The hoopoe - Solomon's messenger and the ancient traveler English site
Deutsche Seite
Page Français
Pagina Italiana
Página en Español
We invite you to a journey through Arabia.
Our comprehensive guide will assist you traveling in Yemen and through the other Middle East countries.
The ancient traveler, the hoopoe, will show you a region which jumped recently from an old civilization to the modern age.
You will find travel information about the most important sights of Yemen and all Arab countries, useful travel notes, places to stay, suggested tours and more...!

مرحبا بكم في اليمن!
حن نعزكم على رحلة حول اليمن. دليلنا السياحي سيساعدكم أثناء السفر في اليمن. الهدهد - المسافر القديم - يعرض لكم بلاد الذي دخل من قريب من حضارة قديمة إلى العصر الحديث. سوف تحصلون معلومات عن أهم المناطق السياحية، نصائح للسفر، فنادق، رحلات سياحية مقترحة و أشياء كثيرة أخرى ...!

Travel directory Middle East homepage about Yemen about us travel hints places of interest pictures Eco-tourism Yemen tours Soqotra Island
Tour Yemen - Oman Embassies related websites hotels Yemeni art contacts abroad map Books Our award write us
Web design click here
Travel hints and country information
Administrative division Distances Geographical division Official working hours
Alcohol Electricity Handicapped and children Photography
Climate Entry regulations Health regulations Ramadan
Clothing Entry ports and places History Religion
Constitution Flight connection Holidays Traditional handicrafts
Currency Food Location Transportation
The Yemen Republic is located in the south-west corner of the Arabian Peninsula (Southwest Asia). It is situated between the 12th and the 20th northern latitude and between the 41st and 45th eastern longitude. The Yemen is bordered by Saudi Arabia in the North, by the Arabian Sea and from the Gulf of Aden in the South, by the Sultanate of Oman in the East and by the Red Sea in the West.
The constitution was ratified on 16 May 1991.
Legislative powers are vested in the 301-seat House of Representatives. The House of Representatives elects the president. The president governs with the help of his prime minister and council of ministers. Voting eligibility: 18 years.
Islam is the state religion and almost all Yemeni are Moslems except for a small minority of Jews.
Entry regulations
Entrance visas for Yemen are available very easily from all Yemeni embassies or consulates in your home country on payment of certain fees. You need a passport which is valid for six months after your application and two photos. Where Yemeni diplomatic missions do not exist, visitors should apply for a visa through Yemeni tour operators in combination with a booked tour. Every official visitor to Yemen receives immediately after arrival a permit to stay one month. Maximum stay is one month.
Price depends on the kind of visa and your nationality: 25 -39 US$ for a tourist visa single entry 

