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Port Anchorage - The official anchorage is an area west of Princes Wharf (Tourist Pier) next to a very LOUD seaman's restaurant and club.  Try to get close to the pier or, if there is room, try to anchor on the north side of the pier, away from the Club.  There is a dinghy landing on the west side  with concrete steps up to the top.

Yacht Facilitator or Cruiser's Friend - Salim- a very likeable fellow who drives an old Toyota car.  When you dinghy over to check in, there will be many fellows who will vie for your attention.  They will usually show you where the Immigration and Customs offices were.  We did not give any money to anyone, since we knew where these offices were located already.  Try to narrow it down to 1 or 2  persons or ask for a particular person recommended by one of the other cruisers.  We used Salim based on a recommendation by our friends who were already in Aden and found him to be wonderful and honest.  He is very friendly and usually will leave it up to you to determine how much you wish to pay him for his services.  Because Aden is a bit difficult to get around and the services are spread all over, it is best to use the services of someone to taxi you around.  Salim speaks good English and took us to the money exchanges, grocery stores, bakery, internet cafes, etc. for 5 days.  He was very trustworthy and extremely likeable.  He also took us on a tour of the area, to several restaurants, an ice cream parlor and several markets and the whole time did not ask for any money.  When we were ready to leave, he drove us to the Port office, which is a bit of a walk, to check out and we paid him a rather large sum, but others paid about $10-$20 US, based on the services he provided.

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Cruising Amenities

Aden is not an easy place in which to find your own way around from the port.  Because of that we used Salim to take us everywhere, hence I cannot provide directions to these places.  These are just some of the amenities that we used while in Aden.

Grocery Stores - many "supermarkets" in Crater. Fresh fruit and veggies in Crater and across the causeway in Arab town.

Bakery - There was a wonderful "European" bakery with yeast bread, pastries and fabulous baklava.  Ask Salim to take you there.

Shopping Areas -  Arab town and Crater

Hardware Stores -   Many around Aden city.

Potable water - There is potable water from a tap on the wharf.  You can fill jerry jugs or take your boat over to fill.  We filled up using jerry jugs and were not charged anything.  We do not know if you take your boat over whether there will be a charge.

Banks/ATMs -  There may be some banks or ATMS.  We  did not notice any and used the moneychangers in the downtown.

Propane Gas Canister Refill - see Salim and he will organize it for you.  They sent it across the harbor and it normally takes a couple of days.

Laundry - Many people on the wharf wo hill take your laundry - "Irish" or "Mohammed Ali".  We used Mohammed Ali and the clothes came back very clean. Don't give them anything of value to wash as they use sand and caustic detergents and the clothes sometimes come back worn through in places from the washing.  Price was very fair.

Internet Access -  Aden downtown

Postal Services - Aden downtown

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Buses - There are local buses

Taxis - Salim and many other "gypsy" taxis.  With all of them try to determine the price before getting in.  We were apprehensive when Salim said "we could pay whatever we wanted," but he was absolutely serious.

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Yacht Services

Chandleries - We did not see any chandleries,  but since there are many fishing boats and this is a shipping port, there probably a few.  Ask around.  Most of the people along the docks speak English. Fuel -  When we were in Aden, we got fuel from a barge located on the east side of the Tourist Pier.  The procedures when we were there went like this:
  • Dinghy over to the barge with your fuel containers or you can take your boat over. 
  • Climb up onto the oily, greasy barge and find the cashier's office. 
  • Tell them how much fuel you want and pay for it. 
  • Go back to the dingy/boat, give the payment receipt to the fuel attendant and fill your containers/tanks. 
  • Try to estimate your fuel requirements carefully, because there are no refunds for not being able to use all the fuel that you ordered.
  • Go back to the office with a piece of paper to show how much you received.

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 The following are services or places visited and recommended by Bob and Judi. We can only say that our experience was a good one and we hope that you will also have a favorable experience.
Restaurants -
  • Salim will take you to local restaurants where you eat with the Bedouins down from the hills who have daggers strapped to their waists.  You eat on newspaper spread on a table, a huge piece of flatbread is laid down along with several stews and sauces.   You eat with your fingers.
  • Fish restaurants where you buy the fresh fish from the fish market and have it grilled at the restaurant.  Salim took us out to dinner at this place  and paid for the meal for 4 of us.
  • Several other "western" style restaurants in Aden city centre.
  • There were very nice Ice Cream parlors in Aden city.
  • Note: Men and women often eat in separate parts of restaurants.  We usually ate in the Men's restaurant which caused no concerns.  When we ate in the Woman's part of an ice cream parlor, it made it difficult on the Muslim women since they had to keep their veil on while they ate because of the men in our group.

Pubs -  The Seaman's Club was the only place we know of to get a beer - it is a short walk from the anchorage dinghy landing.

Things to See and Do -
  • Go to the markets in Arab town.  See a sesame seed grinder that must go back to "biblical" times.
  • Visit the women's dress shops and try on veils.
  • Visit the Tanks of Sheba
  • Visit the ruins of the fort built by the British, high on a hill overlooking the city.

Egypt Visa -

We decided to use this as an opportunity to get our visas for Egypt, and it was easy and took a couple of days.

 More Information

  • Lonely Planet Guide - Middle East
  • Red Sea Pilot 2nd edition 2002, Stephan Davies and Elaine Morgan

For more information on what to see in Aden, read our Journal entry for April 2003.

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This Page Last Updated: 02 May 2006


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