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Table of Contents

How to Prepare for a Safe Trip                         2
Visa and Other Entry Requirements                      4
Special Entry Requirements for Countries               5
      That Permit No Tourists
U.S. Citizens Married to Foreign Nationals             6
Dual Nationality                                       6
Currency  and Customs Regulations                      8
Health                                                 9
Drug Offenses                                         10
Dress and Local Customs                               11

Country Information                                   12
   Algeria                                            12
   Bahrain                                            13
   Egypt                                              14
   Iran                                               15
   Iraq                                               16
   Israel                                             17
   Jordan                                             21
   Kuwait                                             22
   Lebanon                                            23
   Libya                                              24
   Morocco                                            25
   Oman                                               25
   Qatar                                              25
   Saudi Arabia                                       26
   Syria                                              33
   Tunisia                                            35
   United Arab Emirates                               35
   Yemen                                              36

Foreign Embassies in the United States                38
U.S. Embassies and Consulates Abroad                  39

Bureau of Consular Affairs

Revised  October  1994

The information in this publication is in the public domain and may be 
reproduced without permission.  When this material is reproduced, the 
Department of State would appreciate receiving a copy at:  CA/P/PA, 
Department of State, Washington, DC 20520-4818.

Tips for Travelers to the Middle East and North Africa


     The information in this pamphlet has been gathered for you by 
consular officers--both here in the Department of State and in the 
Middle East and North Africa--to assist you with your trip.  We hope 
this brochure will be of help to you in making your trip both safe and 

     Always keep in mind, though, that wherever you are abroad, if you 
come into serious difficulties, contact the U.S. consul at the nearest 
United States embassy or consulate for information or assistance.

How to Prepare for a Safe Trip

The policies of the countries in the Middle East and North Africa toward 
foreign visitors vary greatly from country to country.  Some countries 
encourage tourism and put very few restrictions on visitors.  Other 
countries do not allow tourism and carefully regulate business travel.  
Some areas in the region have experienced military conflict over an 
extended period of time.

A little planning and knowledge will go a long way toward making your 
trip to the Middle East and North Africa go smoothly.  If you learn 
about the countries you will visit and obey the laws and respect the 
customs of those places, you can make your stay as pleasant and 
incident-free as possible.  

Consular Information Sheets
For travel information on any country, see the Department of State's 
Consular Information Sheet for the country.  Consular Information Sheets 
cover such matters as health conditions, unusual currency and entry 
regulations, crime and security conditions, drug penalties, and areas of 
instability.  In addition, there are a number of Travel Warnings which 
advise Americans to defer  travel because of unsafe conditions.  
Regulations may also prohibit the use of U.S. passports to visit certain 
countries.  This prohibition will be included in the Travel Warnings 
issued for affected countries.  Travel Warnings are under continuous 
review by the Department of State.  Before you depart for a country that 
has a Travel Warning, make certain that you have the  most recent 
revision of the Warning.  The Department of State also issues Public 
Announcements.  Public Announcements are issued as a means to 
disseminate information quickly about terrorist threats and other 
relatively short-term and /or trans-national condition which would pose 
significant risks to the security of American travelers. 

There are several ways to access Consular Information Sheets, Travel 
Warnings and Public Announcements.  You can listen to them 24-hours a 
day by calling 202-647-5225 from a touchtone phone.  You can receive 
copies of them by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the 
Overseas Citizens Services, Room 4800, Department of State, Washington, 
DC  20520-4818.  (Write the name of the requested country or countries 
on the outside of the envelope.)  You can also find Consular Information 
Sheets and Travel Warnings at the 13 regional passport agencies and at 
U.S. embassies and consulates abroad.  They can also be accessed through 
an airline or travel agent's computer reservation system, the Bureau of 
Consular Affairs'  24- hour automated fax system at 202/647-3000,  or 
through many computer bulletin boards, including the Consular Affairs 
Bulletin Board (CABB).  You may call the CABB on modem number 202-647-
9225.  Set your communications software to: no parity, 8 bits, one stop 
bit (N-8-1).

As you travel, keep abreast of local news coverage.  If you plan more 
than a short stay in one place, or if you are in an area experiencing 
civil unrest or a natural disaster, you are encouraged to register with 
the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.  Remember to leave a detailed 
itinerary with a friend or relative in the United States in case of an 

Your U.S. Passport
Make a record or photocopy of the data from your passport's 
identification page and from your visas.  Also make a copy of the 
addresses and telephone numbers of the U.S. embassy and consulates in 
the countries you will visit (see pages 39-40).  Put this information 
along with two passport photos in a place separate from your passport to 
be available in case of loss or theft of your passport.

Visa and Other Entry Requirements

A U.S. passport is required for travel to all countries in the region.  
U.S. citizens are not required to have visas for tourist or business 
travel to Israel, Morocco, or Tunisia, but may need to supply proof of 
sufficient funds for the trip and proof of onward or round trip travel 
arrangements.  All other countries in the Middle East and North Africa 
require U.S. citizens to have visas.

If you plan to travel extensively in the region, entry and exit stamps 
could quickly fill the pages of your passport.  Before you go, you may 
wish to ask the nearest passport agency to add extra pages to your 
passport.  Or, if applying for a new passport, you can request one with 
48 pages instead of the usual 24.

Each country has its own set of entry requirements.  For authoritative 
visa information, contact the embassy or consulate of the  country you 
plan to visit.  See page 38 for a list of foreign embassies in the 
United States.  

When you make inquiries, ask about the following:

--    Visa price, length of validity, number of entries.

--    Financial requirements--proof of sufficient funds and proof of 
onward/return ticket.

--    Immunization requirements.  Yellow fever immunization is often 
required if arriving from a yellow-fever- infected area. 

--     Currency regulations. 

--    Import/export restrictions and limitations.  Several countries 
prohibit the import and consumption of alcoholic beverages.

--    Departure tax.  Be sure to keep enough local currency to be able 
to depart as planned.  

Some Arab countries will not allow travelers to enter if their passports 
show any evidence of previous or expected travel to Israel.  Other Arab 
countries apply the ban inconsistently, sometimes refusing and at other 
times allowing entry when a passport shows evidence of travel to Israel.  
The U.S. government has informed the members of the Arab League that it 
objects to restrictive policies regarding U.S. passports containing 
Israeli markings.  If passport restrictions imposed by other countries 
may be a problem for you, contact the nearest U.S. passport agency, 
embassy, or consulate for guidance.  

Several Arab countries ask visa applicants to state their religious 
affiliation.  The U.S. government is opposed to the use of this 
information to discriminate against visa applicants, and has made its 
views known to the governments concerned.  In turn, the United States 
has received assurances that visa applications are not denied on the 
basis of religious affiliation.

Special Entry Requirements for Countries That Permit No Tourists

Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia do not permit tourism.  All 
business visitors must be sponsored by a company in the country to be 
visited.  Private visitors must be sponsored by a relative or friend 
native to the country.  To visit a foreigner working in a country where 
tourism is not permitted, you must be sponsored by the same local 
company that sponsors the person you are visiting.  Entry is by visa or 
the non-objection certificate (NOC) system.  An NOC is obtained by a 
visitor's sponsor and filed with the appropriate foreign government 
authorities before the planned visit.  For more information, see the 
individual country sections beginning on page 12.