Your visit to the country has to be done within three months of your application.
Following passport holders may get the visa directly on the port of entrance:
EU - countries, USA, Canada, Scandinavian countries, Switzerland, Australia, Japan and Hong Kong 
go to top of page
Entry ports and places
It is possible to enter the Yemen through all international airports of Sana'a, Aden, Al-Hodeidah, Al-Rayan and Taiz. Furthermore someone may enter through the seaports of Al-Hodeidah, Al-Makha on the Red Sea, Aden on the Gulf of Aden and Al-Mukalla and Nashtun on the Arabian Sea. Also it is possible to enter through the three places of entrance: Haradh and Al-Buq' in the North (border to Saudi Arabia) and Habrut in the East (border to Oman).  go to top of page
The currency in the Yemen is the Rial. One Rial is 100 Fils. The Rial is available in bank notes and coins. There are 1000, 500, 200, 100, 50, and 20 Rial bank notes in circulation. There are also 20, 10, and 5 Rial coins. Every visitor may change the money at the bank or at official money exchangers. 
Credit cards (only American Express and Visa Card) and traveler cheques (also in banks) are only accepted in the big hotels. Some banks have automated cash machines: Tadhamon Islamic Bank - almost every major credit card, International Bank of Yemen - ATM.
The US$ and the Euro have the best exchange rates and the money exchangers prefer new and big notes. Small American Dollar notes are needed for buying souvenirs and giving tips for services.  go to top of page
Health regulations
It is a requirement for visitors to Yemen - who are coming from certain countries (registered by international health organizations) - that they have an accepted vaccination certificate for epidemic diseases. Children under the age of one year are excluded.
Advisable precautions:
Vaccinations against Hepatitis, Typhoid and Polio are recommended, also anti-malaria prevention - (Malaria has been endemic in Tihama - coastal region).
Bilharzias is widespread and gastric upsets common.
Visitors should be careful about the strong sun and the extreme changes of the altitude during traveling through the country. Therefore the traveler should have protective sun lotion, chap stick and mineral tablets in his bag.
It is recommended to drink only purified water. Mineral water is everywhere - even in the remote areas available.  go to top of page
About Yemen click here
About us click here
Travel hints click here
Places of interest click here
Pictures click here
Eco-tourism click here
Yemen tours click here
Soqotra Island click here
Hotels click here
Embassies click here
Books click here
Related websites click here
Contacts abroad click here
Our award click here
Yemeni art click here
Handicapped and children
Due to the long distances and the warm climate handicapped and children should only come in the winter season. Furthermore it is recommended that travelers accompanied by handicapped or children should take the assistance and help by local tour operators.
Following hotels have elevators, special ramps and rooms at the ground floor:
Sana'a - Hotel Mövinpick (5 Stars), Taj Sheba (4-5), Hotel Sheraton (3-4), Hotel Shahran (3), Hotel Mercure (3),
Hotel Hilltown (2), Hotel Hadda (2-3)
Aden - Hotel Gold Mohur (5), Hotel Mercure Aden (4), Hotel Aden (3), Elephant Beach Resort (3)
Taiz - Hotel Shamsan (2-3); Marib - Hotel Bilqis (3-4); Hajjah - Hotel Ghamdan (2)
Sayun - Hotel Qasr Al-Hawtah (3-4); Hotel BMC (2-3), Hotel Samah (2)
Al-Mukalla - Hotel Holiday Inn (4), Hotel Hadhramaut (3)
Hostels - in Shibam (North/South), Al-Mahweet, Manakha, Al-Hajjarah  go to top of page
Only the big hotels (4 and 5 Stars) give special discounts for children:
- children under 2 years are free on food and accommodation.
- children under 6 years are free on accommodation only and have 50% discount on food.
- children under 12 years have 50% discount on accommodation only.
All main cities are connected by roads, therefore collect taxis and busses are going daily to these cities. Furthermore the local airline company Yemenia serves following destinations in the country: Sana'a, Aden, Taiz, Al-Hodaidah, Al-Mukalla, Sayun,
Al-Ghaidhah, Ataq and Soqotra Island.

In the cities travelers may find collect taxis to almost any place in Yemen, the charge is YR15 (March 2002). All taxis have yellow plates. Who wants to rent a private taxi should inform the driver about time (empty leg or waiting time). It is also for the locals usual to bargain the price in advance. The taxis of the big hotels have fixed rates based on time and distance.
Furthermore tour companies are offering cars with experienced drivers, this service is much recommended for travelers who want to go to remote tourist destinations and areas.
Hertz and Europcar have also branches in Sana'a and Aden.  go to top of page
Distances in km
  Dhamar Ibb Djiblah Taiz Aden Habban Al-Mukalla Al-Ghaydah Maysoona
Sana'a 100 196 202 256 452 787 1072 1386 1750

  Dhamar Yarim Damt Aden Habban Bir Ali Al-Mukalla
Sana'a 100 133 147 346 681 846 966

