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IDP is essential when driving abroad

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International Driving Permit (IDP), regulated by the United Nations, certifies that you are the holder of a valid driver's license in your country of origin.

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Your IDP is a valid form of identification in more than 150 countries worldwide and contains your name, photo and driver information in the 12 most widely spoken languages in the world.

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If you have a penchant for the great outdoors, middle-eastern culture, ancient civilizations, and unique wildlife, Yemen would be a great country to travel to. Yemen has cities and villages that have been around since the 1st century, and a lot of the ancient structures still stand firm today. From the great mosques in the Old City of Sana’a to the boulder-perched villages of Hadramaut, Yemen has a millennium of stories to tell.

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Top Destinations

Considering the climate of Yemen, it would be best to travel to the country between June to September when summer rolls in. Due to the lack of natural drainage in the country, flooding would mostly occur during the rainy months. If you have prepared your International Driving Permit in Yemen (Rep.), here are a few of the most recommended sites to visit.

Sana'a-Yemen-Brian Harrington Spier-common.wikimedia


At 5,552km2, Sana’a is the capital city of Yemen. This is the melting point of ancient and contemporary Yemen and the birthplace of the Islamic Mission in the country. Some of the most interesting sites to see in Sana’a are the mosques, the bathing houses, and the ancient tombs, most of which are found in the Old City of Sana’a. Sana’a is also where you’ll find the biggest Souqs (market) in the country. If you’re fond of authentic middle-eastern textiles, ingredients, and art, you can go around Souq Al-Milh, the oldest Souq in Yemen.

Driving Directions

Sana’a is located in a valley on the western highlands. Whatever country you go to, it is always advisable to start your trip to the capital city. Within Yemen, the nearest international airport to the capital is the Sana’a International Airport. If you’re heading straight to the old city area, it would only take you about 25 minutes to drive since it is only about 14.5 km.

From the Sana’a International Airport:

  • Drive south via Airport Road.
  • Continue onto A1.
  • Turn left onto Cairo St./Ring Road.
  • Make a right towards Sailah Road North.
  • After about 1.55 km, turn left.

Before driving out and around in Sana’a, make sure that you have with you your native driving license and your International Driving Permit for Yemen. Provinces (governorates) in the country are full of roving police, including traffic police that randomly inspect motorists, including the driving documents. If you haven’t obtained an International Driver’s License for Yemen yet, the International Driver’s Association offers a very convenient way of securing one.

If you chose to apply with us, you could apply for your International Driver’s License – Yemen online anytime, anywhere! The entire application process and materials are on this website, including the International Driver’s License – Yemen form. If you are a budget traveler, you can apply for a digital copy only, and you can just have your International Driver’s License for Yemen downloaded before your flight to the country.

Aden-port-Yemen-Brian Harrington Spier-common.wikimedia


Aden is a port city on the southern coast of Yemen. It is an ancient city that has witnessed the stories of the ancient spice roadway before the 3rd century A.D., as well as the modernization of the European sea navigation industry. Aden is divided into three (3) sections, each with its own collection of tourist sites. Among the most popular are the Cisterns of Tawila, the National Museum, the Sira Fortress, and the Little Ben.

Driving Directions

Aden is over 350km away from the capital city of Sana’a. Aden has an international airport, but if you need to drive from Sana’a, it will take you about 8.5 hours to reach Aden.

From the Sana’a International Airport:

  • Drive south along Airport Road
  • Continue onto A1.
  • Keep left and continue onto 70 Meters Road.
  • Turn left onto Johar St.
  • Turn left onto 50 St.
  • Turn right onto A18.
  • At the roundabout, take the 4th exit onto 30 Meters St.
  • Turn right onto 48 St.
  • Turn right onto Taiz Road.
  • Continue along N1, then turn left onto M45.
  • Continue onto R215.
  • R215 will terminate on N1.
  • Keep left to stay on N1 until you reach Aden.

You may be able to rent a car in Aden, considering that you brought along your native driving license and your International Driver’s License for Yemen. The city can cater to different types of vehicles, but one of the most popular vehicles in the entire country is the Toyota Land Cruiser. If you still don’t have an International Driver’s License for Yemen, website platforms like ours will give you an easy application experience. You can finish the application within ten (10 minutes) and get your IDP in as fast as 20 – 120 minutes!

If you applied for a physical International Driver’s License for Yemen, your address for shipping should be concise. If you want to ship your International Driver’s License to Yemen, the zip code of the specific area should be indicated on your application. To avoid losing your license, we recommend shipping your International Driving Permit – Yemen to a city (Sana’a) address.


Socotra Island

Socotra Island is only one (1) of four (4) islands in the Socotra archipelago. What makes Socotra very interesting to the global tourism scene is its very distinct collection of floral and faunal species. Not only that, the ecosystems in this archipelago run from the dry desert dunes to the high limestone mountains and down to the rich coral reef system — they basically have everything that mother nature has to offer in Socotra! When you visit the island, you should definitely check out the giant bottle trees as they only grow in Socotra, then cool off at Qalansiyah Beach, a wide, powdery, white sand beach.

Driving Directions

To get to Socotra, you’ll have to ride a plane. There is only one flight per week to and from Socotra so you’ll have to spend at least seven (7) days there. Moreover, Yemen Airways is the only airline operating in Socotra, and you’ll have to take a flight from Seyoun Airport.