Exit Permits

Countries that require visitors to be sponsored usually also require 
them to obtain exit permits from their sponsors.   U.S. citizens can 
have difficulty obtaining exit permits if they are involved in business 
disputes.  A U.S. citizen who is the wife or child of the local sponsor 
needs the sponsor's permission to leave the country.  Do not accept 
sponsorship to visit a country unless you are certain you will also be 
able to obtain an exit permit.    

U.S. Citizens Married to Foreign Nationals

In many Islamic countries, even those that give tourist visas and do not 
require sponsorship, a woman needs the permission of her husband, and 
children need the permission of their father, to leave the country.  If 
you travel or allow your children to travel, be aware of the laws of the 
country you plan to visit.  The Department of State is aware of many 
American citizen children who have been abducted to, or wrongfully 
retained in countries of the Middle East and North Africa 
notwithstanding a U.S. custody order.  Although some of these children 
were taken abroad illegally by one of their parents, many originally 
traveled abroad with the consent of both parents.  Do not visit or allow 
your children to visit unless you are completely confident that you and 
they will be allowed to leave.  Once overseas, you are subject to the 
laws of the country where you are; U.S. law cannot protect you.

Dual Nationality

Some countries in the Middle East and North Africa do not recognize 
acquisition of U.S. citizenship by their nationals.  Unless the 
naturalized U.S. citizen renounces his or her original nationality at an 
embassy or consulate of the country of origin, he or she may still be 
considered a citizen of that country.  A person born in the United 
States with a parent who was a citizen of another country may also be 
considered a citizen of that country.  The laws of some countries 
provide for automatic acquisition of citizenship when a person marries a 
national of that country.

If arrested, a dual national may be denied the right to communicate with 
the U.S. embassy or consulate.  Another consequence could be having to 
serve in the military of one's former country.  If you are a naturalized 
U.S. citizen, a dual national, or have any reason to believe another 
country may claim you as their national, check with the embassy of that 
country as to your citizenship status and any obligations you may have 
while visiting.  Dual nationals who have not researched their 
citizenship status before traveling have sometimes, to their surprise, 
encountered difficulties, such as not being allowed to depart.

Even countries that recognize acquired U.S. citizenship may consider 
their former citizens as having resumed original citizenship if they 
take up residence in their country of origin.  This can happen even if 
the embassy of the country of origin stamps a visa in the U.S. passport 
of its former citizen.

Dual nationals may find that they are required to use a passport from 
their country of origin in order to enter or leave that country.  The 
U.S. government does not object to the use of a foreign passport by a 
dual national to enter or depart a foreign country in compliance with 
the requirements of that country.  U.S. regulations require, however, 
that U.S. citizens, including dual nationals, use a U.S. passport to 
depart from and enter the United States.

If you have any questions about dual nationality or the use of foreign 
passports, contact Overseas Citizens Services, Room 48l7, Department of 
State, Washington, D.C. 20520-4818, (202-647-3926) before you travel.  
Recorded information on dual nationality and other citizenship matters 
is available 24-hours a day by calling 202-647-3444.

Currency and Customs Regulations

Some countries in the region have no restrictions on currency imports or 
exports.   Some prohibit Israeli currency.  Most countries in the Middle 
East and North Africa, however, have detailed currency regulations, 
including a requirement to declare all currency, including travelers 
checks, upon entry.  In those countries, the export of foreign currency 
is limited to the amount that was imported and declared.  Be sure to 
make the required currency declaration, have it validated, and retain it 
for use at departure.  Buy local currency only at banks or other 
authorized exchange places and retain your receipts for use at 
departure.  Currency not accounted for may be confiscated.  

Several countries prohibit the import and consumption of alcoholic 
beverages.  Most countries restrict the entry of products containing 
pork, as well as any literature, videotapes, and cassette tapes deemed 
pornographic.  Also, some countries will not permit the import of books 
or other goods from Israel.

Shopping--Be Wary of Antiques

Americans have been arrested in some countries in the region for the 
unauthorized purchase of antiques or other important cultural artifacts.  
If you purchase such items, always insist that the seller provide a 
receipt and the official museum export certificate required by law.  
Travelers have also been detained at customs for possessing 
reproductions of antiques.  The safest policy is to purchase copies of 
antiques from reputable stores and have them documented as such.  Obtain 
receipts for all such purchases.


Information on immunizations and health precautions for travelers can be 
obtained in the United States from local health departments, private 
doctors, or travel clinics.  Information is also available from the 
Centers for Disease Control's 24-hour hotline on 404-332-4559 and from 
the U.S. Public Health Service book, Health Information for 
International Travel, available for $7.00 from the Superintendent of 
Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402.  
Depending on your destination, immunization may be recommended against 
diphtheria, tetanus, polio, typhoid, and hepatitis A.  Chloroquine 
prophylaxis against malaria is recommended for travel to some areas of 
the region. 

An increasing number of countries have established regulations regarding 
AIDS testing, particularly for long-term residents and students.  Check 
with the embassy or consulate of the country you plan to visit for the 
latest information.  

Review Your Health Insurance Policy
If your health insurance does not provide coverage overseas, consider 
buying temporary insurance that does.  In addition, consider obtaining 
insurance to cover the exorbitant cost of medical evacuation in the 
event of an illness or for the return of remains in case of death.  
Insurance companies and some credit card and travelers check companies 
offer short-term health and emergency assistance policies designed for 
travelers.  Medical facilities vary in the region; in some countries 
they are similar to U.S. standards.  U.S. embassies or consulates can 
furnish you with a list of local hospitals and English-speaking 

In the hot and dry climates that prevail in the Middle East and North 
Africa, it is important to avoid water depletion and heat stroke.  Safe 
tap water is available in many areas.  In some places, however, it is 
highly saline and should be avoided by persons on sodium-restricted 
diets.  In many rural and some urban areas, tap water is not potable, 
and travelers should drink only boiled or chemically treated water or 
bottled carbonated drinks.  In these areas, avoid fresh vegetables and 
fruits unless they are washed in a purifying solution and peeled.  
Diarrhea is potentially serious.  If it persists, seek medical 

Schistosomiasis (or bilharzia) is present in the area of the Nile and in 
several other areas in North Africa and the Middle East.  These 
parasites are best avoided by not swimming or wading in fresh water in 
endemic areas.  

Drug Offenses

Drug enforcement policies in the region are strict.  Possession of even 
small amounts of narcotics, including substances such as marijuana, LSD, 
or amphetamines, can lead to arrest.  If found guilty, drug offenders 
are subject to lengthy prison sentences.  Because what is considered to 
be 'narcotics' varies from country to country, learn and obey the laws 
in the places you will visit.  Keep all prescription drugs in their 
original containers clearly labeled with the doctor's name, pharmacy and 
contents.  In addition, if you take an unusual prescription drug, carry 
a letter from your doctor explaining your need for the drug and a copy 
of the prescription. 

Dress and Local Customs

Islam is the pre-eminent influence on local laws and customs in much of 
the Middle East and North Africa.  The extent of this influence varies.  
Some Arab  countries have secular governments, but in certain other 
countries, particularly those in the Arabian peninsula, Islam dictates a 
total way of life.  It prescribes the behavior for individuals and 
society, codifying law, family relations, business etiquette, dress, 
food, personal hygiene, and much more.  Among the important values is a 
family-centered way of life, including a protected role for women and 
clear limits on their participation in public life.  In traditional 
societies, Muslims believe open social relations between the sexes 
result in the breakdown of family life.  Contact between men and women, 
therefore, is rigidly controlled in traditional societies.

