Surfeet, Surfeet Yemen,, Mahrah. Yemen, Surfeet Brder Crossing, Surfeet Border, Yemen Oman BOrder, Yemen-Oman Border, Yemen Oman border crossing

Crossing The Yemen-Oman Border

Updated April 2024, Crossing the Yemen-Oman Border was originally written in April 2020

It’s possible to travel in South Yemen (confusing as geographically speaking, it appears to be the eastern half of the country on a map… but that’s a discussion for a different post), with the help of a local fixer and proper planning. In this post, I’ll cover the steps necessary in order to cross the Yemen-Oman border at Surfeet.

Starting in March 2024, the Yemeni government is not allowing foreign travelers to arrive in Yemen via the border with Oman. The only way to enter the country currently is via flight from Cairo.

Wanna go to Yemen? Start your research with my Yemen Travel Guide

Need Travel Insurance and Evacuation Services for Yemen & Oman?

Start shopping for travel insurance plans over at IATI Insurance. Readers of the Adventures of Nicole get a 5% discount off your plan.

The Adventures of Nicole partners with Global Rescue to offer the world’s leading medical evacuation and security advisory services. To travel with peace of mind, shop evacuation coverage at Global Rescue.

Yemeni Approval Letter

Step 1: Get An Approval Letter

It’s possible to pick up your visa on arrival at the Yemen-Oman border at Surfeet, though it’s not as straightforward as just that. You’ll first need to arrange a trip with a fixer on the Yemeni side who can secure an approval letter from the Ministry of Tourism. For this, you’ll need to provide your fixer with a scan of your passport in order for them to apply for the approval letter.

After submission, it takes about two weeks to get the letter. You then will need to print the visa approval letter and bring it with you to the border.

Heading to Socotra? learn how to get a visa for Socotra & Yemen

Step 2:  Drive From Salalah To The Yemen-Oman Border At Surfeet

From Salalah, Oman the drive to the border takes roughly 2 hours and 20 minutes. The drive is quite stunning, hugging coastlines and climbing high up on to a plateau with views south into the Arabian Sea and north toward the Omani Empty Quarter.

If you’re needing a ride to the border, or are looking to visit Yemen as a day trip (I can’t fathom going to this effort for a day trip, but many a stamp collector have made the journey for it), I can put you in contact with Azam who can arrange this for you.

Read about our experience camping under the stars in the Yemeni Empty Quarter

Surfeet, Surfeet Yemen,, Mahrah. Yemen, Surfeet Brder Crossing, Surfeet Border, Yemen Oman Border, Yemen-Oman Border, Yemen Oman border crossing
Parked at the border on the Omani side

Step 3: Exit Oman

Exiting Oman is a simple enough process. You’ll park at the gate and hand over your passport at the window to be stamped out of Oman.

Spending time in Oman? Plan your trip with my Oman Travel Guide
Grab a copy of Bradt’s Oman guidebook plan your adventure

Surfeet, Surfeet Yemen,, Mahrah. Yemen, Surfeet Brder Crossing, Surfeet Border, Yemen Oman BOrder, Yemen-Oman Border, Yemen Oman border crossing
The Yemeni border control office

Step 4: Enter Yemen

Once you exit Oman, you’ll drive through the gate onto the other side. You’ll take your passport and approval letter to the border control office. Here you’ll hand over your documents as well as your $100 USD visa fee.

Exploring the Al Mahrah region of Yemen? Read the Al Mahrah Travel Guide

Yemen-Oman border, Yemen Oman border, Yemen-Oman border crossing, Yemen Oman border crossing, Yemeni visa, Yemeni visa stamp, Yemen visa, Yemen stamp, Yemen visa stamp

Step 5: Welcome To Yemen! Continue To Hawf

You’ve made it into Yemen. From the border control office, it’s about a 20 minute drive down to the small fishing village of Hawf that sits right on the coast. From Hawf, the drive to the town of Al Ghaydah is about one hour 45 minutes.

Hawf, Hawf Yemen, Surfeet, Surfeet Yemen, Yemen coast, Yemeni coast, al Mahrah coast, al Mahrah, Mahrah. Yemen

Other Important Notes On The Yemen-Oman Border

  • There is a northern border crossing connecting the Omani and Yemen Empty Quarter at Al Mazyunah, Oman and Shihan, Yemen. This border is open to foreigners, however, you can only exit Yemen and enter into Oman here. They will not let you across the opposite direction.
  • Plan to exit Oman and enter Yemen on the same passport. When I crossed the Yemen-Oman border in 2020, I had entered Oman on my US passport and had applied for my Yemeni approval letter and Yemeni visa under my Italian passport. On arrival in Yemen, the Yemeni officials checked for the Omani exit stamps and did not find one in my passport. I then handed over my US passport to show that my Omani exit stamps were in there. At first, they said that I had to exit and enter on the same passport and that they’d have to put my Yemeni visa in my US passport. After a little arguing back and forth they finally decided to just put my visa in my Italian passport. A dual Canadian/US passport holder was with us and had done the very same as I and had the same issue. In the end, it was just a minor incident, but worth noting. I’d advise exiting one and entering the other on the same passport to avoid potential problems.
  • Travelers that enter Yemen (as well as Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Syria) will no longer be eligible for the ESTA visa waiver program in the US. Otherwise, I am unaware of any other issues that a Yemeni visa may pose, aside from secondary questioning when arriving into some countries.
  • To get out of Yemen, you have two options. One would be to cross back over the Yemen-Oman border, either at the southern crossing at Surfeet, or the northern crossing at Shihan-Al Mazyunah. The other would be by flight from Seiyun. On Wednesdays, there’s a flight that stops in Seiyun from Cairo and continues onto Socotra (many travelers who visit Mainland Yemen do continue onto Socotra afterward), or later in the day on Wednesdays you can catch the flight from Seiyun to Cairo on its return from Socotra.
  • You’ll need to have a local fixer/guide in Yemen as mentioned previously, as it is required in order to secure a visa, as well as to travel around the country (you would most likely be stopped at a checkpoint and deported if you attempted to anyway). If you want to arrange a trip to the Mainland of Yemen with our local partner Kais, please reach out to organize trips to Yemen.

