Cash on Hand: Banks are usually open every morning, except Fridays, and credit cards and traveller’s check have had some penetration, there are some areas that will require cash.
Local Customs: Yemen has a traditional Muslim, patriarchal and conservative bearing. Local women in urban areas cover themselves in black gowns and veils; however, this practice is not expected of visitors. Conservative dress includes covering arms and legs, and will help you avoid unwanted attention, especially for women. Visiting men are usually invited to join locals to chew qat, or khat, a stimulant chewed like tobacco, used to make tea, and chewed by 85% of Yemen adults.
When To Visit: In the highlands and mountains the winter, late November to February, will be very cold, and in the lowlands the high summer, late June to early August, will be very hot. Compromise, and travel in March, April, late August or early September to get the best weather through most of the country.
Food: Kebabs, chunks of meat and vegetables cooked and served on a skewer, are common in Yemeni cuisine, and salta, a spicy stew of lamb or meat with chickpeas, lentils, coriander and other spices, is one of most national dishes, along with shurba, a lentil and meat soup common in other parts of the Middle East as well. Shay, tea drunk in small cups and often served with mint, and the rarer coffee flavored with ginger and substitutes for alcohol, which is prohibited. Instead of cutlery, locals are as apt to eat with bread or their hands.
Phrases: Yes = Na’am, no = la’a, hello = marhaba, please = min fadlak, thanks = shukran, peace be with you (a common greeting) = assalamu alaikum, and with you be peace (the common reply to the above) = walaikum assalam
Tipping: A 10% service charge has normally been included in your bill, and as such, no additional tips are required. Although bargaining isn’t common, you can and should negotiate the fare with your taxi drivers before beginning a trip.
Safety: The Saudi Arabian border area, the Haddah region of the capital Sanaa, and the regions north and east of the capital are best avoided, be very aware of your surroundings, and check in with your nation’s embassy when you arrive. Kidnappings, although very infrequent, may occur, so travel the countryside with a trusted guide, or fly to your destination.