YemenOfficial Name: Republic of Yemen
Must be valid for six months at time of entry.
BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:
One page is required for entry stamp
TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:
Yes. Must be obtained at Yemeni embassies and consulates abroad.
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:
Embassies and Consulates
Dhahr Himyar Zone,
Sheraton Hotel District
Telephone: +(967) (1) 755-2000, extension 2153 or 2266
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(967) (1) 755-2000 (press 0 for emergencies) or +(967) 733-213-509 or +(967) 1 755-2000 EXT. 2153 or 2266
Fax: +(967) 1 303-175
The Republic of Yemen was established in 1990 following unification of the former Yemen Arab Republic (North) and the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen (South). Islamic and traditional ideals, beliefs, and practices provide the foundation of the country's customs and laws. Yemen is a developing country and modern tourist facilities are available only in major cities. Read the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Yemen for additional information
Entry, Exit & Visa Requirements
Passports and visas are required for travel to Yemen. Visas must be obtained from Yemeni embassies or consulates abroad. All visitors to Yemen are required to obtain a visa prior to travel; airport visas will not be issued upon arrival. U.S. citizens are typically issued visas that are valid for 30 days.
Travelers to Yemen are not required to have an affiliation with or arrange travel through a Yemeni-based individual or organization. However, at the port of entry, a traveler may be asked for supporting evidence of character, purpose of visit, and length of stay.
Travelers are initially granted a visa to visit Sanaa or Aden and must obtain permission from the tourist police if the traveler would like to visit other parts of Yemen. Travelers without permission risk arrest and detention.
Yemeni law requires that all visitors/tourists register at a Yemeni police station or at the Passport and Immigration Authority within two weeks of arrival to Yemen. Failure to register will result in complications upon departure and a possible fine of 5,000 Yemeni Riyals (approximately $23.00 USD).
If a traveler overstays the duration of stay granted by Yemeni authorities at the port of entry, the traveler must pay 300 Yemeni Riyal (approximately $1.50 USD) per day in overstay fines and obtain an exit visa from the Passport and Immigration Authority before being allowed to depart Yemen.
Yemeni law requires that foreign travelers staying longer than 30 days obtain exit visas before leaving the country. If staying in Yemen for less than 30 days, an exit visa is not required.
Travelers wishing to extend their stay beyond 30 days must file an extension with the Passport and Immigration Authority. The Passport and Immigration Authority requires a non-refundable fee of 4,400 Yemeni Riyal (approximately $20 USD) for a one-time extension of 30 days. Further extensions may not be approved.
Residence permits are issued by the Passport and Immigration Authority. In order to obtain a residence permit, U.S. citizens must be sponsored by a Yemen-based individual or organization. U.S. citizens with a valid residence permit wishing to leave Yemen are required to obtain an exit visa from the Passport and Immigration Authority. The exit (and re-entry) visa is typically valid for two months from the date of issuance or until the date the residence permit expires, whichever comes first. The Passport and Immigration Authority will not issue an exit visa until the sponsoring organization or individual gives permission for an exit visa to be granted.
In certain situations, however, foreign visitors (travelers and residents) are required to obtain exit visas from the Immigration and Passport Authority headquarters in Sanaa regardless of their legal status in Yemen. These circumstances may include, but are not limited to:
- Foreigners who have overstayed their permitted length of stay granted by Yemeni authorities at the port of entry.
- U.S. citizen children with Yemeni or Yemeni-American parents and who are not exiting Yemen with their parents or who are only exiting Yemen with their mother. Yemeni law recognizes those who may have a claim to Yemeni citizenship as Yemeni, even if they do not hold a Yemeni passport.
- Foreigners who have lost the passport containing their entry visa and entry stamp;
- Foreign residents whose residence visas are based on employment or study in Yemen, marriage to a Yemeni citizen, or their relationship to a Yemeni parent.
- Foreign residents who have pending legal action, including court-based "holds" on family members' travel.
A lost passport can cause considerable delay. Yemeni law requires that a traveler attempt to recover the passport by placing an advertisement in a newspaper and waiting three days for a response before starting the process of reporting the passport lost/stolen with the local police.
Even if the U.S. Embassy is able to replace a lost/stolen U.S. passport, Yemeni authorities may require U.S. citizens to complete these procedures prior to departing Yemen with the replacement passport.