  Dhamar Rada' Al-Baidha Habban Bir Ali Al-Mukalla
Sana'a 100 142 268 505 670 790

Amran Hajjah Al-Hodaidah Huth Shaharah Saada
Sana'a 50 127 301 126 193 242

  Thula Shibam Kaukaban Al-Tawilah Al-Mahweet Manakha Al-Hodaidah
Sana'a 55 50 57 107 137 209 250

  Manakha Al-Hodaidah Bait Al-Faqih Zabeed Al-Khokha Al-Makha Taiz
Sana'a 123 226 280 312 361 421 490

  Marib Shibam Sayun Tarim Al-Hajjarain Khoraibah Al-Mukalla
Sana'a 180 620 640 685 577 624 790
go to top of page

Traditional handicraft
There are a lot of traditional handicraft industries in Yemen with many different branches and professions - existing for generations. You may notice their beauty and their charm especially when you see the quality of the art work in such as fields of architecture, the jewelry production, traditional weapon production, weaving production, stone and clay pottery, leather production and the production of articles made from palm leaves. All the products of these industries are available in the traditional markets of the towns, villages and in all the different provincial weekly markets.
Most important markets:
Saturday - Amran, Al-Mu'arras
Sunday - Al-Raudha, Wadi Dhabab, Manakha, Saada
Thursday - Khamees Bani Saad
Friday - Bait Al-Faqih, Souq Al-Talh (Saada) 
go to top of page

The climate in Yemen is various and depends on the different altitudes of the regions. 
There are no distinctive limits between the seasons. Generally there are two main seasons (summer and winter). During summer the climate is hot with high humidity dominating in the coastal area. 
In winter the climate in the coastal area is relatively moderate. Occasional rains in the summer are caused by the monsoon coming from the Indian Ocean. These rains decrease the high temperatures in the coastal area during the summer. 
The weather in the mountain area is moderate in summer and relatively cold in winter. During winter it becomes especially cold in the night and in the early morning, with pleasant sunny days.  go to top of page

Because of the mild and warm climate it is recommended to bring light, loose cotton clothes with you. Women and men should cover their upper arms and legs. Furthermore everybody needs solid footwear and head cover because Yemen is a mountainous country.
In the winter months, during night and in the early morning the temperatures in the mountain areas are relatively cold. Therefore, a pullover or a jacket should be included in your baggage.  go to top of page
Yemeni food is strong influenced by the Turkish, Indian and Arab cuisine. Here are the main traditional dishes:


Zahaweg Sana'ani - a spicy sauce made from fresh tomatoes, hot green pepper and spices
Zahaweg Jobn - a spicy sauce made from fresh tomatoes, hot chilly, spices and Yemeni goat cheese
Shafoot- crepe bread made from millet with yoghurt, mint, hot green pepper and herbs
Helba - a fondue made from meat bouillon with eggs, rice or vegetables and fenugreek mixed with herbs
Bent Assahn - pizza pastry covered with honey and black sesame
Buraik - puff pastry stuffed with minced meat
Muddabaq - doubled pancake, inside roasted eggs with tomatoes, herbs and spices
Sabaya - bread covered with honey

Shorbat Addas - lentil soup
Shorbat Khudhar - vegetable soup
Shorbat Borr - barley soup
Marag - bouillon made from mutton or goat meat

Main dishes
Hanid - lamb or goat meat covered with spices and banana leaves and then grilled in clay oven under the earth
Kabsa - colored spicy rice mixed with lamb meat
Agdah - lamb meat cooked with vegetables, tomato sauce and spices
Mohkbazat Sayd - fish covered with a spicy tomato sauce grilled in a clay oven
Fattah - bread mixed with bouillon, eggs and spices or mixed with dates and bananas

Vegetable dishes
Foul - Soya beans cooked with tomatoes, onions, garlic, hot green pepper and spices
Fasuuliah - white or red beans cooked with tomatoes, onions, garlic, hot green pepper and spices
Mushakkal - mixed vegetables cooked or roasted with tomatoes and spices
Addas - lentils cooked with tomatoes, onions, garlic and spices