From the Sana’a International Airport, it would take about 8.5 hours to reach Seyoun Airport, and this is how you drive to Seyoun:

  • From the airport, make your way to Mareb Road and drive north.
  • Continue onto N5.
  • Resume onto Airport Road.
  • At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto R574.
  • Make a sharp left onto N5.
  • Stay on N5 until you reach Seyoun Airport.

Do not mistake Socotra as a very remote group of islands. In fact, Socotra has a bustling town center. With this, traffic can be build up in some areas where traffic police would mostly likely station themselves. Nevertheless, wherever you go in Socotra, always have with you your important travel documents. This includes your native driving license, your International Driving Permit for Yemen, visa/passport, and other identification documents.

The law requires an International Driving Permit – Yemen in all zones traversed by public roads. If you don’t have one yet, you can apply for your International Driver’s License – Yemen through our website. In case you lose your license, you can be eligible for a free replacement of your International Driver’s Permit – Yemen. Time constraints are the only issue here, especially when your replacement request is for a physical IDP. If you don’t have the luxury of time, get a digital IDP instead.


Hadramaut is the country’s largest governorate, and it is located in the east-central region of Yemen. The province has a hilly coastline with valley regions inland. A portion of Hadramaut also supports agricultural activities. If the western highlands produce coffee and fruits, the Hadramut highlands produce mostly wheat and barley. If you visit Hadramaut, make sure that you do not miss Wadi Daw’an, an area where villages are perched on top of cliffs. The oldest of these villages is Haid al Jazil which was established more than 500 years ago and is perched right on top of a massive ball of rock.

Driving Directions

Hadramaut is just right beside the Al Mahwit governorate, where the capital city of Sana’a is located. But because of its huge land area, it would take hours to get from one border of Hadramaut to the opposite end. If you are driving from Sana’a, it will take you about eight (8) hours or less to reach Wadi Daw’an, or depending on how fast you can drive 565 kilometers.

From Sana’a International Airport:

  • Make your way to Mareb Road.
  • Continue onto N5.
  • Continue onto R574.
  • Then turn left onto N5.
  • Stay on N5, then turn right onto R536.
  • At the roundabout, take the 3rd exit onto R537.
  • Then turn right onto R541.
  • You’ll find the jump-off point to Wadi Daw’an to the left, about 12.7km from the junction.

To drive in Hadramaut, you’ll need to have a travel permit from the police office, your native driving license, and your International Driver’s License for Yemen. The form for application of IDP can be found on our website, and all you need to do is navigate back to our homepage and click on the “Start My Application” button. Again, you have the option to ship your IDP to Yemen just in time for your arrival. Just make sure that in your application for International Driver’s License (Yemen), the zip code on the shipping address is correct.

When securing an International Driver’s License for Yemen, online application services are inarguably very convenient. If you apply for a digital copy with us, you can just have your International Driver’s License (Yemen) downloaded and saved on your mobile device before traveling to the country. Likewise, when getting an International Driving Permit (Yemen), time is not a problem because our application portal is open 24/7, and you can get your IDP in as fast as 20 minutes!

Most Important Road Rules

Yemen still has a long way to go when it comes to creating a safe driving environment. Culturally, Yemen has been known to have quite the aggressive drivers, avoiding and disregarding the laws. However, as a foreigner and visitor, you should make sure that you abide by the traffic laws and practice proper driving etiquette at all times.

Avoid Drinking Alcohol in Yemen

Alcohol is banned in Yemen. Although some prevailingly-Muslim nations allow the sale and consumption of alike, Yemen is different. Yemen is among the most conservative countries when it comes to alcohol intake. There is zero tolerance for drinking and driving; hence, your blood alcohol concentration should be kept at 0.00% at all times. If you get caught violating these rules, you might have your International Driver’s Permit for all Yemen provinces confiscated, or worse, deportation.

Drive on the right side of the road.

Yemeni’s drive on the right side of the road. Although some reports have noted that some Yemeni’s do not follow this and drive on the opposite lane, do not follow them. The road markings or lane separators should guide you where you should position your car. Likewise, when you are driving in rural areas where there are no road markings, just make sure to keep to the right when there is an oncoming vehicle.

If you become a victim of another driver who drove on the other side of the road, as part of protocol, the police will also check your International Driver’s Permit for Yemen. City drivers can also be aggressive as those in the lesser traffic areas, so drive defensively.

Be Careful When Taking Photographs

Yemeni’s are a bit conservative also with regards to having their picture taken by strangers. If you’ve traveled to other countries, like in Western Africa, this is more or less the same. If you want to take pictures of a culturally-important building, a government building, a military infrastructure, or local people, make sure to ask permission. If they will not allow you to take a photograph, just leave it at that and look for other subjects instead.

If you ask permission also, the concerned authorities may ask for identification documents. With this, you can use your International Driver’s Permit for Yemen, which has the address from your home country.

Do Not Forget Your Driver’s License

Foreign visitors are allowed to drive in Yemen considering that they have a full driving license from their home country and an International Driver’s License for Yemen. International road safety conventions guide the issuance of IDLs/IDPs, and you can only secure one from accredited organizations like us. An International Driver’s License (Yemen) is a city requirement, as well as a requirement on rural roads. Don’t worry; you don’t need to get a visa to apply for an International Driver’s Permit in Yemen.

You also cannot rent a car in the country if you don’t have an International Driver’s Permit for Yemen. Laws of car rental companies include an IDP mainly for car insurance purposes. Moreover, if your native driving license is not printed in Arabic characters, your IDP will help you explain your driving credentials to the requesting authorities without hassle.

To know more about securing an International Driver’s Permit for all Yemen zones or regions, refer to our full driving guide for Yemen.

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