All minor/underage U.S. citizens should be accompanied by their legal guardian(s) or provide a notarized letter in Arabic of parental consent when obtaining exit visas to depart Yemen. U.S. citizen women who are married to Yemeni or Yemeni-American men often must obtain permission from their husbands before receiving an exit visa. They also may not be permitted to take their children out of Yemen without permission from the father, regardless of who has legal custody of the children.
In sum, in the types of cases described above and in other complex cases, obtaining an exit visa requires the permission of one of the following: the employing company, the sponsoring Yemeni family member, the sponsoring school, or the court in which the legal action is pending. Without this permission, foreigners -- including U.S. citizens -- may not be allowed to leave Yemen.
The Yemeni government rigidly enforces restrictions on prior travel to Israel, and does not allow persons with passports bearing Israeli visas or entry/exit stamps to enter the country. Likewise, the absence of entry stamps from a country adjacent to Israel, which the traveler has just visited, may cause Yemeni immigration officials to refuse admittance.
Yemen has imposed HIV/AIDS travel restrictions on travelers to and foreign residents of Yemen. U.S. citizens will not be permitted entry if Yemeni authorities are aware of a traveler’s HIV positive status, and U.S. citizens must test negative for HIV/AIDS before being granted a residence visa. Please verify this information with the Embassy of the Republic of Yemen before traveling.
All international journalists are required to have a journalist’s visa, which may take a month or more to obtain. Further information is available on the Journalist Visa page of the website of the Embassy of the Republic of Yemen in Washington, D.C.
For further information, contact the Embassy of the Republic of Yemen, 2319 Wyoming Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 20008, telephone 202-965-4760, or the Yemeni Mission to the U.N., 413 E 51st Street, New York, NY 10022, telephone (212) 355-1730. Also visit the Yemeni Embassy website.
Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our website. For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information page.
Safety and Security
The Department of State urges U.S. citizens not to travel to Yemen. U.S. citizens currently in Yemen should depart. The security threat level in Yemen is extremely high due to terrorist activities and civil unrest. While political violence in Sanaa has calmed over the last year, political protests can escalate quickly without notice. Terrorist organizations continue to plan attacks against private U.S. citizens and U.S. government interests throughout Yemen.
The U.S. government considers the potential threat to U.S. government personnel in Yemen to be serious enough to require them to live and work under strict security guidelines. All U.S. government employees under the authority of the U.S. Chief of Mission are restricted in their movements and cannot travel outside of Sanaa. In addition, movements within Sanaa are severely constrained by the fluid security situation. The U.S. Embassy in Sanaa remains a restricted staffing post, and as staff levels at the Embassy are restricted, our ability to offer routine consular services and to assist U.S. citizens in an emergency remains limited.
Terrorist organizations, including al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), continue to be active throughout Yemen. The U.S. government remains highly concerned about possible attacks against U.S. citizens, facilities, businesses, and perceived U.S. and Western interests. Terrorists often do not distinguish between U.S. government personnel and private U.S. citizens. Terrorists may target areas frequented by Westerners, such as tourist sites, hotels, restaurants, grocery stores, and other frequently visited areas. U.S. citizens are urged to maintain a high level of vigilance and be aware of their surroundings.
AQAP remains an active threat and continues to plan attacks against U.S. personnel and interests in Yemen. AQAP publicly claimed responsibility for the December 5, 2013 attack against the Yemen Ministry of Defense in the capital, which killed dozens of Yemenis and foreigners. and has also claimed responsibility for a number of kidnappings of westerners. AQAP has also claimed responsibility for numerous other attacks and kidnappings, including the attempted attack aboard Northwest Airlines flight 253 on December 25, 2009. In the same statement, the group also made threats against Westerners working in embassies and elsewhere. A U.S. citizen was attacked and killed in Taiz on March 18, 2012, and AQAP later claimed responsibility. On May 8, 2012, international media reported an AQAP plot to blow up a U.S.-bound airliner using a refined improvised explosive device. AQAP also claimed responsibility for a May 21, 2012 suicide bombing in Sanaa which killed over 90 Yemeni soldiers. A Yemeni employee of the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa was assassinated by AQAP gunmen on October 11, 2012.
