Yemen Travel Guide: All you need to know to visit Yemen in 2024
Welcome to Yemen

Country Information of Yemen

Yemen is in the southwestern part of the current Arabian Peninsula in the Western part of Asia. Saudi Arabia boards it to the north, Oman to the east, the Arabian Sea and the Red Sea to the west, and the Gulf of Aden to the south. Yemen has a rich cultural heritage and history dating back to ancient civilizations, including the Sabaeans and the Himyarites.

Geography 

It covers an area of approximately 527,968 square kilometers, making it the second-largest country in the Arabian Peninsula. Yemen’s terrain is diverse, ranging from coastal plains along the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea to highlands in the west and central areas and desert in the east. The highest point in the country is Jabal a Nabi Shu’ayb, which stands at 3,666 meters. Yemen is also home to several significant rivers, including the Aden and Hadhramaut Rivers, essential water sources for agriculture and other uses.

Climate 

Yemen has a predominantly arid to semi-arid climate, with hot temperatures throughout the year, particularly in the coastal areas. The country experiences two main seasons: a rainy season from April to September and a dry season from October to March. The western highlands, including the capital city of Sana’a, have a milder climate due to their higher altitude, with temperatures ranging from 15°C to 25°C. In contrast, the coastal areas can experience temperatures up to 40°C during summer. Yemen’s rainfall is highly variable, with some areas receiving less than 50 millimeters per year while others receive more than 1,000 millimeters. However, Yemen has been facing severe water shortages recently due to various factors, including drought, overuse of water resources, and conflict.

Population 

According to the World Bank, Yemen has an estimated population of approximately 30 million. The population is predominantly Arab, with the majority practicing Islam. In terms of development, Yemen is a developing country with generally high levels of poverty and unemployment. The country has also been experiencing a protracted humanitarian crisis due to ongoing conflict, which has led to widespread displacement, food insecurity, and a breakdown of essential services. Yemen’s population growth rate is approximately 2.8%, and most are under 25. The country also has a high maternal mortality rate and a low life expectancy, further compounded by the humanitarian crisis. Yemen’s population is primarily rural, with most living in small villages or towns outside the major cities.

Economy 

Yemen is among the least developed countries in the world, with an economy heavily reliant on its oil exports, which account for approximately 70% of government revenue and 90% of its export earnings. However, the country’s oil production has declined significantly in recent years due to the ongoing conflict, which has also led to a sharp decline in economic activity and the collapse of essential services. Yemen’s economy is predominantly agricultural, accounting for a significant portion of employment and GDP.

Language 

The official language of Yemen is Arabic, specifically the Yemeni dialect of Arabic. Arabic is the native language of most of the population, used in government, education, and the media. In addition to Arabic, there are several minority languages spoken in Yemen, including Somali, Mahri, Soqotri, and Mehri. English additionally is taught as a second language in schools and is widely spoken in urban areas and by those in positions of power.

Government 

Yemen’s government is a unitary presidential republic with a multi-party system. The President heads both the state and the government. They are elected by popular vote for a seven-year term. The legislative arm of government is a bicameral type of parliament consisting of the House of Representatives and the Shura Council. The House of Representatives has 301 members elected by popular vote, while the Shura Council has 111 members appointed by the President. Yemen’s legal system is based mainly on Islamic law, and the judiciary is independent of the executive and legislative branches of government. However, the country’s ongoing conflict has led to a breakdown of different government institutions and the rule of law, with various factions and armed groups controlling different parts of the country. The United Nations and other international organizations have been working to support restoring a functioning government in Yemen.

Religion 

Islam is the dominant religion in Yemen, with an estimated 99% of the population being Muslim. Most of Yemen’s Muslims are followers of the Sunni branch of Islam, while a significant minority follow the Zaidi branch of Shia Islam. Islam is vital in Yemeni society, with many aspects of daily life governed by Islamic customs and practices.

Culture 

Yemen’s rich and diverse culture reflects the country’s history and position as a crossroads of different civilizations. Yemeni culture is deeply rooted in Islamic traditions, with many aspects of daily life influenced by religious customs and practices. Yemeni culture is also characterized by its strong oral traditions, with storytelling, poetry, and music playing an essential role in society. Yemeni cuisine varies by region, featuring spices, meat, and vegetables. Yemen is also known for its unique architecture, with many historic cities featuring distinctive multi-story mud-brick buildings.

Recent History

Yemen’s recent history has been characterized by political instability, violence, and humanitarian crisis. In 2011, mass protests erupted across the country as part of the Arab Spring, calling for political reform and an end to corruption. The protests led to the resignation of longtime President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who had ruled the country for over three decades. However, the transition to a new government has been fraught with challenges, with various factions and armed groups vying for power.

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One can apply at the Yemen Embassy to apply for a Yemen tourist visa.

No. Generally, Yemen does not usually issue visas on arrival for Indian citizens.

Anyone can visit Yemen as a tourist.

Processing of Yemen visas usually varies, taking 14 to 21 working days.

All foreigners traveling to Yemen require a Yemen visa, whether for business or tourism.

The application process should start 1 to 2 months before the traveling date.