Your guide to being an expatriate in Yemen

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

Yemen, situated in the Middle East, has been inhabited for thousands of years, with evidence of ancient civilizations such as the Babylonians, Greeks, and Romans. Now an independent republic since 1990, it boasts a mix of urban centers, deserts, and mountains. Expats moving here will find a unique culture, characterized by hospitality, respect, and symbolic gestures.


Expat destinations in Yemen

Demographics of Yemen:

Ethnic groups

Arab, South Arabian, Socotri


Arabic (official) (AHL), Southern Arabian (a local variety), Jewish Arabic (Jawi) dialect

Religion Overview

Yemen is predominantly Muslim, with approximately 99% of the population practicing their faith. The majority are Shia Muslims (Zaidi), while the remaining adherents are Sunni Muslims or follow the Jewish religion.

Major Religions


Yemen experiences a hot desert climate (BWh) in most of the country, with extremely hot summers and mild winters. However, the coastal areas and the highlands experience a Mediterranean climate (Csa) characterized by mild winters and hot, dry summers.

Economy Overview

The economy in Yemen is predominantly based on agriculture, fishing, and petroleum production. The significant industries include fish production, cotton production, and small-scale industries such as food processing, textiles, and handicrafts.

Key Industries

  • Fish production
  • Cotton production
  • Petroleum production

Major Companies

    Culture and Language Overview

    The cultural heritage of Yemen is rich and diverse, with influences from ancient civilizations such as the Babylonians, Greeks, and Romans. The traditional handicrafts such as weaving, pottery, and basketry continue to be produced and sold in the markets. The popular cultural highlights of Yemen include poetry, music, dance, and cuisine.

    Cultural Highlights

    • Poetry: Known as 'Shi'r', Yemeni poetry is celebrated for its humor, genre, and form.
    • Music: Traditional music of Yemen comprises singing and playing instruments such as the 'abeer' (a type of wind instrument), 'daf' (drum), and 'oud' (lute).
    • Dance: Yemeni dance forms such as 'Khamis' and 'Al Sarawiyah' are performed during festivals and celebrations.
    • Cuisine: Yemeni cuisine is a blend of local spices, vegetables, and meats. Popular dishes include '_ahlui_' (porridge), '_machbous_' (rice with meat), '_masseed_' (meat with fenugreek), and '_sambusas_' (samosa-like snacks).

    Geography and Landmarks Overview

    Yemen's geography is characterized by a combination of desert, coastline, and mountainous regions. The mountainous region, known as the 'Hijaz Mountains', comprises steep cliffs, deep gorges, and dense forests. The coastal areas have numerous secluded beaches and ancient walled towns.

    Notable Landmarks

    • Old City of Sana'a: A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the old city of Sana'a offers stunning architectural and historical insights dating back to the ninth century.
    • Old City of Shibam: Another UNESCO-listed city, Shibam is notable for its striking skyline, with buildings designed in uniform right angles.
    • Batha Archaeological Park: Located in Sana'a, Batha Archaeological Park showcases various architectural styles, including pre-Islamic and Islamic heritage.
    • Tihama: A long escarpment of cliffs along Yemen's western coast, Tihama is a natural landmark with dramatic views.

    National Holidays

    • New Year's Day (January 1)
    • Army Day (January 4)
    • National Day (September 22)
    • Unification Day (May 22)

    Political Stability

    Yemen's political situation is currently fragile, with ongoing conflict and instability arising from a civil war that started in 2015. However, the Yemeni Government is working towards a peaceful resolution that includes political dialogue, humanitarian assistance, and diplomacy.

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