S. interests in Yemen, and the Department anticipates that threats against U.S. citizens in Yemen remain possible.
U.S. citizens are urged to exercise particular caution at locations associated with foreigners, such as the Sanaa Trade Center, American-affiliated franchises, restaurants and shops in the Hadda area in Sanaa, and in Aden and elsewhere, at restaurants and hotels frequented by expatriates. From time to time, the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa may temporarily close or suspend public services as necessary to review its security posture and ensure its adequacy. For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department's website at http://travel.state.gov where the current Worldwide Caution Public Announcement, Travel Warnings, and Public Announcements can be found.
In addition, U.S.citizens are urged to avoid contact with any suspicious, unfamiliar objects, and to report the presence of such objects to local authorities. Vehicles should not be left unattended and should be kept locked at all times. U.S.Government personnel overseas have been advised to take the same precautions. Americans in Yemen are urged to register and remain in contact with the American Embassy in Sanaa for updated security information (see section on Registration/Embassy location).
In November 2002, there was an attack on an American company helicopter, in which there were a few injuries. On December 30, 2002, three Americans were killed and another was injured in an attack on a hospital near the city of Ibb. The perpetrators of both attacks were apprehended and prosecuted. Nevertheless, these incidents indicate a continuing level of risk for foreigners in Yemen.
RELIGIOUS EXTREMISTS: Yemeni government security organizations have arrested and expelled foreign Muslims, including Americans, who have associated with local Muslim organizations considered to be extremist by security organs of the Yemeni government. The situations mentioned in the above paragraph on Safety and Security have served to make Yemeni authorities, if anything, more suspicious of foreign Muslims. Americans risk arrest if they engage in either political or other activities that violate the terms of their admission to Yemen.
AREAS OF INSTABILITY: Travel on roads between cities throughout Yemen can be dangerous. Yemeni security officials advise against casual travel to rural areas. Travel is particularly dangerous in the tribal areas north and east of Sanaa, in Shabwa and Abyan provinces, close to the border with Saudi Arabia, and sailing near the Socotra Islands in the Gulf of Aden. If travel to these areas is necessary, travelers may reduce the risk to personal security if such travel is undertaken by air. If travel through these areas is necessary, risk may be reduced if travel is undertaken with an armed escort provided by a local tour company. Armed carjacking, especially of four-wheel drive vehicles, occurs in many parts of the country, including the capital.
Americans should avoid areas where demonstrations are taking place. In the past, increases in the price of diesel fuel and other commodities have resulted in civil disturbances in urban areas. Other potential hazards to travelers include land mines and unexploded ordnance from the 1994 civil war. This is of particular concern in areas where fighting took place in the six southern provinces. However, most minefields have been identified and cordoned off.
CRIME: The most serious problems affecting travelers to Yemen is carjacking. Travelers have rarely been victims of petty street crime. The loss or theft of a U.S. passport abroad should be reported immediately to local police and the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If you are the victim of a crime while overseas, in addition to reporting to the local police, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for assistance. The Embassy/Consulate staff can, for example, assist you to find appropriate medical care, to contact family members or friends and explains how funds could be transferred. Although the investigation and prosecution of the crimes is solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find and attorney if needed.
U.S. citizens may refer to the Department of State's pamphlets A Safe Trip Abroad and Tips for Travel to the Middle East and North Africa for ways to promote a trouble-free journey. These pamphlets are available by mail from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402, via the Internet at http:// www.gpoaccess.gov, or via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov.
Source: U.S. Department of State
mostly desert; hot and humid along west coast; temperate in western mountains affected by seasonal monsoon; extraordinarily hot, dry, harsh desert in east
Source: CIA World Factbook
Yemen's electrical current is 220/50 (volts/hz) and uses the plug adaptors listed to the right under Related Items. Many North American appliances are designed to operate only within the 100-125 volt range. These appliances will suffer damage if plugged into 220-250 volts without the proper transformer or converter.
To determine which plug adaptors you'll need and if you'll require a transformer or converter, use our Electrical Connection Wizard.
For a detailed discussion of international electrical standards, see our related article on Electrical and Phone Adaptation.
ENTRY/EXIT REQUIREMENTS: Passports and visas are required for travel to Yemen. All travelers to Yemen should have an affiliation with and arrange their travel through a Yemen-based individual or organization. Tourists must arrange their travel through a travel agency. Business travelers should have their Yemeni contacts arrange their travel. Americans who plan to study in Yemen should have their school or institution in Yemen arrange their travel. All travelers should then go to their nearest Yemeni consular official in the U.S. and obtain the appropriate visa prior to travel.
For more details, travelers can contact the Embassy of the Republic of Yemen, Suite 705, 2600 Virginia Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20037, telephone 202-965-4760; or the Yemen Mission to the U.N., 866 United Nations Plaza, Room 435, New York, N.Y. 10017, telephone (212) 355-1730. The Yemeni Embassy in Washington maintains a homepage at http://www.yemenembassy.org.
Some American Muslims who have come to Yemen for tourism or Islamic studies at Yemeni schools and had appropriate visas, nevertheless have been detained by Yemeni security officials who seized their passports. In such instances, the U.S. citizens were told their passports would be returned when they departed the country. Some Americans studying in Yemen without official permission have been arrested and/or deported.
Upon arrival in Yemen, travelers should register within the first month at the Immigration Authority in Sanaa or at any police station in the district where they are residing. Long-term residents should re-register when they change their residence.
In an effort to prevent international parental child abduction, many governments have initiated procedures at entry/exit points. These often include requiring documentary evidence of the relationship and permission for the child's travel from the parent(s) or legal guardian if not present. Having such documentation on hand, even if not required, may facilitate entry/departure.
Source: U.S. Department of State
The time zone for Yemen is 3 hours offset from GMT, which means that if it is 12:00 noon in New York, the time in Yemen would be 8:00 pm
The unit of currency in Yemen is the Yemeni rial (YER).
Look up the current exchange rate using XE.com's Universal Currency Converter
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