Libya is a country that has strict and, for those not used to it a complicated and, on occasion an intimidating entry process, whilst there are slight variations from country to country. If you are entering from another country and are not sure please reach out to the BLBA for advice

  1. HOW TO … Obtain a Libyan visa for UK citizens. CLICK HERE FOR FURTHER INFO
  1. ** UPDATED 06/01/2023 ** HOW TO … Obtain a Libyan visa for UK citizens. CLICK HERE FOR FURTHER UPDATED INFO



Cultural norms and etiquette in Libya reflect a blend of Arab, Berber, and Islamic traditions. Understanding these customs is important for anyone visiting or doing business in Libya. Here are some key aspects:

  1. Greetings: Traditional greetings are important. People often greet each other with a handshake and a friendly inquiry about health, family, and general well-being.
  2. Respect for Islam: Islam plays a central role in Libyan culture. Showing respect for Islamic practices and traditions, such as during the month of Ramadan, is important.
  3. Dress Code: Conservative dress is the norm, particularly for women. It’s advisable to dress modestly in public spaces.
  4. Hospitality: Libyans are known for their hospitality. It’s common to be offered tea or coffee during visits. Accepting such offers is seen as a sign of respect and can be important in building relationships.
  5. Social Gatherings: Social life often revolves around family and close friends. Invitations to a Libyan’s home are a sign of trust and friendship.
  6. Gender Interactions: There can be more conservative attitudes towards gender interactions. It’s advisable to wait for a woman to extend her hand for a handshake first.
  7. Business Etiquette: In business settings, relationships are key. It’s common to spend time building rapport before discussing business matters.
  8. Gift Giving: If invited to a Libyan’s home, bringing a small gift like sweets or pastries is appreciated. Avoid alcohol or pork products due to Islamic dietary laws.
  9. Photography: Be cautious when taking photos, especially of government buildings, military installations, or people without their permission.
  10. Time Perception: Time may be perceived more fluidly in Libya. Meetings and appointments might not start at the exact scheduled time.
  11. Avoiding Political Discussions: Given the complex political situation in Libya, it’s wise to avoid discussing politics.
  12. Body Language and Gestures: Some gestures that are acceptable in the West might be considered rude in Libya. It’s best to observe and mimic the body language of locals.
  13. Public Conduct: Public displays of affection are frowned upon. It’s important to behave conservatively in public.

Understanding and respecting these cultural norms can greatly enhance your experience in Libya, whether you’re there for travel, work, or business.



A little goes a long way…!

When visiting Libya, knowing some key Arabic phrases can greatly enhance your experience and help you navigate various situations. Here are 10 essential phrases:

  • Salam Alaikum –  “Peace be upon you”
  • Shukran –  “Thank you”
  • Min fadlik – “Please”
  • Naam / La – “Yes” / “No”
  • Kayfa Halak? – “How are you?”
  • Ana laa afham – “I do not understand”
  • Hal tatakallam al-Ingliziyya? – “Do you speak English?”
  • Ayna al-hammam? – “Where is the bathroom?”
  • Bikam hatha? – “How much is this?”
  • Ma’assalama – “Goodbye”

Having these phrases at your disposal can be very beneficial in Libya, not only for practical reasons but also to show respect and appreciation for the local culture. Remember, your pronunciation might not be perfect, but your efforts to speak the local language will often be appreciated.



The most important thing to remember is… Libya Is Predominantly A Cash Only Culture! When entering the country, it is advisable to bring HIGH nomination dollar, euro or sterling currency so that it can be exchanged for the local currency


  1. Unit: The Libyan Dinar (LYD) is the currency.
  2. Notes and Coins: It consists of various denominations. Familiarise yourself with the appearance and value of each. 


  1. Currency Exchange: Usually done at banks, hotels, and licensed exchange offices. Airport exchanges might offer less favourable rates. There is also a black market for currency exchange in Libya that might offer preferential rates
  2. Exchange Rate: Fluctuates, so check the current rate before exchanging money.


  1. Banking Hours: Typically, banks operate from Sunday to Thursday, with varying hours. Fridays and Saturdays are weekend days.
  2. ATMs: Few and far between. We would recommend that you don’t plan your finances around having access to ATM’s but instead bring sufficient foreign currency with you for exchange

Credit Cards

    1. Very few outlets accept credit cards, again, we would recommend that you don’t plan your finances around credit cards but instead bring sufficient foreign currency with you for exchange

Financial Tips 

  1. Cash Dependence: Carry sufficient cash, as many places may not accept cards.
  2. Small Change: Useful for tips and small purchases.
  3. Receipts: Always ask for receipts when exchanging money or making purchases.

International Transactions 

  1. Transfers: Can be subject to regulations. Check in advance if you need to send or receive money internationally.
  2. Traveller’s Cheques: Not widely accepted.


    1. Discretion: Be discreet when carrying money and using ATMs.
    2. Splitting Money: Don’t keep all your money in one place; split it between a safe in your accommodation and your person.

Cultural Aspects 

    1. Haggling: Common in markets. Be respectful and understand its part of the local shopping culture.

Legal Considerations 

    1. Declaration: You may need to declare large sums of money at customs.
    2. Compliance: Always comply with local financial laws and regulations.


    1. Arabic: Basic Arabic terms related to money and banking might be helpful.


    1. Emergency Contacts: Keep the contact details of your country’s embassy and local emergency numbers.

The above is only a basic overview for navigating banking and currency matters in Libya.

It’s recommended to always take advice from your facilitator or fixer whilst in country



Many Libyans travel out of country for medical treatment and there’s a reason why!