There have been numerous other terrorist incidents in Sanaa. On July 11, 2012, at least nine people were killed when a suicide bomber targeted cadets at the Sanaa Police Academy as they were leaving class. On November 28, 2012, a Saudi diplomat and his bodyguard were shot and killed in an ambush in the Hadda district of Sanaa, which is home to many Westerners. The U.S. Embassy in Sanaa evacuated all non-essential personnel for six months from August 2013 to February 2014 out of an abundance of caution in consideration of threats emanating from AQAP.
U.S. citizens remain vulnerable to kidnappings and terrorist attacks, especially when in transit to and from residences or workplaces. All U.S. citizens are reminded to vary their routes and times, remain vigilant, report suspicious incidents to the Embassy, lock car windows and doors, and carry a cell phone. Throughout the country, U.S. citizens are urged to exercise particular caution at locations where large groups of expatriates have gathered. Over the last several months, AQAP and criminal gangs allied with AQAP have successfully kidnapped multiple Westerners throughout Yemen, including within the capital city of Sanaa. Local and international media reported the kidnapping of a British NGO worker and a British employee of an oil company in February 2014. As of April 2014, their whereabouts remain unknown. On December 21, 2012, AQAP militants kidnapped three Westerners in the governmental and commercial center of Sanaa. A Norwegian national working for the United Nations was abducted on January 15, 2012 in the Hadda neighborhood of Sanaa. Tribesmen also released six U.N. aid workers in Yemen in early February 2012, two days after they were kidnapped, to secure the release of a prisoner.
U.S. citizens in Yemen should exercise caution and take prudent security measures in all areas, especially those areas frequented by Westerners, including maintaining a high level of vigilance, avoiding crowds and demonstrations, keeping a low profile, varying times and routes for all travel, and making contingency emergency plans such as ensuring travel documents are current.
Travel is particularly dangerous in the tribal areas, where kidnappings have frequently occurred. On May 24, 2010, armed Yemeni tribesmen kidnapped two U.S. citizen tourists and their Yemeni driver and translator near Sanaa. In May of 2011 three French aid workers based in Sayun, Hadramaut were kidnapped by AQAP members. They were eventually released in November 2011.
There is ongoing civil unrest throughout Yemen, related to the ongoing political transition following a year of protests against the regime of longtime President Ali Abdullah Saleh. Demonstrations continue to take place in various parts of the country and are common in cities across Yemen including, but not limited to, Sanaa, Taiz, Hudaidah, and Aden. Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence. U.S. citizens should avoid areas of demonstrations, and exercise caution if in the vicinity of any large gatherings, protests, or demonstrations. The U.S. Embassy in Sanaa closed for several days in September 2012 after hundreds of violent protesters stormed the Embassy compound and looted and vandalized property, causing millions of dollars in damage.
Since 2011, there has been ongoing unrest in Aden and surrounding areas in the south of the country. Anti-government protests, demonstrations by a secessionist movement, and increased terrorist activity by AQAP and associated groups have raised tensions in the city and have resulted in serious injury and loss of life. In February 2013, several individuals, including a U.S. citizen, were injured by gunfire during anti-government demonstrations in Aden. On July 20, 2011, a UK citizen working as a maritime security contractor was killed when his car exploded in a residential neighborhood in Aden. AQAP is suspected in the attack, and in a series of other attacks against Yemeni security and government personnel over the last several years.
The Yemeni government fought a prolonged war against Houthi rebels in the north of the country between 2004 and 2010. The government declared a ceasefire, but the fighting, which originated in the Sa’ada governorate, continues between the Houthis and their tribal adversaries in northern Yemen, and has spread to the neighboring governorates of Al-Jawf, Amran, and Hajja. In late 2011 and early 2012, hundreds of Houthi militants and other armed irregular forces were killed in Sa’ada and Hajja governorates, and the violence recently flared up again in December 2013, resulting in significant loss of life, including the death of a U.S. citizen resident in Sa’ada.The fighting is ongoing, extremely violent,and unpredictable. Anti-American sentiment is also higher in the north than in other parts of Yemen, and U.S. citizens are cautioned against travelling in the region.
