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Living in Yemen

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Feb 19, 2023

Summary: People often describe life in Yemen as difficult and dangerous. The country is currently in the midst of a civil war, and the security situation is unstable. Despite this, many expats still choose to live in Yemen due to its rich culture and history. Expats love the country's beautiful landscapes, friendly people, and delicious food. The average cost of living for an expat is around $1,000 per month. This includes rent, food, transportation, and other basic necessities. The population of Yemen is estimated to be around 28 million people. The largest cities in Yemen are Sana'a, Aden, Taiz, and Al Hudaydah. The cons of living in Yemen include the ongoing civil war, the lack of basic services, and the high cost of living. Additionally, the security situation is unstable and there is a risk of terrorist attacks.

What do I need to know about living in Yemen?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Yemen, they said:

"Expat retirees should be aware that Yemen is a high-risk country due to the ongoing civil war and the presence of terrorist groups. It is important to research the security situation in the area before making any decisions about retirement. Expats should also be aware that the cost of living in Yemen is very low, but the availability of goods and services is limited. Additionally, the infrastructure in Yemen is not well developed, and access to healthcare and other services may be limited. Expats should also be aware that the local culture and customs are very different from those in the West, and it is important to be respectful of these differences. Finally, it is important to ensure that all necessary visas and permits are obtained before travelling to Yemen," wrote a member in Yemen.

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How do I meet people in Yemen?

When we asked people living in Yemen about club and activities where newcomers can meet others, they responded:

"Expats living in Yemen often join clubs and activities such as book clubs, language classes, and outdoor activities. Expats can also meet people by attending local events, such as festivals, concerts, and art exhibitions. Additionally, many expats join online forums and social media groups to connect with other expats living in Yemen. Finally, expats can also meet people by attending religious services, such as church, mosque, or synagogue," remarked one expat who made the move to Yemen.

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What is life like in Yemen?

When we asked people living in Yemen what life is like and how people spend their time, they said:

"Life for expats and digital nomads in Yemen can be difficult and unpredictable. The country is in the midst of a civil war, and the security situation is volatile. Expats and digital nomads must be aware of the risks and take appropriate precautions. Access to reliable internet and other services can be limited, and the cost of living is high. Despite these challenges, some expats and digital nomads have found Yemen to be an interesting and rewarding place to live and work. The country has a rich culture and history, and the people are welcoming and hospitable," wrote one member in Yemen.

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Is there a lot of crime in Yemen?

We asked people if there is a lot of crime. They answered:

"Yes, there is a lot of crime in Yemen. The country is facing a number of security challenges, including armed conflict, terrorism, organized crime, and human trafficking. The country's weak government and lack of security forces have made it difficult to combat these issues. In addition, the ongoing civil war has caused a breakdown in law and order, leading to an increase in criminal activity," said one expat in Yemen.

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Is there a lot of diversity? Are people in Yemen accepting of differences?

"Yemen is a diverse country with a variety of ethnic and religious backgrounds. People in Yemen are generally accepting of differences, although there are some tensions between different groups. The country is home to a variety of religious and ethnic groups, including Sunni and Shia Muslims, as well as Christians, Jews, and other minority groups. Despite the diversity, Yemenis are generally tolerant of each other and strive to live in harmony," wrote a member in Yemen.

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What are the schools in Yemen like?

"The International School of Yemen (ISY) is one of the best international schools in Yemen. Located in Sana'a, ISY offers a comprehensive education program for students from pre-kindergarten to grade 12. The school follows an American curriculum and provides a safe and secure learning environment for its students. ISY also offers a variety of extracurricular activities, such as sports, music, and art. The British International School of Yemen (BISY) is another excellent international school in Yemen. Located in Sana'a, BISY offers a British curriculum for students from pre-kindergarten to grade 12. The school provides a safe and secure learning environment and offers a variety of extracurricular activities, such as sports, music, and art. The French International School of Yemen (FISY) is a great bilingual school in Yemen. Located in Sana'a, FISY offers a French curriculum for students from pre-kindergarten to grade 12. The school provides a safe and secure learning environment and offers a variety of extracurricular activities, such as sports, music, and art. The American International School of Yemen (AISY) is another excellent international school in Yemen. Located in Sana'a, AISY offers an American curriculum for students from pre-kindergarten to grade 12. The school provides a safe and secure learning environment and offers a variety of extracurricular activities, such as sports, music, and art," said one parent with children at in .