Travel during Ramadan, the holiest time in the Islamic year, can prove 
to be very difficult.  Business is rarely conducted during this time and 
non-observance of the Ramadan tradition of fasting during daylight hours 
can carry penalities in some countries. 

In the traditional societies of the region, it is considered rude to 
face the soles of one's feet toward other people.  At traditional meals, 
the left hand is not used for eating. 

Conservative Western street clothing (except for shorts) is appropriate 
in most areas.  In more traditional societies, however, attire for women 
should be more conservative, garments should have sleeves, and dress 
length should be below the knee.  On the other hand, in some areas of 
the region visited by many tourists -- for example, the beaches of 
Israel and Morocco -- attire similar to that worn in the United States 
is acceptable.

The Workweek
In many countries in the Middle East and North Africa, the weekend is 
either Thursday/Friday or Friday/Saturday.  Workweek information is 
included in the list of U.S. embassies on pages 39-40.  

Country Information 

Travelers to Algeria are warned that due to political, social, and 
economic problems a climate of violent unrest has occurred.  A number of 
terrorist attacks have been carried out against foreigners.  Terrorists 
have also threatened to kill all foreigners who are in Algeria.  A state 
of emergency has been in effect since early 1992.

Crime is also a major problem in Algeria.  Crimes include car break-ins, 
theft of auto parts from parked cars, theft of items (even those of 
moderate value) left in hotel rooms, home burglary, and pickpocketing 
and purse snatching near hotels and on trains and buses.  Some tactics 
that residents of Algeria use to avoid being victimized include carrying 
only a minimum amount of cash and concealing it well and parking only in 
guarded locations.  The police can be reached in Algerian cities by 
dialing 17.  In rural areas, contact the gendarmerie nationale.

Algeria does not give visas to persons whose passports indicate travel 
to Israel.  Some hotels accept some credit cards.  Before traveling, ask 
your credit card company if your card will be accepted in Algeria, and 
if not, bring travelers checks to cover your expenses.  

Algerian currency and customs regulations are strictly enforced.  All 
currency must be declared upon entering the country, and completely 
accounted for when departing.  Non-residents are required to change the 
equivalent of approximately $200 into Algerian dinars at the official 
exchange rate while in Algeria.  You will need to present evidence of 
this currency exchange before you are allowed to depart the country.  
All hotel bills must be paid in hard currency such as U.S. dollars.  
Paid hotel receipts may be used as evidence of currency exchange.

Business representatives, conference and exhibition delegates, and 
holders of diplomatic and official passports may obtain a visitors visa, 
valid for up to three months, from the Bahrain Embassy in Washington, 
DC, or the UN Mission for Bahrain in New York.  Persons in the above 
categories may also be able to obtain either a 7-day visa or a 72-hour 
transit visa at the Bahrain airport upon arrival if they present a 
confirmed return or onward air ticket.  Single women who have no sponsor 
or family ties in Bahrain may have difficulty in obtaining an airport 
visa.  In addition to an onward ticket, they may wish to secure in 
advance a sponsorship from a hotel that will arrange to have an airport 
visa waiting for them.  The 72-hour airport visa can be extended, on a 
case by case basis, for up to one week if a Bahraini sponsor applies to 
the Immigration Director stating the purpose for the extension. 

A 7-day visa is possible for members of tourist groups, provided 
arrangements are made with the Directorate of Tourism and Archaeology in 
the Ministry of Information or through a private agency in Bahrain, such 
as a hotel, travel agent, or tour group organizer.

Journalists planning travel to Bahrain should contact the Ministry of 
Information providing travel details at least one week in advance of 
arrival.  The Ministry will then authorize airport officials to issue a 
72-hour or a 7-day visa upon arrival.  Failure to notify the Ministry 
may result in delay at the airport or denial of permission to enter the 
country.  The Ministry's address is:  P.O. Box 253, State of Bahrain; 
telephone:  (973) 689-099; FAX (973) 780-345; telex: 8399  inform BN.  
Office hours:  0700-1400 Saturday through Wednesday.

Water is drinkable though often highly saline.  Conservative dress is 
recommended.  Bahrain prohibits the import of pornography, firearms, 
ammunition, or of items such as knives, swords, or daggers that are 
capable of being used as weapons.  Videotapes may be screened by customs 
in Bahrain and either confiscated or held until the traveler departs the 

Consumption of alcohol is allowed in most bars and restaurants, except 
during the month of Ramadan.  If there is any indication that a driver 
has consumed alcohol, authorities will regard that as evidence of 
driving under the influence of alcohol.  The penalty for drunken driving 
may be incarceration or a fine of 500 Bahraini dinars, the equivalent of 
$1,300.  This fine can be increased to up to double that amount, 
depending on the circumstances of the case and the judge's decision.  
Under Bahraini law, convicted drug traffickers may receive the death 

There are no currency declaration requirements for travelers.  Travelers 
may carry a maximum of 100 Egyptian pounds into or out of Egypt.  Excess 
Egyptian currency found on a traveler entering Egypt will be 

There are strict duties on the importation of expensive photographic and 
video equipment. This includes most types of equipment typically carried 
by tourists to Egypt, including all video and autofocus cameras.  
Travelers who wish to take such equipment with them on a temporary visit 
have the following options with customs authorities:  (A) They may have 
it by model and serial number in their passports, so that the equipment 
can be cross-checked upon the traveler's  departure from Egypt.  In this 
instance no duty will be collected.  (B) They have the equipment placed 
in storage for the duration of stay, in which case a storage fee may be 
collected.  (C) Long term visitors or residents will pay a standard duty 
fee for importing the items and be  issued a  receipt (at the time of 
departure, the fee will be refunded upon presentation of the receipt).
All persons entering Egypt from cholera or yellow fever areas must 
produce evidence of up-to-date immunizations.  Immunization must have 
been administered before arrival--cholera at least 6 days before arrival 
and yellow fever at least 10 days.  Travelers without evidence of 
required immunizations may not enter unless they are vaccinated and 
detained in quarantine for 6 or 10 days, respectively.  

Foreigners are required to register with the police within 7 days of 
arrival.  Hotels usually take care of this.  All hotel bills must be 
paid in foreign currency or in Egyptian pounds exchanged at the official 
bank rate, as evidenced by a bank receipt.

All travelers to Egypt should be aware that Egyptian authorities 
strictly enforce drug laws.  The death penalty may be imposed on anyone 
convicted of smuggling or selling marijuana, hashish, opium, or other 

U.S. citizens are advised to avoid all travel to Iran.  Travel to Iran 
continues to be dangerous because of the generally anti-American 
atmosphere and Iranian government hostility to the U.S. government.  
U.S. citizens traveling to Iran have been detained without charge, 
arrested, and harassed by Iranian authorities.  Persons who violate 
Iranian laws, such as those concerning proper dress, may face penalties 
that are, at times, severe.

U.S./Iranian dual nationals often have their U.S. passports confiscated, 
have been denied permission to leave Iran, have been compelled to serve 
in the Iranian armed forces, or have encountered other problems while in 
Iran.  U.S. citizens who are the spouse or child of an Iranian citizen 
are also considered Iranian citizens and may be required to enter Iran 
using an Iranian passport.  The wife and minor children of an Iranian 
citizen will not be allowed to leave Iran without the written permission 
of the husband or father.  Before planning a trip to Iran, Americans who 
also possess Iranian nationality are advised to contact Overseas 
Citizens Services at 202-647-3926.

The United States does not have diplomatic relations with Iran.  U.S. 
interests in Iran are currently served by the Embassy of Switzerland.  
Iranian officials have often prevented Swiss officials from providing 
even minimal protective services to U.S. citizens.