The Iranian government continues to support the Houthi rebel movement, and the Houthis publicly espouse an anti-American agenda. As reported in local and international media, in late January 2013, Yemeni security forces seized an Iranian boat bound for Yemen containing weapons, explosives, and money for the rebels.
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 locked at all times. U.S. citizens in Yemen are urged to register and remain in contact with the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa for updated security information (see the section on Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)/Embassy Location above). From time to time, the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa may temporarily close or suspend public services to review its security posture.
Travel on roads between cities throughout Yemen is dangerous. Armed carjacking, especially of four-wheel-drive vehicles, occurs in many parts of the country, including the capital. Yemeni security officials advise against travel to rural areas. The U.S. Embassy restricts the travel of its own personnel within Yemen, and the Government of Yemen may also place restrictions on U.S. citizens traveling outside Sanaa. Based on previous abductions of foreigners in Yemen, the Embassy recommends that U.S. citizens in Yemen avoid traveling between cities by car or bus. If travel to any of these areas is unavoidable, travelers may reduce the risk to personal security if such travel is undertaken by air. For additional information on travel by road in Yemen, see the Traffic Safety and Road Conditions section below.
Piracy in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, and Indian Ocean is also a security threat to maritime activities in the region. Boats and ships traveling through the Red Sea or the Gulf of Aden, including near the island of Socotra, are at risk of pirate attacks. In the last several years, there were hundreds of documented pirate attacks in Yemeni territorial waters in the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea. Many of these crew members are currently being held for ransom. The threat of piracy extends into the Indian Ocean off the Horn of Africa as well. For further information, see the Department of State’s International Maritime Piracy Fact Sheet and the United States Maritime Administration (MARAD) advisory on vessels transiting high risk waters.
MARAD has also advised that elevated regional tensions have increased the risk of maritime attacks being conducted by extremists to vessels operating in the Gulf of Oman, North Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden, and the Bab el Mandeb regions.
MARAD recommends vessels at anchor, operating in restricted maneuvering environments, or at slow speeds should be especially vigilant, and report suspicious activity. U.S. flag vessels that observe suspicious activity in the area are advised to report such suspicious activity or any hostile or potentially hostile action to COMUSNAVCENT battlewatch captain at phone number 011-973-1785-3879. All suspicious activities and events are also to be reported to the U.S. Coast Guard National Response Center at the following toll free telephone: 1-800-424-8802, direct telephone 202-267-2675, or TDD 202-267-4477. The advisories are available on the MARAD website.
Other potential hazards to travelers include land mines and unexploded ordnance from the 1994 civil war and other conflicts. This is of particular concern in the six southern provinces and in the northern highlands.Most minefields have been identified and cordoned off, but there are still undetected and unidentified minefields in Yemen.
To stay connected:
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program so we can keep you up to date with important safety and security announcements.
- Follow the Bureau of Consular Affairs on Twitter and Facebook.
- Bookmark the Bureau of Consular Affairs website, which contains the current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts as well as the Worldwide Caution.
- Follow the U.S. Embassy in Yemen by visiting the Embassy’s website.
- In the event of an emergency, contact us at 1-888-407-4747 toll-free within the United States and Canada, or via a regular toll line, 1-202-501-4444, from other countries.
- Take some time before traveling to consider your personal security and checking for useful tips for traveling safely abroad.
CRIME: Yemen is considered a medium to high threat environment for crime. Common petty or street crime exists in cities, particularly when valuables and cash are left in plain view. Burglaries and home invasions are not common, but violence against expatriates has risen in recent years in large part due to increased AQAP activity, civil unrest, and current economic conditions. There has also been an increase in reports of carjacking’s and assassinations, including within the expatriate community. The Yemeni justice system is slow and inefficient. Government ineffectiveness also led to a rise in crimes such as forgeries of land deeds and vehicle documents and corrupt business transactions. Local police forces are largely unaccountable, and frequently make arrests (including of U.S. citizens) on the request of influential families and tribes. Yemeni authorities rarely inform the U.S. Embassy when a U.S. citizen is arrested.
The ongoing political transition is expected to result in improvements to the functioning of Yemen’s judicial system and other government agencies; however, the process will be slow, and travelers should not rely on significant assistance from the Yemeni government in the near term.
U.S. citizens are advised not to buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. The bootlegs are illegal in the United States.