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Is the cost of living in Yemen high?

We asked people how much they someone comfortably live on in Yemen, they wrote:

"The cost of living in Yemen is generally quite low, with basic necessities such as food and housing being relatively inexpensive. However, due to the ongoing conflict in the country, prices for goods and services have been rising steadily, making it difficult for many people to make ends meet. Additionally, the devaluation of the Yemeni riyal has made it difficult for people to purchase imported goods, which has further increased the cost of living," remarked one expat who made the move to Yemen.

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"The cost of living in Yemen is generally low, however, it varies greatly depending on the location. In the capital city of Sana'a, the cost of living is higher than in other parts of the country. The rental price for a nice 1 bedroom apartment in Sana'a is around $400 USD per month, while a nice 2 bedroom apartment is around $600 USD per month. Eating dinner at a moderately priced restaurant in Sana'a can cost around $10 USD per person," said one expat.

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What type of recreational facilities are in Yemen?

When we asked people living in Yemen about recreational activities, they mentioned:

"In Yemen, residents enjoy a variety of recreational facilities, such as parks, beaches, and sports clubs. Parks are a popular destination for families, providing a place to relax and enjoy the outdoors. Beaches are also popular, offering a chance to swim, sunbathe, and take part in water sports. Sports clubs provide a place for residents to play and watch a variety of sports, including soccer, basketball, and volleyball. Additionally, Yemen has a number of cultural and historical sites, such as ancient ruins and museums, which offer a chance to learn about the country's rich history," mentioned one expat inYemen.

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What is the weather like in Yemen?

"The weather in Yemen is generally hot and dry, with temperatures ranging from mild to very hot. The coastal areas tend to be more humid than the inland areas. Rainfall is scarce, with the majority of the country receiving less than 100mm of rain per year. The summer months are usually the hottest, with temperatures often reaching over 40°C," remarked one expat in Yemen.

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Are there good restaurants in Yemen?

"One of the most popular restaurants in Yemen is Al-Habashi Restaurant, located in the capital city of Sana'a. This restaurant serves traditional Yemeni cuisine, including dishes such as mandi, a rice dish cooked with meat, and saltah, a stew made with meat, vegetables, and spices. The restaurant also offers a variety of seafood dishes, such as grilled fish and shrimp. The restaurant is known for its friendly staff and welcoming atmosphere. Another popular restaurant in Yemen is Al-Mashhad Restaurant, located in the city of Taiz. This restaurant serves traditional Yemeni dishes, such as kabsa, a rice dish cooked with meat and spices, and fahsa, a stew made with vegetables and spices. The restaurant also offers a variety of seafood dishes, such as grilled fish and shrimp. The restaurant is known for its delicious food and friendly service. Finally, Al-Mukalla Restaurant is a popular restaurant in the city of Mukalla. This restaurant serves traditional Yemeni dishes, such as kabsa, a rice dish cooked with meat and spices, and fahsa, a stew made with vegetables and spices. The restaurant also offers a variety of seafood dishes, such as grilled fish and shrimp. The restaurant is known for its delicious food and friendly service," said one expat.

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Where will I buy groceries and do other shopping in Yemen?

"People living in Yemen typically buy groceries and do other shopping at local markets, small shops, and supermarkets. Many people also purchase items from street vendors and traditional souks. Additionally, online shopping is becoming increasingly popular in Yemen, with many people using websites such as Souq.com to purchase items," commented one expat living in Yemen.

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What are the visa & residency requirements in Yemen?

"In order to visit Yemen, travelers must obtain a visa prior to arrival. The process of applying for a visa involves submitting an application form, a valid passport, two passport-sized photographs, and a fee. Depending on the type of visa, additional documents may be required. In order to obtain residency in Yemen, applicants must submit an application form, a valid passport, two passport-sized photographs, and a fee. Additionally, applicants must provide proof of employment, proof of financial stability, and a letter of recommendation from a Yemeni citizen. Once the application is approved, the applicant will be issued a residency permit," said an expat in Yemen.

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Are healthcare and health insurance expensive in Yemen?

"Healthcare and health insurance in Yemen are very expensive. The cost of medical care is high, and the quality of care is often inadequate. Many people in Yemen cannot afford health insurance, and those who can often find that the coverage is inadequate. The lack of access to quality healthcare has led to a rise in preventable diseases and deaths in Yemen," commented one expat living in Yemen.

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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