U.S. citizens are warned to avoid all travel to Iraq.  Conditions in 
Iraq remain unsettled and dangerous and travel is extremely hazardous, 
particularly for U.S. citizens.

On February 8, 1991, U.S. passports ceased to be valid for travel to, 
in, or through Iraq unless a special validation has been obtained.  An 
automatic exemption to the restriction is granted to Americans residing 
in Iraq as of February 8, 1991, and to professional journalists on 
assignment.  The categories of individuals eligible for consideration 
for special passport validation are representatives of the American or 
International Red Cross, persons with compelling humanitarian 
considerations, or applicants whose travel is determined to be in the 
national interest.  Exceptions will be scrutinized carefully on a case-
by-case basis.  Requests for exceptions should be forwarded in writing 

   Office of Citizenship Appeals and
        Legal Assistance
   U.S. Department of State
   1111 19th Street, N.W., Suite 260
   Washington, DC 20522-1705.
   Telephone:  202-955-0232 or 955-0231

The request must be accompanied by substantiating documentation 
according to the category under which an exception is sought.  It must 
also include the prospective traveler's name, date and place of birth, 
and passport number.

In addition, the Department of the Treasury prohibits all travel-related 
transactions by U.S. persons intending to visit Iraq, unless 
specifically licensed by the Office of Foreign Assets Control.  The only 
exceptions are for persons engaged in journalism or in official U.S. 
government or U.N. business.  Questions on U.S. Treasury restrictions 
should be directed to:

   Licensing Section
   Office of Foreign Assets Control
   U.S. Department of the Treasury
   Washington, DC  20220
   Telephone:  202-622-2480.

Travelers granted exceptions to travel to Iraq should be aware that 
normal protection by U.S. diplomatic and consular representatives cannot 
be provided.  U.S. interests in Iraq are represented by the government 
of Poland which can provide only limited emergency services to U.S. 
citizens.  All travelers to Iraq are required to submit certification or 
be tested upon arrival for AIDS. 

Israel, the Gaza Strip, Jericho Area, and the Territories Occupied and 
Administered by Israel
U.S. citizens do not need a visa to visit Israel, the West Bank, the 
Golan Heights, or the Gaza Strip and Jericho area  In the Gaza Strip and 
Jericho area, a transfer of certain powers and responsibilities to the 
Palestinian Authority has taken place pursuant to the September 13, 1993 
Israel-PLO Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Governing 
Arrangements and the May 4, 1994 Cairo Agreement.  Upon arrival in 
Israel, a U.S. citizen is issued a tourist visa that is valid for 3 
months and is renewable.  Anyone, however, who has been refused entry to 
Israel or experienced difficulties with their visa status during a 
previous visit should contact the nearest Israeli embassy or consulate 
before attempting to return to Israel.  At ports of entry, Israeli 
officials determine a U.S. citizen's eligibility to enter Israel.  
Applicants may be questioned in detail and/or required to post a 
departure bond.  

Entering Israel
American citizens have, on occasion, had their U.S. passports taken as a 
guarantee of their departure.  If this should happen to you, contact a 
U.S. consular officer and report the seizure of your passport.  Any U.S. 
citizen experiencing difficulties at points of entry, to Israel or the 
Gaza Strip, should ask to telephone the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv on 03-
517-4338 (weekends:  03-517-4347).  Those experiencing difficulties 
attempting to enter from Jordan or who encounter difficulties in the 
Jericho area should ask to contact the U.S. Consulate General in 
Jerusalem on 02-253-288 (weekends 02-253-201).  Although they will be 
pleased to assist you, neither the U.S. Embassy nor the Consulate 
General can guarantee the admission into Israel, the West Bank, Gaza 
Strip and Jericho area, or the Golan Heights of any traveler.

Visitors to Israel will experience strict security screening.  They may 
be subject to prolonged questioning, detailed searches of their personal 
effects and, in some cases, body searches.  Anything that cannot be 
readily examined, such as tubes of toothpaste, cans of shaving cream, 
computers, cameras, and other electronic or video equipment may be 
refused entry and may be confiscated and destroyed.  If you plan to 
bring electronic, video, or other high-tech equipment to Israel, check 
with an Israeli embassy or consulate as to whether it could pass through 
security.  Cameras should be empty when going through security so they 
can be opened for inspection.  American citizens with Arab surnames, and 
in particular those seeking to enter Israel at the Allenby Bridge from 
Jordan, may encounter extra delays, including greater difficulty in 
bringing cameras and electronic equipment into the country.

Western dress is appropriate in Israel.  At religious sites, attire 
should be modest.  Religious holidays in Israel and Jerusalem are 
determined according to the Hebrew calendar and fall on different dates 
each year.  It is likely that religious holidays in the Gaza Strip and 
Jericho area will be determined by the Moslem calendar, and also will 
fall on different dates each year.  Because hotels are usually heavily 
booked before and during religious holidays, tourists should check 
holiday schedules with their travel agent or with the Embassy of Israel 
in Washington, D.C.  Travelers should make reservations for holiday 
periods well in advance.

Dangerous Areas
On June 22, 1994, the Department of State issued a public announcement  
advising U.S. citizens to avoid travel to the Gaza Strip and West Bank, 
except for daylight visits to Bethlehem, Jericho, Highway 1 from 
Jerusalem to the Dead Sea , Route 90 through the Jordan Valley, and 
tourist  sites along these routes, because of continuing disturbances in 
those areas.  Should you decide to travel to the West Bank despite the 
public announcement, register with the U.S. Consulate General in 
Jerusalem.  In the case of travel to Gaza or the Golan Heights, register 
with the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv.  The situation in East Jerusalem, 
including the old city, is unpredictable and Americans should check with 
the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem for an update  on conditions.  
Avoid demonstrations and other situations that have the potential to 
lead to violence and remember to carry your U.S. passport with you at 
all times. 

Persons who need to cross into Jordan via the West Bank can use the 
Allenby Bridge crossing near the city of Jericho or the Arava crossing 
located near Eilat in the southern part of the country.  A new land 
crossing in the north, near the former location of the Sheik Hussein 
Bridge, is expected to open before the end of 1994.

Travelers wishing to cross via the Allenby Bridge need a bridge crossing 
permit and a visa.  Neither of these is obtainable in Israel.  Some 
travelers arrange the papers through contacts in Jordan or use travel 
agents in East Jerusalem who specialize in this service.  It takes 
several weeks to get the crossing permits and visas in order.  Visas are 
not available at the bridge.  They must be obtained ahead of time.  The 
Allenby Bridge is open from 0800 to 1200 Sunday through Thursday and 
from 0800 to 1000 on Friday.  It is closed on Saturday and on many 
Israeli holidays.

Persons travelling on a U.S. passport who wish to travel via the Arava 
crossing do not need to have a previously obtained crossing permit or 
visa.  Jordanian visas can be obtained at this crossing point for a fee 
of approximately $20 (U.S.).  Israeli dual nationals with third country 
passports may use their other (e.g., U.S.) passport to obtain Israeli 
permission to exit Israel and apply for a Jordanian entry visa.  
Normally, all Israelis, including dual nationals, must use their Israeli 
passports to enter and exit Israel.  Travelers are not allowed to bring 
their personal vehicles across the border unless the vehicles are 
registered in another country.  The Arava crossing is open Sunday-
Thursday from 0800 to 1600.  Procedures for the Sheik Hussein Bridge 
crossing when it becomes operable are expected to be similar to those 
for the Arava crossing. 