VICTIMS OF CRIME: If you or someone you know becomes the victim of a crime abroad, you should contact the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. We can:
- Replace a stolen passport.
- Help you find appropriate medical care if you are the victim of violent crimes such as assault or rape.
- Put you in contact with the appropriate police authorities, and if you want us to, contact family members or friends.
- Help you understand the local criminal justice process and direct you to local attorneys, although it is important to remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.
The local equivalent to the “911” emergency line in Yemen is 199, but operators do not speak English.
Please see our information for victims of crime, including possible victim compensation programs in the United States.
Local Laws & Special Circumstances
CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While traveling in Yemen or another country, all travelers are subject to its laws even if they are U.S. citizens. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different than our own. In Yemen, foreign travelers may be taken in for questioning if they don’t have their passport with them. It is also illegal to take pictures of military installations or troops. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can land the driver immediately in jail. The criminal penalties in Yemen may be very different from what U.S. citizens are accustomed to in the United States.
There are also some things that might be legal in a foreign country, but still illegal in the United States, and travelers can still be prosecuted under U.S. law. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime prosecutable in the United States. If a U.S. citizen breaks local laws in Yemen, his/her U.S. passport won’t prevent arrest or prosecution. When traveling, it’s very important to know what’s legal and what’s not in the foreign country.
Persons violating Yemeni laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Yemen are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. The use of the mild stimulant "qat” or “khat" is legal and common in Yemen, but it is considered an illegal substance in many other countries, including the United States. Do not attempt to bring qat back to the United States; the penalties for trafficking qat include heavy fines and possible imprisonment.
Arrest notifications in host country: While some countries will automatically notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate if a U.S. citizen is detained or arrested in a foreign country, the U.S. Embassy is rarely informed when U.S. citizens are arrested in Yemen. To ensure that the United States is aware of the arrest or detention, it is important to request that the police and prison officials notify the U.S. Embassy as soon as possible.
SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES: U.S. citizens are encouraged to carry a photocopy of their U.S. passport with them at all times so that, if questioned by local officials, they will have proof of their identity and U.S. citizenship.
Photography of military installations, including airports, equipment, or troops is forbidden. In the past, such photography has led to the arrest of U.S. citizens. Military sites are not always obvious. If in doubt, it is wise to ask specific permission from Yemeni authorities.
The Government of Yemen may not recognize the U.S. citizenship of persons who are citizens of both Yemen and the United States. Yemeni law recognizes those who have a claim to Yemeni citizenship as Yemeni, even if they do not hold a Yemeni passport. This may hinder the ability of U.S. consular officials to assist U.S. citizens of Yemeni descent -- even if they use their U.S. passport to enter Yemen. Dual nationals may also be subject to Yemeni national obligations such as taxes or military service. For further information, travelers can contact the nearest embassy or consulate of Yemen.
U.S. citizens who travel to Yemen are subject to the jurisdiction of Yemeni courts, as well as to the country's laws, customs, and regulations. This holds true for all legal matters, including child custody and travel restrictions. Women in custody disputes in Yemen will not enjoy the same rights that they do in the United States, as Yemeni law often does not work in favor of the mother. Parents planning to travel to Yemen with their children should bear this in mind. Parents should also note that U.S. custody orders might not be enforced in Yemen.
U.S. citizen women who are married to Yemeni or Yemeni-American men should be aware that their children may not be able to depart if the children are brought to Yemen. In many instances, women must obtain permission from their husbands to obtain an exit visa. They also may not be able to take their children out of Yemen without the permission of the father, regardless of who has legal custody (see the section on Entry/Exit Requirements for U.S. Citizens above.) Women should bear in mind that U.S. divorce decrees may not be recognized in Yemen, especially if the marriage took place in Yemen. U.S. citizen women who have married in Yemen and divorced in the United States have been prevented from departing Yemen by their ex-husbands.
U.S. citizen students and workers in Yemen have reported that the sponsors of their residence permits have seized their U.S. passports as a means of controlling domestic and international travel. While sponsors may claim to do so on behalf of local security services, there is no law or instruction from Yemeni passport or security offices requiring that passports be seized. Other U.S. citizens have been prevented from leaving Yemen because their sponsors have refused to give permission for the Passport and Immigration Authority to issue an exit visa.