Libya’s healthcare system has been severely impacted by political instability and conflict over the last several years. This has led to damaged healthcare infrastructure, shortages of medical supplies, and a significant brain drain of healthcare professionals. As a result, access to medical care is challenging.

On that basis you should ensure that your facilitator or visit provider has clear processes and procedures in place to deal with medical requirements and medical emergencies.

The 5 Golden rules

  1. Risk Assessment: Conduct health-related risk assessment specific to the location.
  2. Health and Safety Precautions: Your provider should brief you on health risks, such as diseases or environmental hazards, For example driving Libya is inherently dangerous and in the first half of 2023 1,279 lives were lost in motorway crashes. CLICK ON LINK FOR NEWS REPORT
  3. Emergency Medical Plan: Ensure your provider has a clear emergency response plan for medical emergencies, and other contingencies.
  4. Local Support and Contacts: Do they have a network of local healthcare providers who can help if needed.
  5. Insurance and Medical Evacuation Services: Ensure you have adequate insurance coverage, including provisions for medical evacuation in case of serious illness or injury.



Libya has a deeply fractured emergency response and emergency support mechanisms, it is absolutely essential that your provider or sponsor details for you what to do in the case of an emergency.  In Many Cases It Will Be the Actions That They/You Take That Will Make the Fundamental Difference to The Outcome



When traveling to Libya, it’s crucial to be aware of local laws and regulations, as they can differ significantly from those in other countries. Here are some key points to consider:

  1. Legal System: Libya’s legal system is based on Islamic law (Sharia) combined with civil law elements. It’s important to respect local customs and religious practices.
  2. Dress Code: Dress conservatively, especially when visiting religious sites. It’s advisable for women to cover their heads and arms in more conservative areas.
  3. Alcohol and Drugs: Alcohol is illegal in Libya, and possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs is a serious offense, often leading to severe penalties, including imprisonment.
  4. Photography Restrictions: Be cautious when taking photographs, especially near government buildings, military sites, or infrastructure. Always ask permission before photographing people.
  5. Religious Sensitivity: Displaying religious material or proselytizing can be considered offensive and is legally risky. Be respectful of Islamic customs, traditions, and holidays.
  6. Political Discussions: Avoid discussing political issues in public. The political situation in Libya is complex and can be a sensitive topic.
  7. LGBTQ+ Rights: Homosexuality is illegal in Libya and can be subject to severe penalties. LGBTQ+ travellers should be extremely cautious and aware of the local laws.
  8. Import Regulations: There are strict regulations on what can be brought into the country, including bans on certain types of literature and material that could be seen as offensive to Islam.
  9. Local Customs and Etiquette: Familiarize yourself with local customs and etiquette, as behavior that is considered normal in your home country may be inappropriate or offensive in Libya.

Always ensure you have a thorough understanding of the local laws and customs before traveling to Libya, as ignorance of the law is not typically accepted as an excuse for breaking it. It’s also advisable to maintain a low profile and respect the local culture to avoid any legal complications.



Many companies operate in Libya without any issues BUT it is always wise if you are a first time visitor to make use of an approved and validated security provider to support you during your time here.

Of course, everybody’s attitude to risk is different and it may well be that after a period of time you will change your risk perception to a higher or lower level but in the first instance and until you know and understand the country it is wise to get support

If you require help finding a security provider in country please contact the BLBA and we will be happy to guide you



DANGER – DANGER – DANGER (as detailed above under Healthcare System)

Transportation and road safety in Libya pose significant risks due to various factors:


  1. Road Conditions: Many roads, especially in rural areas, are in poor condition with inadequate signage and lighting. This increases the risk of accidents, especially at night.
  2. Unpredictable Driving Behavior: Local driving habits can be unpredictable and aggressive, with common traffic violations like speeding, overtaking dangerously, and not adhering to traffic signals.
  3. Unexploded Ordnance: In some areas, especially those recently affected by conflict, there is a risk of unexploded ordnance near roads.
  4. Checkpoints and Security Risks: There are numerous checkpoints operated by different groups, and the situation can change rapidly. Travelers can face delays, questioning, or even detention.
  5. Limited Emergency Services: Emergency response services, including ambulance and road rescue, are limited and may not meet the standards found in more developed countries.
  6. Conflict Zones: Certain regions in Libya are conflict zones where the risk of being caught in clashes, encountering roadblocks, or facing other security hazards is high.
  7. Desert Travel: Traveling in the desert regions poses its own risks, including extreme weather conditions, lack of water, and the possibility of getting lost.
  8. Vehicle Condition: Vehicles, including public transport, may not be well-maintained, increasing the risk of breakdowns or accidents.
  9. Lack of Reliable Public Transportation: Public transportation in Libya is not widely available and often not reliable, leading many to rely on private vehicles or taxis.

Given these factors, it is advisable to exercise extreme caution when traveling in Libya. If travel is necessary, it’s recommended to use reputable transportation services, avoid driving at night, stay informed about the security situation, and always carry emergency supplies, especially when traveling outside urban areas.



Be aware you may or may not be able to book online or remotely, in many cases this should be undertaken by your support company, facilitator or sponsor 

Here’s a list of some hotels in Libya for

  1. Corinthia Tripoli
  2. Radisson Blu Al Mahary Hotel
  3. El Khan
  4. Awal Hotel
  5. Attawfeek Hotel
  6. Sahara Libya Hotel
  7. Haroon Hotel
  8. Victoria Hotel
  9. Thobacts Hotel

Libya is, and will, remain an exciting and profitable commercial frontier. By understanding the country and mitigating your risks before entry you will be best prepared to make the most profitable use of your time and further the progress of your project.