Your guide to being an expatriate in Libya

Caffeinate Your Libya Expat Journey: Find Essential Info and Connect with Expatriates Today!

Libya is a state in North Africa located near the Mediterranean Sea. Its official name is the State of Libya, and since 1969 it has been a republic. Archaeological research shows that Libya is among the oldest inhabited territories in the world, and it was once part of the ancient region of Cyrenaica. The country is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Tunisia to the west and southwest, Algeria to the west and south, and the Wadi al-Shāṭī to the southeast.


Expat destinations in Libya

Demographics of Libya:

Ethnic groups

Arab 97% (Berbers, Sanussis, Awqāt, Tamāhīr, and Mzab), other Afro-Asiatic-speaking peoples less than 3%


Arabic (official), Berber dialects (Tamazight) in south and west

Religion Overview

Islam is the predominant religion in Libya, and approximately 97% of the population identifies as Muslim (Sunni). The remaining population practices Christianity or Judaism.

Major Religions


Libya has a Mediterranean climate along the coast, with hot summers and mild winters. Inland, the climate is desert-like and very dry with extremely hot temperatures. Rainfall is sparse, and water resources are scarce due to the arid climate.

Economy Overview

Libya's economy is based on oil production and exports. The country has abundant oil reserves, and oil accounts for nearly all of its export revenues and almost half of its GDP. Libya is also rich in natural gas. Other sectors of the economy, such as agriculture and tourism, are underdeveloped due to the arid climate and political instability.

Key Industries

  • Oil
  • Natural gas

Major Companies

  • National Oil Corporation (NOC)
  • Agoco

Culture and Language Overview

Libyan culture is a blend of Berber, Phoenician, Roman, Arab, Ottoman, and Italian influences. Traditional Berber crafts, such as pottery and weaving, are still produced in some rural areas. Libya also has a rich literary heritage, with prominent writers such as Ibrahim al-Koni and Hisham Matar. The official language is Arabic, but there are also Berber dialects spoken in some parts of the country.

Cultural Highlights

  • Eastern architecture, especially in the cities of Darna and Benghazi
  • Mediterranean cuisine, which features seafood, olives, and vegetables such as artichokes and aubergines
  • Cultural festivals, such as the Al-Adha Festival, which commemorates the Muslim holy festival of sacrifice

Geography and Landmarks Overview

Libya has a varied landscape, with an eastern coastal plain, a rolling interior plateau (Ghadẖāh), and barren southern deserts such as the Great Sand Sea and the Sabkhat Ghuzayyet steppes. The country is also home to several significant landmarks, including ancient Roman ruins, Berber villages, and the historic city of Leptis Magna.

Notable Landmarks

  • Leptis Magna, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with well-preserved Roman ruins
  • Ghorjan, a ghost town and former Alphanativ company town
  • Mizda Fort, an ancient Roman fortress near Sirte

National Holidays

  • New Year's Day (January 1)
  • Libyan Revolution Day (January 17)
  • Dazzoua Festival (March 14)
  • Martyrs' Day (May 1)
  • Labor Day (May 1)
  • Revolution Day (September 1)
  • National Day (September 22)
  • Green Libya Day (January 24)

Political Stability

Libya has experienced political instability and conflict since the ousting of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. The country is currently divided into two rival governments, one based in Tripoli and the other in Tobruk, with a third group aligned with the Libyan National Army headquartered in Benghazi. Ongoing international intervention and the presence of armed militias further complicate the situation.

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