Yemeni government security organizations have arrested and expelled foreign Muslims, including U.S. citizens, who have associated with local Muslim organizations considered to be extremist by the Yemeni government. U.S. citizens risk arrest if they engage in political or other activities that violate the terms of their admission to Yemen.
If you are a woman traveling abroad, please review our travel tips for Women Travelers.
LGBT RIGHTS: Consensual same-sex sexual relations are criminalized in Yemen. Penalties include fines, jail time, or death. Although the U.S. Embassy is not aware of any recent arrests or prosecutions for such activities, they remain illegal. For more detailed information about LGBT rights in Yemen, you may review the State Department’s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2013. For further information on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) travel, please read our LGBT Travel Information page.
Travelers should be aware that although automated teller machines (ATMs) are becoming more prevalent in major cities, they are still not widely available in Yemen. Credit cards are not widely accepted.
ACCESSIBILITY: While in Yemen, travelers with disabilities will find accessibility and accommodation much more difficult from what they find in the United States. No national law in Yemen mandates accessibility of buildings for persons with disabilities.
Outside Sanaa and Aden, modern medical facilities are not readily available and emergency ambulance services are limited and often have attendants with little to no medical training. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services. It is important to bring an adequate supply of prescription medications for the duration of the traveler’s time outside the United States. While many prescription drugs are available in Yemen, quality control is uneven, and the particular drug a traveler needs may not be available.
You can find detailed information on vaccinations and other health precautions on the CDC website. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad, consult the World Health Organization (WHO) website, which contains additional health information for travelers, including detailed country-specific health information.
Travel & Transportation
TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: The security situation throughout Yemen remains dangerous, and travel to urban and rural areas is restricted for U.S. government personnel. All U.S. government employees are required to travel in armored vehicles when traveling outside secure facilities.
Yemeni security officials advise against travel to rural areas, and the Government of Yemen sometimes places restrictions on U.S. citizens travelling outside Sanaa. Please check with local security officials for the latest restrictions.
Road conditions in Yemen differ significantly from those in the United States. Travel by road in Yemen should be considered risky. Within cities, although minivans and small buses maintain somewhat regular routes, they pick up and drop off passengers with little notice or regard for other vehicles. Taxis and public transportation are widely available, but the vehicles may lack safety standards and equipment. Western women have reported incidents of sexual harassment by taxi drivers, especially at night.
Despite the presence of traffic lights and traffic policemen, drivers are urged to exercise extreme caution, especially at intersections. While traffic laws exist, they are rarely enforced and not adhered to by motorists. Drivers sometimes drive on the left side of the road, although right-hand driving is specified by Yemeni law. No laws mandate the use of seat belts or car seats for children. The maximum speed for private cars is 100 kilometers per hour (62.5 miles per hour), but speed limits are rarely enforced. A large number of underage and unlicensed drivers are on the roads. Many vehicles are in poor repair and lack basic parts such as headlights, taillights, functional turn signals, or doors.
Pedestrians, especially children, on the roads constitute a hazard in both rural and urban areas. Pedestrians frequently cross the street without regard for oncoming traffic. Animals may cross the road without warning in both cities and rural areas. Beyond the main intra-city roads, which are usually paved and in fair condition, rural roads generally require four-wheel-drive vehicles or vehicles with high clearance. Many rural roads are in poor condition, and mountainous roads often are not equipped with safety railings. Drivers should take special caution in the spring and fall, when rainstorms can cause flash flooding on roads in both urban and rural areas.
Travelers should be aware of the existence of minefields that remain from Yemen's civil wars. Traveling off well-used tracks without an experienced guide is extremely hazardous, particularly in parts of the south and the central highlands.
There are strict penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Additionally, reckless driving that causes an accident resulting in injury could result in a fine and/or prison sentence. If the accident results in death, the driver faces a maximum of three years in prison and/or a fine. Under traditional Yemeni practice, victims' families negotiate monetary compensation from the driver proportionate to the extent of the injuries -- a larger amount if the victim dies. Westerners involved in traffic accidents -- including minor fender benders -- face increased risk of extortion.
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Yemen, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of Yemen’s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.
Assistance for U.S. Citizens
U.S. Embassy Sana'a
Dhahr Himyar Zone,
Sheraton Hotel District