A few areas in Israel are off-limits to unauthorized persons for 
military reasons.  American visitors are expected to observe those off-
limits restrictions.  Conditions along Israel's cease-fire lines, 
including the Lebanese border, change frequently.  U.S. travelers 
planning a visit close to the lines should first consult the U.S. 
Embassy in Tel Aviv.  

Dual Nationality
It is our understanding that Israeli citizens who are naturalized in the 
United States retain their Israeli citizenship, and their children are 
considered Israeli citizens as well.  In addition, children born in the 
United States to Israeli parents acquire both U.S. citizenship and 
Israeli nationality at birth.  Israeli citizens, including dual 
nationals, are subject to Israeli laws requiring service in Israel's 
armed forces.  Dual nationals of military age who do not wish to serve 
in the Israeli armed forces should contact the Israeli Embassy to obtain 
proof of exemption or deferment from Israeli military service before 
traveling to Israel.

Departing Israel
Persons leaving Israel by air are subjected to lengthy and detailed 
security questioning.  Travelers should arrive at the airport several 
hours before flight time.

There is no departure tax when leaving Israel.

Travelers wishing to cross the Allenby-King Hussein Bridge from Jordan 
into the West Bank territories occupied by Israel must obtain written 
authorization by submitting their passport and one photo, in person, to 
the Jordanian Ministry of Interior three working days before the 
crossing date.  The permit allows you to cross the bridge and to make a 
return crossing within 30 days.  The bridge is open from 0800 to 1200 
Sunday through Thursday and from 0800 to 1000 on Friday.  The bridge is 
closed Saturdays and on many Israeli holidays.  Travelers should arrive 
at the bridge at least one hour before closing time.  

Conservative dress is recommended for Jordan.   Travelers with dual U.S. 
and Jordanian nationality should be aware that the Jordanian government 
may require them to enter and leave Jordan on a Jordanian passport.  
Males between the ages of 18 and 40 who possess dual nationality may 
need to prove that they have met their military service obligation.  For 
further information, see the section on dual nationality on page 6.

Those traveling on a temporary or visitor visa to Kuwait must observe 
the length of stay permitted in their visas.  Currently, most visitor 
visas are valid for one year, multiple entries,  and stays of up to one 
month.  Fines are charged for each day overstayed; the fine is currently 
10 Kuwait dinars per day, per person (approximately $34 U.S.).  

Visitors to Kuwait should be aware of the danger of unexploded land 
mines, bombs, and shells throughout the country.  Stay on main roads, do 
not travel on unpaved roads, and avoid open areas and beaches.  

The crime rate in Kuwait has increased from prewar levels and women have 
been objects of increased harassment.  Woman should take precautions as 
they would in any large city, remaining  alert to the possibility of 
being followed, whether they are walking or driving.  They should not 
respond to any approach from strangers and should avoid travel alone in 
unfamiliar or isolated parts of the city, especially at night.  
Conservative dress is recommended for  both men and women.  Garments 
should fit loosely and cover elbows and knees.

No alcohol, pork products, or pornographic materials may be imported 
into or used in Kuwait.  If customs official discover prohibited items 
in a traveler's effects, he or she may be arrested and prosecuted.

U.S. citizens should not go near the border with Iraq, and should be 
very careful when traveling north or west of Kuwait City.  In recent 
years, a number of foreigners traveling near the border have been taken 
into custody by Iraqi officials and some have received lengthy prison 
sentences.  Anyone who must travel or work near the demilitarized zone 
is strongly advised to contact the U.S. Embassy for further advice 
before their travel begins.

As of January 31, 1987, U.S. passports became invalid for travel to, in, 
or through Lebanon.  U.S. citizens are advised to avoid all travel to 
Lebanon.  The situation in the country is so dangerous that no U.S. 
citizen can be considered safe from terrorist acts.  To avoid the 
possibility of transiting Lebanon, U.S. citizens should make certain 
that any international flight they book in the region does not make an 
intermediate stop in Beirut.  Such stops are not always announced. 

Individuals in the following categories are eligible for consideration 
for special passport validation:  professional journalists, 
representatives of the American or International Red Cross, persons with 
compelling humanitarian considerations, or persons whose travel is 
determined to be in the national interest.  Applications for exceptions 
to the U.S. passport restriction may be made following the procedures 
outlined on page 17 in the section on Iraq.

U.S. dual nationals do not violate U.S. law if they use a foreign 
passport for travel to Lebanon, but they are required to use their U.S. 
passport when they depart from and return to the United States.  There 
are no U.S. Treasury restrictions on travel to Lebanon. 

Travelers who are granted passport exceptions to travel to Lebanon 
should be aware that normal protection of U.S. diplomatic and consular 
representatives cannot be provided.  The U.S. Embassy in Beirut is not 
fully staffed and its personnel operate under exceptionally tight 
security conditions.  Local telephone service is unreliable, and it is 
extremely difficult to contact the U.S. Embassy or place a local call 
from most of the country.

On December 10, 1981, U.S. passports ceased to be valid for travel to, 
in, or through Libya unless a special validation has been obtained, and 
on January 8, 1986, U.S. economic sanctions were imposed on Libya.  In 
addition, on March 31, 1992, United Nations sanctions were imposed.  
These sanctions include an air embargo which took effect April 15, 1992. 
The categories of individuals eligible for consideration for special 
passport validation are professional journalists, representatives of the 
American or International Red Cross, persons with compelling 
humanitarian considerations, or persons whose  travel is determined to 
be in the national interest.

All financial and commercial transactions with Libya are prohibited, 
unless licensed by the Office of Foreign Assets Control, U.S. Treasury 
Department.  For the addresses to which applications can be made to 
overcome both the U.S. passport and the U.S. Treasury restrictions, see 
the section on Iraq, page 17.

Those persons granted exceptions to travel to Libya should be aware that 
there is no U.S. mission in Libya and U.S. interests are represented by 
the government of Belgium which can provide only limited protection for 
U.S. citizens.  

U.S. citizens do not require a visa for a tourist or business visit of 
up to 3 months. 

There are no tourist visas to Oman, and visa requirements for business 
travelers are stringent.  Anyone arriving in Oman without a visa is 
subject to arrest.  A business visitor must contact an Omani sponsor, 
either a businessman or firm, for assistance in procuring a non-
objection certificate (NOC).  The sponsor should begin application 
procedures several weeks ahead of expected travel.  American firms new 
to Oman may receive guidance on Omani sponsorship from the commercial 
office of the U.S. Embassy in Muscat.  They should send a telex (TLX 
3785 AMEMBMUS ON) describing their company's activities and what they 
expect to accomplish in Oman.  

Relatives of Omanis may be sponsored for a short visit using the NOC 
procedure.  Although Oman imposes stringent entry requirements for all 
visitors, it does not require exit permits. Conservative dress is 
recommended for Oman.  No alcohol, firearms, pornography or fresh food 
may be imported.

U.S. citizens must have a visa to enter Qatar.  To receive a visa, an 
applicant must be sponsored by a resident of Qatar, a local business, or 
by the hotel at which he or she will be staying.  After obtaining a 
sponsor, travelers may apply for visas at a Qatari embassy or consulate.  

A sponsor can arrange to have a visa waiting for the U.S. traveler upon 
his or her arrival at Doha's International Airport.  However, a traveler 
should ask his or her sponsor for written confirmation that an airport 
visa has been approved prior to departing for Qatar.

