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Tripoli Travel Guide

Tripoli Travel Information

Electricity

Electrical current is 127/230 volts, 50Hz. Round 3-pin plugs are used.

Language

The official language of Libya is Arabic (used for all official business), though some English is spoken, especially in the cities and tourist-orientated establishments.

Tipping

Hotels and restaurants usually add a service charge of 10 to 20%. Tipping guides and drivers is expected.

Safety Information

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Local Customs

Libya is an Islamic country (97-98% of Libyans are Sunni Muslim) and therefore visitors should be respectful in terms of following Arabic customs, particularly during the month of Ramadan when eating, drinking, smoking and chewing gum in public is forbidden. Swimwear should be restricted to beaches, and women should dress modestly, and avoid Arab gatherings where women are not permitted. Homosexuality is illegal and extramarital sexual relationships are forbidden. Criticism of the Libyan Government, Islam and the country itself is not tolerated. Permission must always be sought prior to photographing people, and it is not recommended that a camera be used or carried near any official or military buildings. Libya is one of the strictest countries in terms of a ban on alcohol and drugs, and neither should be brought into the country, though smoking is very common.

Business

Although most business in Libya has traditionally been conducted with state organisations, there has been some movement towards privatisation. All official documents are in Arabic (it is useful to have a translator for this) due to government policy, and although English is often understood official business will usually be conducted in Arabic. Bureaucracy can slow down any business process and one should be prepared for this. Business cards are useful but are not widely exchanged. Suits and ties are the norm, although due to the heat particularly in summer, more casual business wear is accepted. The vast majority of Libyans are Muslim and therefore one should be mindful of Islamic custom, particularly during Ramadan. Women should ensure that they dress modestly.

Communications

The international dialling code for Libya is +218. The outgoing code is 00, followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 0027 for South Africa). City/area codes are in use, e.g. (0)21 for Tripoli and (0)22 for Tripoli International Airport. There are several Internet Service Providers and Internet cafes are available in Tripoli and other major centres, as well as some towns. Mobile phones operate on GSM 900 and 1800 networks and general telecommunications are being modernised.

Duty Free

Travellers may enter the country with 200 cigarettes or 250g cigars or 250g tobacco, and 250ml perfume. All alcohol and drugs are strictly prohibited, as well as all foodstuffs (including canned goods). There is also an extensive list of banned items, including any articles manufactured or produced in Israel or countries that trade with Israel, and it is best to consult a Libyan Embassy for more information.


Travel guide by (c) Globe Media Ltd. By its very nature much of the information in this travel guide is subject to change at short notice and travellers are urged to verify information on which they're relying with the relevant authorities. We cannot accept any responsibility for any loss or inconvenience to any person as a result of information contained above.

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