Kiddam - a bigger roll made from different types of whole meal flour
Meluudj - pastry bread made from wheat and millet flour
Shaeer - pastry bread made from barley flour
Ruumi - small pastry bread made from maize flour
Kafua' Bilsen - roll made from lentils flour
Rooti - bread in a box shape made from wheat flour  go to top of page

Official working hours
The government offices are open daily from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. except Thursday and Friday (weekend). Private institutions and offices are open from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. and  4 p.m. until 8 p.m. except Friday. Almost all private shops and stores are open during the day until late in the evening.  go to top of page
Administrative division
Yemen consists of 19 provinces and its capital is Sana'a. Each province is organized in several districts and each has several centers. The provinces are Sana'a, Aden, Taiz, Al-Hodeidah, Hadhramaut, Saada, Amran, Al-Djof, Marib, Al-Mahra, Shabwah, Abyan, Al-Dhale', Al-Baidha, Dhamar, Ibb, Lahdj, Al-Mahweet and Hajjah.  go to top of page
Geographical division
The Yemen could be divided according to its natural geography in five regions: highland, high plains, coastal plains, the desert al-Rub' al-Khali (The Empty Quarter) and Yemeni islands.  go to top of page
Yemen is an interesting, beautiful and extremely photogenic country. Therefore it is recommended that you bring enough films - especially slight films - with. It is only possible to buy films (slide films only in Sana'a) in the big cities.  go to top of page
The voltage in Yemen is 220v. Five star Hotels provide both options i.e. 110v or 220v. Travelers using electric or electronic equipment need also adapters for the sockets, because there are different kinds of sockets.  go to top of page
Yemen is a traditional Islamic country,  therefore alcohol is prohibited. Visitors should respect this ethic value. 
Every guest may bring with him one liter of alcohol. Alcoholic drinks are only served in the big hotels, (Sana'a - Mövinpick Hotel, Sheraton Hotel, Aden - Aden Hotel, Gold Mohur Hotel, Taiz - Marib Hotel, Hodeidah - Ausan Hotel, Ambassador Hotel and Bristol Hotel). It is recommended and requested not to drink alcohol during the day tours.  go to top of page
Flight connection
Following airlines are coming to Yemen:
- Yemenia from Frankfurt, London, Paris, Rome, Milan
- Lufthansa from Frankfurt
- Royal Jordanian from Amman
- Egypt Air from Cairo
- Emirates from Dubai
- Gulf Air from Bahrain & Abu Dhabi

- Qatar Airways from Doha
- Turkish Airways from Istanbul 
go to top of page
Ramadan is the holy month for the Muslim community. Everyone will fast according to his health condition. Fasting means to neglect food, drinks and all other pleasures between dawn and sunset in order to commit oneself to God.
All daily activities like markets in the cities and in the countryside will continue as usual. Therefore sightseeing is unrestricted. Even the visitor will get the impression of the Arabian Nights because the nightlife in the urban places will go on until sunrise. The official institutions change its working hours: 11 am – 3 pm. It is recommended for visitors not to drink, to eat and to smoke in the public.
But the hotels and the local rest and guest houses will provide all services unlimited for the traveler's need. 
go to top of page
Ramadan dates for the next years: 

02.09. - 30.09.2008
20.08. - 19.09.2009
09.08. - 07.09.2010
29.07. - 28.08.2011
18.07. - 16.08.2012 
go to top of page
Fixed dates:

1 Jan (New Year's Day), 1 May (Labour Day), 22 May (National Unity Day),
26 Sep (National Day), 14 Oct (Revolution Day), 30 Nov (Independence Day)

Variable dates according Hijri (Muslim) calendar:

Al-Isra Eve, Eid Al-Fitr (3 days after Ramadan), Eid Al-Adha (5 days after Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca) , Hijra New Year's Day, Prophet's Birthday, Ascension of the Prophet