Avoid all travel to Yemen due to ongoing armed conflict, terrorist attacks, and kidnapping. If you’re in Yemen, you should leave the country if it’s safe to do so.
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Safety and security
COVID-19 – Preventative measures and restrictions
COVID-19 preventative measures and restrictions are still in effect in some destinations.
These could include:
- curfews, movement restrictions, or lockdowns
- mandatory mask use
- required proof of vaccination or a COVID-19 test result to access public and private services and spaces
Before travelling, verify if specific restrictions or requirements are still in effect.
Foreign Representatives in Canada
The security situation in Yemen is highly unstable due to the ongoing civil war between government forces and different rebel groups throughout the country. A coalition of countries is launching airstrikes into Yemen to curtail rebel gains in the country. Airstrikes could occur anywhere, at any time.
Weapons are easily available throughout the country. Tribes are usually heavily armed.
The Government of Canada has urged Canadians to leave Yemen since May 2009. Commercial means to leave the country are extremely limited. The airport in the capital, Sanaa, is not open for commercial flights. You will need to consider departing from Aden or Seiyun.
A state of emergency was declared in March 2011 and remains in effect. Crucial infrastructures are significantly damaged, including hospitals. Accessing essential services and goods, such as food, water and medical supplies, is extremely difficult.
If you attempt to travel to Yemen, you expose yourself to grave risk. In addition to threats from war, terrorism and kidnapping are ongoing threats. Our ability to provide consular assistance and other support in Yemen is extremely limited.
Do not travel to Yemen. If you choose to travel to Yemen, or remain in the country, despite this advisory:
- seek safe shelter and remain there until you can identify safe means to exit
- maintain emergency provisions such as water and food
- exercise extreme caution at all times
- always be aware of your surroundings
- keep in mind that you are responsible for your own safety and that of your family
- ensure that your travel documents are up to date
In late January 2022, armed rebel groups in Yemen have launched airstrikes into the United Arab Emirates. The coalition of countries has responded with further attacks, including in Sanaa, resulting in numerous casualties.
The possibility of further attacks, including against civilian targets, remains high.
Regional tensions can flare up at any time, resulting in a further deteriorating security situation. The border with Saudi Arabia is regularly affected by ongoing conflicts.
Armed rebel groups in Yemen have publicly threatened to target neighbouring countries. They have also attacked Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, in retaliation for involvement in the war in Yemen. The coalition responded in turn. Armed rebel groups regularly launch rockets, missiles and mortars at Saudi population centres near the border.
Due to the increased security risk, the Government of Canada cannot provide assistance to citizens trying to leave Yemen by land to Saudi Arabia.
There is a high threat of terrorism. Terrorists have targeted Western interests and Yemeni government buildings. Terrorist groups also target checkpoints manned by the Houthi rebel group in Sanaa and elsewhere in the country, and target Houthis in general.
Terrorist attacks could occur at any time.
Other targets could include:
- government buildings, including schools
- places of worship
- airports and other transportation hubs and networks
- public areas such as tourist attractions, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centres, markets, hotels and other sites frequented by foreigners
Always be aware of your surroundings when in public places. Exercise extreme caution, particularly in areas known to be frequented by foreigners.
Be particularly vigilant during:
- religious holidays
- public celebrations
- major political events, such as elections
Terrorists may use such occasions to mount attacks.
Exercise extreme caution, particularly in areas known to be frequented by foreigners.
There is a high risk of kidnapping, especially on the highway connecting the cities of Sanaa, Ta’izz and Aden. Foreigners have been targeted. Some hostages have been killed.
- Be extremely vigilant at all times
- Avoid travelling on the Sanaa– Ta’izz –Aden highway
- Use varied and unpredictable travel routes and schedules
Demonstrations and civil unrest
Demonstrations take place frequently due to the ongoing conflict throughout the country.
Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.
- Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
- Follow the instructions of local authorities
- Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations
More about mass gatherings (large-scale events)
Landmines and unexploded munitions remain a danger in the southern and eastern areas of the country, particularly around Aden, and in the central highlands. Most have been marked and access clearly delimited.
- Exercise caution in these areas
- Look for posted landmine warnings
- Stay on paved roads
- Avoid walking or hiking in these areas
Car bombs and drones have been used in assassinations.
- Exercise a high level of personal security awareness at all times.
Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching, occurs. Although credit cards are rarely accepted, scams may also occur.
Carjacking is a serious concern in Yemen.
- Don’t show signs of affluence
- Avoid travelling at night
- Lock car doors and ensure that windows are closed at all times
- Ensure that personal belongings and passports and other travel documents are secure at all times
Women travelling alone have been subject to different types of harassment, verbal abuse, or physical assaults.
If you are the victim of a sexual assault, you should report it immediately to the nearest Government of Canada office.
- Avoid travelling alone, especially at night
- Remain particularly vigilant in less populous areas
- Be careful when dealing with strangers or recent acquaintances
Safe-travel guide for women
There is a shortage of fuel in Yemen. You may have difficulty securing fuel. Fuel and diesel shortages could impact sectors and services such as:
- telecommunication, including internet
- water and waste collection
- shops, cafes and restaurants
Power shortages often occur.
Not all businesses are equipped with a generator. As a result, shortages could affect essential services such as:
- health care services
- food production
- goods distribution
Certain parts of Yemen are experiencing famine. If food is available, it can be expensive because most of the country’s food is imported.
- Plan to have adequate water, food and fuel supplies
Road conditions and road safety are poor throughout the country.
Drivers may not respect traffic laws and may often drive on the wrong side of the road. Vehicles are poorly maintained. Roaming animals also pose hazards.
Roadblocks and checkpoints may be set up without warning. Local authorities may close access to certain areas without notice.
If you are involved in an accident resulting in death or injuries, you may be jailed or fined. Compensation has to be paid to the family
of any victim.
If you chose to drive in Yemen:
- undertake overland travel in a convoy of four-wheel-drive vehicles and with an experienced guide only
- avoid driving after dark
- leave a travel itinerary with a third party
- be well prepared and equipped with gasoline, water, food and a cell phone
- avoid renting a car and driving it yourself
- call the police if involved in an accident
Public transportation is unsafe and unreliable.
Minibuses service – known as dabaabs – is available in most major cities. However, many bus drivers aren’t experienced and don’t respect traffic laws.
If you want to reach Aden or Seiyun airport, the International Organization for Migration may be able to help by providing ground transportation through a local bus company. You may purchase tickets through their local offices.
Once you arrive at Aden or Seiyun airport, you will need to produce copies of airline tickets at checkpoints.
Contact information – International Organization for Migration in Yemen
Shared taxis are common in Yemen. Private taxis are also available in major cities and at airports.
Motorcycles are often used as taxis. Drivers may often drive on the wrong side of the road and don’t follow traffic laws. Accidents are common.
- Use officially marked taxis only
- Negotiate fares in advance or insist that the driver use the meter
- Avoid taking shared taxis
- Never enter a cab if it already has one or more passengers
- Avoid using ridesharing apps
Ferry services are connecting the various ports in the area, including to Djibouti. Vessels are frequently hijacked or attacked while crossing the Red sea, or in the coastal waters of the Gulf of Aden.
Avoid using ferries.
There are pirate attacks and armed robberies against ships in coastal waters and, in some cases, farther out at sea. Mariners should take appropriate precautions.
Live Piracy and Armed Robbery Report – International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Centre
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
General information about foreign domestic airlines