Passengers may transit Qatar without a visa if they continue their 
journey within 24 hours and have confirmed reservations on the same or 
the next available flight.  Transit passengers may not leave the transit 
lounge of Doha Airport.

Qatar is a traditional Muslim country.  Conservative dress and behavior 
are strongly recommended for all visitors. Travelers to Qatar may not 
bring in narcotics, weapons, items deemed pornographic, or pork 
products.  Luggage is subject to careful inspection by customs 

Qatar's population is approximately 400,000, of whom an estimated 
100,000 are Qataris.  Serious crime is virtually unknown and medical 
facilities are adequate.  Although Arabic is the official language, 
English is widely spoken.

Saudi Arabia
Nearly 36% of the inhabitants of Saudi Arabia are resident foreigners.  
This includes approximately 30,000 American citizens.  English is 
acknowledged as a second language and is taught in the secondary 

Islam dominates all aspects of life in Saudi Arabia-- government policy, 
cultural norms, and social behavior.  Islam is the only official 
religion of the country, and public observance of any other religion is 
forbidden.  The Saudi government considers it a sacred duty to safeguard 
two of the greatest shrines of Islam, the holy mosques located in the 
cities of Mecca and Medina.  Travel to Mecca and Medina is forbidden to 
non-Muslims.  Muslims throughout the world turn to Mecca five times a 
day for prayer.  Restaurants, stores, and other public places close for 
approximately a half-hour upon hearing the call to prayer, and Muslims 
stop their activities to pray during that time.  Government and business 
activities are noticeably curtailed during the month of Ramadan, during 
the celebrations at the end of Ramadan, and during the time of the 
annual pilgrimage to Mecca, the Hajj.  Travel facilities into, out of, 
and within Saudi Arabia are crowded during these periods.

Saudi Arabian Social Norms.  U.S. citizens are advised that Saudi Arabia 
is a conservative country with a rigorous code of public behavior that 
everyone, including foreigners, is fully expected to observe.  In 
particular, Westerners need to be aware of the standards of appropriate 
attire and the prohibition of mingling of the sexes in public places.

Dress.  Although Westerners have some leeway in dress and social 
contacts within company residential compounds, both men and women should 
dress conservatively in public.  Women's clothing should be loose 
fitting and concealing, with high necks, skirts worn well below the 
knee, and sleeves below the elbow.  It is recommended that women not 
wear pants.

Social Behavior in Public.  Females are prohibited from driving vehicles 
or riding bicycles on public roads, or in places where they might be 
observed.  Males and females beyond childhood are not free to congregate 
together in most public places, and a man may be arrested for being seen 
with, walking with, traveling with, or driving a woman other than his 
wife or immediate relative.  In Saudi Arabia, playing of music or 
dancing in public, mixed bathing, public showing of movies, and 
consumption of alcoholic beverages are forbidden.

Saudi religious police, known as Mutawwa, have been empowered to enforce 
the conservative interpretation of Islamic codes of dress and behavior 
for women, and may rebuke or harass women who do not cover their heads 
or whose clothing is insufficiently concealing.  In addition, in more 
conservative areas, there have been incidents of private Saudi citizens 
stoning, accosting, or pursuing foreigners, including U.S. citizens, for 
perceived dress code or other infractions.  While most such incidents 
have resulted in little more than inconvenience or embarrassment for the 
individual targeted, there have been incidents where Westerners were 
physically harmed.

U.S. citizens in Saudi Arabia should be aware of Saudi social practices, 
and that any infractions may be dealt with aggressively.  If you are 
accosted by Saudi authorities, cooperate fully in accordance with local 
customs and regulations.  U.S. citizens who are harassed by private 
Saudi citizens or Saudi authorities should report the incidents 
immediately to the U.S. Embassy in Riyadh or the U.S. Consulate General 
either in Dhahran or in Jeddah.

Entry Visas and Requirements.  The Saudi government does not issue 
tourist visas.  It issues two types of entry visas:  one for temporary 
business visits or to visit relatives, the other for individuals 
entering Saudi Arabia on an employment contract.

Temporary Visits.  All applicants for temporary visitor visas for the 
purpose of business consultations must have a Saudi company or 
individual sponsor their applications.  Individuals who wish to visit 
non-Saudi relatives must have their relatives' Saudi sponsor request 
authorization of their applications through the Saudi Foreign Ministry.   
Persons present in Saudi Arabia on temporary visitor visas should not 
surrender their passports to the Saudi sponsor.  The passport and visa 
are the only evidence of the bearer's legal right to be present in the 

If an individual is present in the Kingdom on a temporary visitor visa 
and has obtained Saudi sponsorship for employment, he or she must exit 
Saudi Arabia to obtain an entry visa for employment.  This visa need not 
be issued in the individual's country of origin, but the applicant must 
be physically present to apply for the visa.

Employment and Residence.  Visas for employment and residence are 
obtained the same way as visas for temporary visits.  Documentation, 
such as a letter from the sponsoring company, a copy of your signed 
contract, or a notarized copy of the your university degree may also be 
required.  Before you sign a contract with a Saudi company, it is 
extremely important you obtain an independent English translation of the 
contract.  The official and binding version of the contract that you 
sign is the Arabic text.  Some Americans have signed contracts that in 
fact did not include all of the benefits they believed they were 

The employee's dependents (spouse and children under the age of 18) may 
be brought into Saudi Arabia only with the concurrence of the Saudi 
sponsor and authorization of the Foreign Ministry.  Ordinarily, only 
managers and professionals (holders of college degrees) may bring their 
families.  Children over age 18 are likely to be refused residence.

Exit Visas.  Persons entering Saudi Arabia for the purpose of employment 
are issued residence permits (iqamas).  These permits are evidence of 
legal residence in Saudi Arabia and must be retained at all times.  
Foreign residents are not permitted to travel between different major 
regions of Saudi Arabia unless permission is noted in their permits.  A 
resident in Saudi Arabia may not depart the country under any 
circumstances, however exigent, without obtaining an exit visa.  Exit 
visas are issued only upon request of the Saudi sponsor.  U.S. consular 
officials are not able to 'sponsor' exit visas for Americans resident in 
Saudi Arabia under any circumstances.  In a genuine emergency, however, 
consular officials will attempt to facilitate the Saudi sponsor's 
request for the exit visa.

Residents in Saudi Arabia are almost always required to surrender their 
passports, and those of their dependents, to the Saudi sponsor.  This 
practice is specifically authorized in the Saudi employment law.  If an 
urgent need for travel exists and if the Saudi sponsor will not release 
the first passport, the U.S. Embassy or Consulate can issue a 
replacement passport.  The issuance of a replacement passport does not 
guarantee, however, that a person will be able to depart, since the 
replacement passport would not contain a Saudi residence permit or exit 

Mixed Marriages.  A married woman residing with her Saudi husband should 
be aware that she must have her husband's permission to depart or have 
their children depart from Saudi Arabia.  This is true even if the woman 
or children are U.S. citizens.  The husband is the sponsor of his 
foreign wife and of his children, and is, as such, the only individual 
who can request an exit visa for the wife or children.

Commercial and Business Disputes.  Disputes between parties who do not 
have a signed formal contract must be settled through mutual agreement 
or through an appeal to the local governor (amir) for judgment.  Such 
disputes usually involve business representatives on temporary visitor 
visas.  Some Saudi business sponsors have gained possession of the 
passports of their visitors to use as leverage in disputes, but this is 
not authorized under Saudi law.

