Middle East
LAST UPDATED 15/09/2008
Bookmark and Share

Level of surfing


Quality of surf


Call code


Net code





1,906 km



Extreme Heat, Coup / Civil Unrest, Difficult Internal Travel

Best Months





Yemeni rial (YER)

Time Zone

UTC +3

Special Requirements

Non tourist Friendly, Strict Religious Observance, Limited Surfing Supplies Available


The Lost City of Hajarin; 2007

Any day now, surfing is going to be the thing that brings peace to the middle east. for now though you get to surf places like Yemen all by yourself becasue the other people are concerned with things obviously far more important.

The area that shows the most promise for the surfer lies around the Al Wadi area to the east, close to the Omani border. The coastline here juts out in true swell magnet fashion capturing everything from S-E in the area. Further west of Al Wadi you start to enter the funnel that eventually leads to the Red Sea so options become more limited and dependent on perfect swell direction from the Arabian Sea - novelty waves only really that break maybe a couple of time per year, worth checking out if you find yourself working in the area and with a spare weekend on your hands. 

Offshore from the mainland lies the island of Socotra. This is a former Portuguese territory with several breaks founded mostly by visiting US marines of the Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa. This island is open to swell from virtually all directions including rare westerly wind swell that lights up the mystical point at Qulansiyah.

Storm cells rip through the Arabian Sea around MAY through to JULY and deliver good swell right along the coast of Yemen. It is worth bearing in mind that there are fewer than 10 surfers living in Yemen so it's one of those places that you dont mind surfing with someone else for a change. The predominat flow of SW swell across the Indian Ocean tends to miss Yemen with Sri Lanka really being the cut off point for reliable swell activity originating in the Southern Hemisphere.

Wandering swell systems can and do manage to get bent back to the coastline here however offering you another source of swell generating activity. Go forth and explore but check the appropriate travel advisories before you do, unfortunately not everyone is into surfing here.

The Red Sea is the occasional victim of severe inland dust and sand storms that will occasionally sit in position drilling away over the water to either the North or South of the Sea. If this happens long enough then windswell will bounce either up or down the Red sea lighting up what are the most northern Tropical reefs in the world. The salinity in the Red sea is in some cases double that of normal sea water. An interesting phenomena that means you can get away with about 2 feet less surfboard and still maintain the same level of buoyancy.


what to pack

Rich Niewiroski Jr.: 62 mm ultra-violet, fluorescent, and polarizing lens filters. Camera used was a Canon 400D; April 9, 2007

Bring your essential items as you may want to bring back many souvenirs when you return. Most items that you will be needing in your daily life can be purchased quite cheaply but if you are worried about using unfamilar brands, you may want to bring along a travel pack of shampoo, conditioner and toothpaste.

If you are bringing any electronics, remember that the plug will be different and you will need a plug/power convertor.  Since Yemenis take pride in their traditional clothing, many students purchase and wear these traditional outfits while staying in Yemen.

You must be a registered user to comment. Click here to register.

top rated spots