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Yemen landscape

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Yemen Travel Guide

Key Facts

536,869 sq km (207,217 sq miles).


25.3 million (2013).

Population density

47.2 per sq km.




Republic since 1990.

Head of state

President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi since 2012.

Head of government

Prime Minister Mohammed Basindawa since 2011.


220/230 volts AC, 50Hz. Flat two-pin, round three-pin and square three-pin plugs are used.

Yemen is authentic Arabia, an antidote to Arabian Gulf bling, and the Peninsula’s most fascinating destination.

Recognised by UNESCO, Sana’a’s multi storey tower houses and ancient Souk Al Milh lend an overwhelming sense of otherness. Being woken pre-dawn by competing muezzins, from just some of the city’s 40-ish mosques, only adds to the effect.

Outside the capital, explore fortified cliff-top villages overseeing cultivated plains or hike the foothills of the Haraz Mountains. To the east, walk the shady streets of Shibam, Freya Stark’s ‘Manhattan of the Desert’, where nine-storey mud towers stand testament to Yemeni building skills. On the coast, visit the bustling fishing ports of Al Mukalla or Al Huydaydah. Most remote is Yemen’s ‘Arabian Galapagos’, the Socotra archipelago. Cast adrift at the mouth of the Gulf of Aden, Socotra is two hours by air from Sana’a. Here 37% of plant species, 90% of reptiles and an estimated 90% of invertebrates are found no where else on earth.

Once characterised as Arabia Felix (Fortunate Arabia) by the Romans, these days an uncertain security profile deters all but the hardiest travellers.

Travel warning: Due to ongoing violent clashes in Yemen, the Foreign Office in the UK advises against all travel to the country. Any remaining British nationals in Yemen should leave as soon as they can.

Travel Advice

Last updated: 29 January 2015

The travel advice summary below is provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. 'We' refers to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. For their full travel advice, visit

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) continue to advise against all travel to Yemen and strongly urge British nationals to leave.

The level of consular assistance we can provide to British nationals in Yemen is extremely limited. You are strongly advised to leave the country now by commercial means. The British government will not be able to evacuate you if you remain in Yemen against this advice.

If you do choose to remain you should minimise movement around the country and within cities and towns and follow the other precautions in this travel advice.

Visitors to our Embassy in Sana’a are strictly by appointment only; if you need urgent consular assistance, or would like to make an appointment to see the Consular Team, call either +967 1308 114 and follow the instructions given, or +44 (0) 20 7008 1500.

There is a high threat from terrorism throughout Yemen and specific methods of attack are evolving and increasing in sophistication. Terrorists continue to threaten further attacks. Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has previously targeted western interests and Houthis, and there could be a threat to commercial sites, transport infrastructure, diplomatic missions and any place where westerners or Houthis gather.

There is a very high threat of kidnap from armed tribes, criminals and terrorists. In 2014, a number of foreign nationals were kidnapped, and groups actively continue to target westerners. In February and March 2014, there were at least 3 separate kidnap attempts against well-protected westerners.

On 21 September 2014 the Government of Yemen and the Houthi-led Ansar Allah party signed a Peace and National Partnership Agreement to end Houthi aggression towards the capital. Since then the Houthis have occupied key positions, including government ministries, in Sana’a and established their presence in governorates to the south, east and west of Sana’a including Hodeida, Dhamar, al Bayda and Marib. This has led to significant armed clashes between Houthi forces and other armed groups, including AQAP and tribes.

On 19 January, fighting broke out between the Presidential Guard and Houthis near the Presidential Palace. On 22 January the President, Prime Minister, and Cabinet resigned. The political situation is volatile and fluid, and the threat of further escalation of violence and disorder across the country remains. In response to the instability in Sana’a, southern secessionists have increased their protests and activity in Aden. Demonstrations could occur at short notice across Yemen and may well turn violent

Houthis continue to man checkpoints in Sana’a and other parts of the country, several of which are manned by armed children. AQAP continue to target Houthi checkpoints, and Houthis in general. Since October 2014, there have been a number of large-scale attacks on Houthis.

Sana’a International Airport remains open to both international and domestic flights. International flights are also operating out of Aden airport. Airlines continue to monitor the situation closely and may delay or cancel flights with little or no notice. Check with your airline before you travel to the airport.

Piracy is a significant threat in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean.

Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.