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Yemen

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 lawsYemen is a developing country and modern tourist facilities are widely available only in major cities. Read the Department of State Background Notes on Yemen for additional information.

 

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 COUNTRY OVERVIEW
Country Name: Yemen
Continent: Middle East
Capital City: Sana'a
Boundary Countries:

Oman, Saudi Arabia

Recommended Hospitals in Capital:
Main Cities:

Sana'a, Habarut, Ta'izz, Sa'dah, Al Hudaydah, Ibb, Aden, Al Mukalla, Al Ghayday, Nishtun, Sayhut, As Salif, Say' un

Country Size: 527,970 sq km
Population: 23,013,376

 

COUNTRY GENERAL INFORMATION
Language:

Arabic

Currency: Yemeni rial (YER)
Predominant Religions:

Muslim including Shaf'i (Sunni) and Zaydi (Shi'a), small numbers of Jewish, Christian, and Hindu

National Holidays: Unification Day, 22 May (1990)
Economic Status:

Yemen, one of the poorest countries in the Arab world, reported average annual growth in the range of 3-4% from 2000 through 2007. Its economic fortunes depend mostly on declining oil resources, but the country is trying to diversify its earnings.

Security:

Army (includes Republican Guard), Navy (includes Marines), Yemen Air Force (Al Quwwat al Jawwiya al Jamahiriya al Yemeniya; includes Air Defense Force)

US Presence:

U.S. Embassy Sana’a
Dhahr Himyar Zone, Sheraton Hotel District, PO Box 22347
Telephone: (967) (1) 755-2000, extension 2153 or 2266
(Emergency after-hours telephone: (967) (1) 755-2000 (press 0 for extension) or (967) 733-213-509

Document Requirements:

Passports and visas are required for travel to Yemen. Visas may be obtained at Yemeni Embassies abroad; all travelers to Yemen can also potentially obtain entry visas at ports of entry. Travelers to Yemen are no longer required to have an affiliation with and arrange their travel through a Yemeni-based individual or organization to enter Yemen. However, individuals may be asked for supporting evidence of their character, purpose of visit and length of stay. Upon arrival at ports of entry, travelers may be issued a visa valid for a maximum of three months.

Yemeni law requires that all foreigners traveling in Yemen obtain exit visas before leaving the country. In cases of travelers with valid tourist visas and without any special circumstances (like those listed below), this exit visa is obtained automatically at the port of exit as long as the traveler has not overstayed the terms of the visa.

In certain situations, however, foreigners are required to obtain exit visas from the Immigration and Passport Authority headquarters in Sanaa. These cases may include, but are not limited to, foreigners who have overstayed the validity date of their visa; U.S.-citizen children with Yemeni or Yemeni-American parents who are not exiting Yemen with them; foreigners who have lost the passport containing their entry visa; foreign residents whose residence visas are based on their employment or study in Yemen, marriage to a Yemeni citizen, or relationship to a Yemeni parent; or foreign residents who have pending legal action (including court-based "holds" on family members' travel). The loss of a passport can result in considerable delay to a traveler because Yemeni law requires that the traveler attempt to recover the passport by placing an advertisement in a newspaper and waiting three days for a response. All minor/underage U.S. citizens should be accompanied by their legal guardian(s) and/or provide a notarized letter in Arabic of parental consent when obtaining exit visas to depart Yemen. In all of these more complex cases, obtaining an exit visa requires the permission of 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.

American women who also hold Yemeni nationality and/or are married to Yemeni or Yemeni-American men often must obtain permission from their husbands for exit visas. They also may not take their children out of Yemen without the permission of the father, regardless of who has custody (see Special Circumstances section below).

For more details, travelers can contact the Embassy of the Republic of Yemen, Suite 705, 2600 Virginia Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037, telephone 202-965-4760; or the Yemeni Mission to the U.N., 866 United Nations Plaza, Room 435, New York, NY 10017, telephone (212) 355-1730. Visit the Yemeni Embassy web page for more visa information.

Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our web site. For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information sheet.

Major Airports:

Aden International Airport (ADE/OYAA) 
Tel: +967 (0)2 43626, +967 (0)2 31545, +967 (0)3 21682
Fax: +967 (0)2 231383

Servicing Airlines:
Risks and Precautions:

US Dept. of State Travel Warning Updated October 15, 2010 http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_936.html

The Department of State warns US citizens of the high security threat level in Yemen due to terrorist activities. The Department strongly recommends that US citizens defer non-essential travel to Yemen. US citizens remaining in Yemen despite this warning should make contingency emergency plans and monitor the U.S. Embassy website. This replaces the Travel Warning for Yemen issued February 25, 2010, to update information on security incidents and concerns.
Terrorist organizations are active in Yemen, including Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). AQAP claimed responsibility for a September 25, 2010, attack in Sana’a during which two unidentified gunmen fired on a bus belonging to the Political Security Organization (PSO). Ten Yemeni security agents were wounded, two seriously. AQAP also publicly claimed responsibility for the attempted attack aboard Northwest Airlines flight 253 on December 25, 2009, declaring it a response to “American interference in Yemen.” In the same statement, the group made threats against Westerners working in embassies and elsewhere.
There have been other terrorist incidents in Sana’a. On October 6, 2010, the motorcade of the British Deputy Head of Mission was attacked by an unknown number of assailants. One member of the British Embassy staff was injured. On April 26, 2010, the motorcade of the British Ambassador to Yemen was attacked in Sana’a by a lone suicide bomber. The US Embassy in Sana’a closed for two days in January 2010 in response to ongoing threats against US interests in Yemen. On the morning of September 17, 2008, armed terrorists attacked the US Embassy, setting off a number of explosions in the vicinity of the Embassy's main gate. Several Yemeni security personnel and one Embassy security guard were killed, as were several individuals waiting to gain entry into the Embassy, including a US citizen.
The US government remains concerned about possible attacks against U.S. citizens, facilities, businesses, and perceived interests. On May 24, 2010, armed Yemeni tribesmen kidnapped two US citizen tourists and their Yemeni driver and translator near Sana’a. On June 12, 2009, seven Germans, one Briton, and one South Korean were kidnapped in Sa’ada. Two German children were later released; three nurses were killed. The whereabouts and welfare of the other hostages are still unknown. There have been no claims of responsibility for this incident and the investigation is ongoing. On March 18, 2009, a South Korean motorcade was attacked by a suicide bomber near Sana'a International Airport. On March 15, 2009, four South Korean tourists were killed in a suicide bomb attack in the city of Shibam in Southern Hadramout province. On January 17, 2008, suspected Al-Qaeda operatives ambushed a tourist convoy in the eastern Hadramout Governorate, killing two Belgians.
US Embassy employees have been advised to exercise caution when visiting restaurants, hotels, or tourist areas in Sana’a in order to avoid large gatherings of foreigners. Travel outside the capital by Embassy personnel is often restricted.
The Yemeni government has been fighting against Houthi rebels in the North of the country since 2004. The fighting, which originated in Sa’ada Governorate, has spread to the neighboring governorates of al-Jawf, Amran, and Hajja. The government has used airstrikes to target the rebels, killing civilians on several occasions in 2009 and 2010. A tentative cease fire was declared on February 12, 2010. US citizens are urged to avoid any travel to this region.
There is ongoing unrest in Aden and surrounding areas in the South of the country. A secessionist movement has repeatedly clashed with government forces in the area. Many protests by secessionists have turned into riots with loss of life. On June 19, 2010, the headquarters of the PSO were attacked in Aden. Several people, including security officials, were killed. AQAP claimed responsibility for the attack.
US citizens traveling to Yemen should be aware that local authorities occasionally restrict foreigners’ travel to unstable parts of the country. In addition, the US Embassy often restricts travel of official personnel to the tribal areas north and east of Sana’a, such as the governorates of Amran, al-Jawf, Hajja, Marib, Sa’ada, and Shabwa. Travelers should be in contact with the Embassy for up-to-date information on such restrictions.
Boats traveling through the Red Sea or near the Socotra Islands in the Gulf of Aden are at risk of pirate attacks. More than 70 vessels were reportedly attacked in 2009. Since the beginning of 2010, 4 vessels have been reported seized in the area, with one released in February. As of February 2010, 11 vessels were believed to be held for ransom, including the yacht of a British couple. Following the April 2009 hijacking of a US cargo vessel and the subsequent rescue of the vessel’s captain, resulting in the deaths of three pirates, Somali pirates threatened to retaliate against US citizens transiting the region. The threat of piracy extends into the Indian Ocean off the Horn of Africa as well. See our International Maritime Piracy Fact Sheet. If travel to any of these areas is unavoidable, travelers may reduce the risk to personal security if such travel is undertaken by air or with an armed escort provided by a local tour company.
US citizens who travel to or remain in Yemen despite this warning should be extremely cautious and take prudent security measures, including maintaining a high level of vigilance, avoiding crowds and demonstrations, keeping a low profile, varying times and routes for all travel, and ensuring travel documents are current. US citizens in Yemen should exercise particular caution at locations frequented by foreigners. From time to time, the Embassy restricts official US personnel from visiting restaurants, hotels, or shopping areas. The Department of State strongly encourages US citizens to consult the Warden Messages on the U.S. Embassy website for current information on security conditions. Travelers who believe they are being followed or threatened while driving in urban centers should proceed as quickly as possible to the nearest police station or major intersection and request assistance from the officers in blue and white police cars stationed there.