Commercial disputes between parties who have a formal contract can be 
brought to the Commercial Arbitration Board of the Saudi Chamber of 
Commerce or to the Committee for the Settlement of Commercial Disputes 
in the Ministry of Commerce.  Disputes involving a government agency may 
be brought before the Grievance Board, an autonomous court body under 
the Office of the King.  Employer/employee disputes may be brought 
before the Committee for the Settlement of Labor Disputes in the 
Ministry of Labor.  An amicable out-of-court settlement is always the 
best and least expensive way to resolve a dispute, since referring 
matters to commercial or labor tribunals can be costly and time 

Ultimate responsibility for obtaining private legal counsel and 
resolving a dispute through the Saudi legal system lies with the parties 
involved.  Consular officers will offer lists of local attorneys to help 
settle such disputes.  Business visitors should be aware that if the 
Saudi party in a commercial dispute files a complaint with the 
authorities, Saudi law permits barring the exit of the foreign party 
until the dispute is completely settled, including payment of any 

Saudi law is applied exclusively in all commercial and contract dispute 
cases, even if the contract was drawn up and/or signed outside Saudi 
Arabia.  Remember that the Arabic text of the contract or agreement is 
the text that is considered binding.

Customs Clearance.  Customs clearance procedures in Saudi Arabia are 
formal, thorough, and lengthy and may involve a full search of every 
piece of luggage.  Transit passengers who wish to leave the transit area 
of the airport are subject to the same strict searches as arriving 

Vaccinations.  Travelers to Saudi Arabia may wish to get a meningococcal 
vaccine prior to departure, and may be required to have one during the 
Hajj.  Before traveling, consult the Centers for Disease Control (see 
page 9) for updated recommendations on this and other vaccines.

AIDS Clearance.  All persons going to Saudi Arabia for purposes of 
employment are required to present a certification stating that they are 
free of the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome virus.  The test should 
be included as part of the global medical examination which is given to 
those who enter Saudi Arabia on a work permit.  It is not required of 
travelers entering Saudi Arabia on a temporary visitor visa.

Photography.  Visitors should not photograph mosques, people who are 
praying, military or government installations, and key industrial, 
communications, or transportation facilities.  If you have any doubts 
about what you may photograph, request permission first.

Alcohol and Drugs.  Import, manufacture, possession, and consumption of 
alcoholic beverages or drugs are strictly forbidden.  Saudi officials 
make no exceptions.  Americans have spent up to a year in Saudi prisons 
for alcohol-related offenses.  Americans have also been sentenced to 
receive 75 or more lashes in lieu of prison for failing a blood test for 
alcohol.  Travelers should also exercise extreme care and discretion 
when consuming alcohol on flights landing in the Kingdom.  Persons 
obviously inebriated are subject to arrest or deportation.

Many drugs sold with or without prescription in other countries may be 
illegal in Saudi Arabia.  For instance, captagon (fenetylline 
hydrochloride), a drug used to treat exhaustion which is available 
without a prescription in some countries in Asia, is considered an 
illegal substance in Saudi Arabia.  Americans in Saudi Arabia have 
received prison sentences of up to 2 1/2 months and 70 lashes for 
possession of captagon.

The attempted importation of drugs or controlled substances, even in 
very small amounts, is a serious offense under Saudi law.  The traveler 
will be arrested and tried for carrying drugs into the country.  
Americans have served prisons sentences for drug possession or use.  The 
death penalty for drug smugglers and traffickers convicted of a second 
offense underscores the gravity with which authorities treat drug 
offenses in the Kingdom.  Customs authorities are now using dogs to 
detect drugs at Saudi airports.

Prescription drugs in small quantities, clearly labeled with the 
traveler's name, doctor's name, pharmacy, and contents on the original 
container, should cause no problem.  It is wise to carry a copy of the 
prescription as well.  The importation of drugs in large amounts, 
however, can be done legally only through the Ministry of Health.

Other Forbidden Items.  Items considered pornographic by Saudi 
standards, including magazines and video cassettes, are strictly 
forbidden.  It is also illegal to import firearms of any type, 
ammunition, related items such as gunsights and gun magazines, food 
items, and banned books.

Personal religious items such as a Bible or a rosary are usually 
permitted, but travelers should be aware that on occasion, these items 
have been seized at entry and not returned to the traveler.

Pets.  Most pets, except dogs, may be brought into the country provided 
they are accompanied by a health certificate authenticated by the Saudi 
consulate in the country of origin.  Dogs are banned with the exception 
of guard dogs, hunting dogs, and seeing-eye dogs.  Dogs in these 
excepted categories must be accompanied by a health certificate and a 
certificate authenticated by the Saudi consulate in the country of 
origin that attests that the dog fits into one of the exempt categories.

All visitors  to Syria must have a valid Syrian visa on arrival in the 
country.  Although airport visas are technically available, they are 
virtually unattainable.  

Syrian law does not recognize the U.S. citizenship of a naturalized 
Syrian unless the Syrian government has given that person permission to 
renounce Syrian nationality.  U.S.-Syrian dual nationals who have not 
received that permission are considered Syrian when they enter Syria 
even when they enter on their U.S. passports.  A Syrian male cannot 
leave the country until he has satisfied the requirement for military 
service.  (Syrian-American males who have not completed the obligatory 
military service, but who wish to visit Syria should  contact the Syria 
Embassy in Washington for more information.)  This does not apply to a 
man who is the only son in a family, but it applies to all other men of 
normal military service age or older.  Any person, male or female, who 
is considered Syrian may take no more than $2,000 worth of convertible 
currency out of Syria, no matter how much they may have brought into the 
country.  U.S. citizens of Syrian origin may experience difficulties if 
they remain in Syria after the expiration of their visas.  If you are a 
dual national, check with the Syrian Embassy on the obligations of 
Syrian citizenship before you visit Syria.

Travelers may bring any amount of currency into Syria.  Syrian law does 
not require currency to be declared unless the total is more than 
$5,000.  It is wise, however, to declare any currency you have, because 
you can not take currency out of Syria unless it has been declared upon 
arrival. There are two rates of exchange in Syria.  In addition to the 
official rate, Syrian pounds may be purchased at the more favorable 
'neighboring country rate' at the Syrian Commercial Bank or at a major 
hotel if you have convertible currency in cash or travelers checks.  
Hotel bills must be paid in convertible currency or with Syrian pounds 
obtained at the official rate from the Commercial Bank of Syria (receipt 
required).  Meals and all other purchases can be paid for with Syrian 
pounds and do not require official rate certification.  Credit card 
charges may be figured at either the official rate or the neighboring 
country rate.  Travelers should check which rate will apply before 
making any credit card purchase.

Syrian pounds cannot be taken out of Syria.  Travelers cannot convert 
Syrian pounds back into convertible currency, and should therefore not 
purchase more of the currency than they expect to spend in Syria.

Conservative dress is recommended for Syria.  Travelers should exercise 
caution when photographing historic sites.  Photographs may be taken of 
regular tourist attractions, such as ancient ruins and temples, but 
warnings are issued against photographing  government buildings, 
government property, and anything other than tourist sites.

U.S. citizens do not need a visa for a tourist or business visit of up 
to four months, but must possess return or onward tickets.  No local 
currency may be imported or exported.

As of August 1991, naturalized U.S. citizens of Tunisian origin are no 
longer required to have a Tunisian travel document in order to depart 
from Tunisia.  They may enter and depart Tunisia on their U.S. passport.

