Banking Practices in Yemen


The official currency of Yemen is the Yemeni riyal, which is divided into 100 fils. However, coins denominated in fils have been out of use since the Yemeni unification. Coins in rial denominations, on the other hand, are still issued.

Banknotes come in denominations of 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and, 1000 rials. Coins come in denominations of 1, 5, 10, and 20 rials.

Currently, the exchange rate is around $1 USD = 214.005 YER.

Currency Exchange

Money can be easily exchanged at banks and exchange offices. The most widely accepted currency is the US dollar, but Euros and Sterling Pounds will be accepted as well.

ATMs/Cash Points

Yemen is one of the least developed countries in the world, and has had difficulties in managing its banking system.

However, there are banks that have introduced ATMs and other banking services in Yemen. There are a few ATMs that can be found in the capital and other significant urban areas. However, they are limited. Do not expect to find any ATMs in rural parts of Yemen.

Credit Cards

Credit cards are accepted, but in a very limited number of places.

Traveler’s Checks

Traveler’s checks can be exchanged at some banks and hotels, but there are additional charges. Traveler’s checks are generally not recommended.

Currency Restrictions

Import and export of the local currency is prohibited. However, there are no restrictions on the import of foreign currencies. Amounts exceeding $3,000 USD or equivalent must be declared. In addition, you cannot export foreign currencies that exceed in value of what you imported.


Yemen’s financial sector is still underdeveloped. The Central Bank of Yemen supervises the banking sector and controls foreign transactions. However, poor enforcement of regulations, corruption, a weak judicial system, and a lack of public faith, prevents the Yemeni banking system from progressing.

Yemen has one state-owned bank and 12 private banks that are Shari’a compliant. In addition, there are also 4 foreign banks that do not follow Islamic banking practices.

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