Have Any Questions About Crossing The Yemen-Oman Border?

Ask in the comments section below.

36 thoughts on “The Yemen-Oman Border Crossing”

  1. What’s the source that they won’t let foreigners in at the Oman border anymore? Just got in touch with one of the well known guides for a day trip later this year. He made no mention of it.

      1. Sorry, when you say no changes yet, do you mean they haven’t implemented the restriction yet, or that they haven’t started letting crossings again yet.

        The guide I’m in touch with didn’t say anything about it, but maybe it’s just because several months before our trip.

        He’s supposed to be going to Yemen on Saturday, so I imagine he might hear then either way.

  2. Hi
    Can you please tell me if they charged you for the approval letter?
    If so does it mean that we have to pay twice, one for the letter and the $100 visa fee?

      1. I paid $140 for the approval letter (visa), but they still charge tourists $200 at the omani border. Is there any way to bypass that additional fee please?

        1. Who is charging you $200 at the Omani border? Omani officials? Your guide? Are you even using the expertise of a guide or is it that you possibly got scammed? These are risks you do take if trying to go at it on your own. What is your nationality, is this something related to your passport? This isn’t very clear. I’ve not, nor have others I know have been charged $200 additionally at the border.

          1. Sorry I might not have made it clear, but it is at the Yemeni border that they charge that much. All the people who I know of had to pay an amount, some $300 even and if you fight back they might let you go for $50 on a good day. If you don’t pay, they will send you back to Oman. I even know of someone who was made to wait for 3 days at the border.


    Hi there!

    Would you please send me the contact of someone who may be able to organize a trip to Yemen and the island of Socotra?

    Thanks a lot for the assistance!

  4. Hello Nicole,
    I would be interested in a day trip to Hawf from Salalah.
    I would appreciate if you can share the contacts of the fixer + driver
    Thanks in advance

  5. Nicole hello. Thank you so much for your great post. Please share yemeni guys contacts to help us visit Hadramoute region from Oman at October. We need an approval letter for visa on arrival and a driver for 5 days.

  6. This is a wonderfully helpful website! I will be in Salalah next spring and would like to plan a short trip to Hawf, and maybe a little farther. Could you please email how to contact someone to obtain a Yemeni Visa?

  7. Hi Nicki,

    Arriving at Salalah airport will my Yemeni visa be proof of onward travel or should I have a return flight somewhere just in case?

  8. Hello ,Could you provide me with the contact number of the driver from salalah, im plalning on doing a day trip to Hawf. Thank you

  9. Hi Nicole,
    I hope you are well. I was wondering if you could share the contacts for the fixer we need in step 1 of your guide?
    Thank you for the clear and very helpful guide.

    1. Hi M, I try not to post their personal info out in the open too much- but I did just send you an email to the account you sent your comment from to help get you in touch.

  10. Hello Nicole,
    I am a war journalist and I am working on a documentary with a production team. I need to cross the Oman/Yemen border to travel to Sana’a (alone). I have been to Yemen a few years ago, but, as you know, the situation has changed dramatically. Do you have any contacts of a fixer that could help me to get from Oman to Sana’a. I already have contacts in the capital city but I need to get there first.

  11. Khatri Chhetri

    Hi Nicole,
    I am a freelance non arabic medical volunteer heading to Aden/Taiz Yemen overland route from Muscat Oman towards the end of March by public transports.Kindly suggest me how do I do that. Thank you.

    1. You’ll need to have the agency/organization you’ll be volunteering with to help facilitate your transit to Aden and/or Taiz. Numerous documents need to be in line and approved in order to go.

    2. Hi Nicole,
      Thank you for information. It is so nice of you. I arrived in Muscat , Oman on 30 th March and stuck in a hotel room as a part of institutional quarantine for another 7 days despite (10 days’ visa of Oman expires on following day)presenting documents about the fact that I have had COVID pneumonia ( professional risk for health professional)and later got two doses of COVID vaccine. Embassy of Yemen in Oman will issue me visa once I am out of Quarantine. For your kind notice that I am a lone voluntary doctor providing health services to the needy in different part of at the time crisis. I do it on my own expenses. Naturally I can not afford travel agents. I know there are huge challanges is it possible to go alone. Thank you. Regards.

  12. Hi! I was wondering if you have any recommendations/information about the situation with corona virus and the best ways to leave yemen to Oman

    1. Hi Sophie,
      Coronavirus has struck Yemen pretty hard. As it’s the rainier season now Dengue and Cholera are spreading as well. It’s not currently possible to enter the country, though I have heard from a couple of partners over there that they are hopeful that it may be possible again in September. Send me an email at Adventuresoflilnicki @ and I can give you some contacts.

      1. Hi Nicole, Thanks for the informative website. I plan to visit Yemen for a 1 to 2 day trip from Salalah Oman in January or February 2024. Can you send me the contact details of a fixer who can arrange the letter for visa and transport? As a solo female traveller, is it fine as long as I dress conservatively or are there other things I should look out for? Are there places to stay in Hawf and on the way to the ‘skyscrapers’? Many thanks!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top