United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) is a federation of seven independent 
emirates.  Visitors to the U.A.E. must obtain a visa before arrival. 
Some of the Emirates allow hotels or airlines to sponsor persons 
entering for short visits.  Persons who overstay their visas are subject 
to fines and/or imprisonment.  Both penalties have been imposed on U.S. 

The U.A.E. prohibits the import of pornography, controlled substances, 
firearms, ammunition, or items capable of being used as weapons.  
Videotapes will be screened by customs officials, an often lengthy 
process, and may be confiscated.  Non-Muslims may consume alcohol in 
licensed bars or restaurants.

Visitors may apply for a temporary U.A.E. driver's licence upon 
presentation of a valid U.S. license.  There are strict penalties for 
persons involved in traffic accidents while under the influence of 
alcohol, including lashings for Muslims.

Women residing in the U.A.E. do not require their husband's permission 
to travel abroad, but a husband may block his wife's departure by 
submitting her name to immigration authorities.  The U.A.E. does not 
recognize dual nationality, and U.A.E. citizenship is transmitted 
through the father regardless of the child's place of birth.  Dual 
national children generally must enter and depart the U.A.E. using their 
U.A.E. passports. 

Conditions in Yemen remain unsettled due to the recent end of Yemen's 
civil war.  Ordnance such as mines, left over from the war, may pose a 
hazard to travelers.  U.S. citizens should exercise caution in Yemen and 
avoid travel in remote areas.  Local tribal disputes have occasionally 
led to violence.  Westerners, including U.S. citizens, have been 
kidnapped as a result of such local disputes, and vehicles have been 
hijacked.  Urban violence and crime is a growing problem in Yemen, 
including within the capital, Sanaa. 

Visitor visas, which are usually valid for entry for up to one month, 
are required.  Entry to Yemen may be denied to persons with passports 
showing Israeli visas or entry/exit  stamps.

Because of the 7200 feet altitude of Sanaa and the lack of adequate 
medical facilities, travelers may  wish to consult their physicians 
before visiting Yemen.  Independent travel in Yemen is difficult; it is 
advisable to arrange your trip though a travel agent.  Photography of 
military installations, equipment, or troops is forbidden. 

Foreign Embassies in the United States
Embassy of ALGERIA
2137 Wyoming Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20008
(202) 265-2800

Embassy of BAHRAIN
3502 International Dr., NW
Washington, DC 20008
(202) 342-0741

Embassy of EGYPT
Consular Section
2310 Decatur Place, NW
Washington, DC 20008
(202) 234-3903

IRANIAN Interests Section
Embassy of PAKISTAN
2209 Wisconsin Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 965-4990

IRAQI Interests Section
Embassy of ALGERIA
1801 P Street NW
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 387-0171

Embassy of ISRAEL
3514 International Dr., NW
Washington, DC 20008
(202) 364-5500

Embassy of JORDAN
3504 International Dr., NW
Washington, DC 20008
(202) 966-2664

Embassy of  KUWAIT
2940 Tilden Street, NW
Washington, DC  20008
(202) 966-0702

Embassy of LEBANON
2560 28th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20008
(202) 939-6300

Embassy of MOROCCO
1601 21st Street, NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 462-7979

Embassy of OMAN
2535 Belmont Rd., NW
Washington, DC  20008
(202) 387-1980

Embassy of QATAR
600 New Hampshire Ave., NW
Suite 1180
Washington, DC  20037
(202) 338-0111

601 New Hampshire Ave., NW
Washington, DC  20037
(202) 342-3800

Embassy of SYRIA
2215 Wyoming Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20008
(202) 232-6313

Embassy of TUNISIA
1515 Massachusetts Ave., NW
Washington, DC  20005
(202) 862-1850

Embassy of the
600 New Hampshire Ave., NW
Suite 740
Washington, DC  20037
(202) 338-6500

Embassy of YEMEN
600 New Hampshire Ave. NW
Suite 840
Washington, DC  20037
(202) 965-4760

U.S. Embassies and 
Consulates Abroad

Note:  workweek is Monday-Friday except where noted.

Workweek:  Sat.-Wed.
American Embassy
4 Chemin Cheich Bachir 
16000 Algiers, ALGERIA
Tel. (213-2) 601-425/255/186

Workweek:  Sat.-Wed.
American Embassy
Bldg. 979, Road No. 3119
Zinj District
(Next to Al Ahli Sports Club)
Tel. (973) 273-300;
   afterhours 275-126

Workweek:  Sun.-Thurs.
American Embassy
8 Kamal El-Din Salah Street
Cairo, EGYPT
Tel. (20-2) 355-7371

Workweek:  Sun.-Thurs.
U.S. Interests Section
Bucharest Avenue &  
   17th Street, No. 5
Tehran, IRAN
Tel. (98-21) 625-223/4, 

Workweek:  Sun.-Thurs.
U.S. Interests Section
Embassy of POLAND
Hay Babil, Section 929
Lane 7, House 17, Alwiyah
Baghdad, IRAQ
Tel. (964-1) 719-613819,

American Embassy
7l Hayarkon Street
Tel Aviv, ISRAEL
Tel. (972-3) 517-4338;
   afterhours 517-4347

U.S. Consular Agency
(limited services only)
12 Jerusalem Street
Haifa 33132, ISRAEL
Tel. (972-4) 670-615;
  afterhours  246-386

American Consulate General
Consular Section
27 Nablus Road
Jerusalem 94190
Tel. (972-2) 253-288

Workweek:  Sun.-Thurs.
American Embassy
Tel. (962-6) 820-101

Workweek:  Sat.-Wed.
American Embassy
13001 SAFAT
Kuwait, KUWAIT
Tel. (965) 242-4151 thru 9

American Embassy
Tel. (961-1) 402-200, 403-300

American Embassy
2 Avenue de Marrakech
Tel. (212-7) 762-265

American Consulate General
8 Boulevard Moulay Youssef
Casablanca, MOROCCO
Tel. (212-2) 264-550

Workweek:  Sat.-Wed., 0730-1600
American Embassy
PO Box 50202
Madinat Qaboos
Muscat, OMAN
Tel. (968) 698-989
after 4pm 699-049

Workweek:  Sat.-Wed.
American Embassy
149 Ahmed Bin Ali Street
Farig Bin Omran
Tel. (974) 864-701/2/3
   afterhours 448-8888

Workweek:  Sat.-Wed.
American Embassy
Collector Road M
Diplomatic Quarter
Tel. (966-1) 488-3800

American Consulate General
Between Aramco Hqrs. and
   Dhahran Int'l. Airport
Tel. (966-3) 891-3200

American Consulate General
Palestine Road, Ruwais
Tel. (966-2) 667-0080

Workweek:  Sun.-Thurs.
American Embassy
Abou Roumaneh
Al-Mansur Street No. 2
Damascus, SYRIA
Tel. (963-11) 333-2814, 
   771-4108, 333-0788;
   afterhours 333-3232

American Embassy
144 Ave. de la Liberte
Tel. (216-1) 782-566

Workweek:  Sat.-Wed.
American Embassy
Al-Sudan Street
Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.
Tel. (971-2) 436-691;
   after hours 434-457

American Consulate 
Dubai International 
   Trade Center
Dubai, U.A.E.
Tel. (971-4) 313-115

Workweek:  Sat.-Wed.
American Embassy
Dhar Himyar Zone
Sheraton Hotel District
Sanaa, YEMEN
Tel. (967-1) 238-842/52


[END OF Tips for Travelers to the Middle East and North Africa] 
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