Yemen, Socotra: Clearances simplified but fees increased
December 2018: The difficulties experienced last year when some yachtsmen were prohibited from going ashore have been resolved and clearances for entry and tourism visas are now easier to obtain. However, the costs have increased substantially.
Published 4 years ago
Last year, yachtsmen who stopped at Socotra faced certain difficulties when some were not allowed to go ashore. This was due to the presence on the island of soldiers from the Emirates and the tightening of the security regime.
This year, with the advent of the new governor and the withdrawal of the military from the Emirates from the island, the situation has changed for the better. All papers are issued to yachtsmen and tourist visas are issued for those who want to see the island.
However, some confusion remains with the different authorities. As a result, clearance into Socotra has become more expensive and extra costs have been imposed by two authorities – the coast guard and the security service.
The additional payment is about $115 so the total cost of clearance on Socotra (including agency fees) is now $345. A tourist visa costs $100 per person, which allows traveling around Socotra without any problems when accompanied by a local guide.
The boat Formidable 3, which made a short stop at Socotra in early December for fueling, watering and buying food, was the first to be faced with the new charges imposed by the security service and the coast guard.
It is hoped that the new government of Socotra will be able to resolve what maybe unauthorized extortion by the security forces, and in the future, the cost of registration of yachts will be as before.
It is possible that in the case of Formidable 3 the payment was increased because the issue of the visa was expedited (the yacht wanted to stay on Socotra for only a day), and in future these additional costs can be avoided, but in the meantime those planning to stay on Socotra, should be ready for unplanned additional visa costs.
In any case, we at Socotra News Agency will try to minimize your expenses on the island.
Denis Romanov, Socotra News Agency
The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of noonsite.com or the World Cruising Club.