Mortality Statistics:

Infant MR total:  56.27 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth: TOTAL 62.9 years (male 60.96/female 64.94)

Immunization Indicators:

Required: None
Recommended: Hep A & B, Typhoid, Rabies
Boosters: MMR, DPT, as needed.

Infectious Disease Concerns:

Drugs to Prevent Malaria (antimalarial drugs) primaquine in special circumstances and only after G6PD testing).
Note: Chloroquine is NOT an effective antimalarial drug in Yemen and should not be taken to prevent malaria in this region.
Malaria risk area in Yemen: All areas at altitudes below 2,000 m (<6,561 ft). No risk in Sana’a.
If you will be visiting a malaria risk area in Yemen, you will need to take one of the following antimalarial drugs: atovaquone/proguanil, doxycycline, or mefloquine.

Overall Quality of Medical Services:

Lack of modern medical facilities outside of Sana'a and Aden and a shortage of emergency ambulance services throughout the country may cause concern to some visitors. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services. An adequate supply of prescription medications for the duration of the trip is important. While many prescription drugs are available in Yemen, a particular drug needed by a visitor may not be available.
The US Embassy in Sana'a strongly advises all American citizens residing in or traveling to Yemen to ensure that they have received all recommended immunizations.

Providers in Network:
Direct Payment: 1
Referrals: 11
View Network Providers
Recent Medical Threats/ Concerns/Warnings:

Schistosomiasis has been found in focal areas in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Yemen. To prevent schistosomiasis, do not swim in fresh water (except in well-chlorinated pools) in these countries. (For more information, please see Swimming and Recreational Water Safety.)

Measles continues to reported from the region.

An outbreak of polio occurred in Yemen in 2005 following importation of poliovirus from Nigeria.

Highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5N1) has been found in poultry populations in the Middle Eastern region. Avoid all direct contact with birds, including domestic poultry (such as chickens and ducks) and wild birds, and avoid places such as poultry farms and bird markets where live birds are raised or kept.  For a current list of countries reporting outbreaks of H5N1 among poultry and/or wild birds, view updates from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), and for total numbers of confirmed human cases of H5N1 virus by country see the World Health Organization (WHO) Avian Influenza website.

Communications Info:

Country Code:  +967
Internet Code:   .ye

 



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