After a prolonged period of conflict, fighting has ceased in parts of Syria, making the country a somewhat more viable expat destination. We would, however, recommend that any travellers or expats thinking of travelling or moving to Syria research the status of their destination carefully and consult their consulate for updated info on the region.
Living in Syria as an expat
Expats and travellers mostly live in cities such as Damascus, Homs, Aleppo, Latakia and Tartus that are now considered much safer, though we'd still advise caution and, again, thorough research before travelling to these. There are places in Syria that are still off limits, such as the city of Idlib. Travellers and expats should avoid these at all costs.
As a result of the drawn-out conflict, safety and security have been major concerns for expats living in Syria. The expat population is therefore considerably smaller than it once was, but it seems expats and travellers are slowly starting to brave this once-beautiful country once again.
Cost of living in Syria
On average the cost of living in Syria is much lower than that of most Western countries. Expats will find the price of food and accommodation very affordable. Those earning salaries in foreign currencies won't have a hard time building a good life in Syria.
Families and children in Syria
In the past, Syria was a popular destination for expats who were relocated to work in its petroleum industry or as diplomatic personnel. The country had therefore been well prepared to cater for expats with a range of international schools to educate expat children and some excellent private hospitals, and these are sure to start operating again as expats start returning.
Climate in Syria
The climate on the coast of Syria is Mediterranean. Winters are mild and rainy while summers are hot. The rest of the country’s vast inland areas are more arid subtropical. Here, winters can be moderately cold and summers scorching. During spring, Syria is often be affected by strong winds which can cause sandstorms and lead to increased temperatures.
Syria is a fascinating country full of history, natural beauty and historical architecture, and as this vibrant destination begins to recover, expats will hopefully soon be able to take full advantage of it without fear.
Population: Around 17.5 million but prone to fluctuation as refugees return from neighbouring countries
Capital city (and largest city): Damascus
Neighbouring countries: Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq, Jordan and Israel
Geography: Most of Syria is arid plateau, with a green strip in the northwest along the Mediterranean Sea. The Euphrates River crosses Syria in the east.
Political system: Unitary dominant-party semi-presidential republic
Major religion: Islam
Main languages: Arabic
Money: Syrian pound (SYP), subdivided into 100 qirsh
Time: UTC+2 (UTC+3 from late March to late October)
Electricity: 220V, 50Hz
Internet domain: .sy
International dialling code: +963
Emergency contacts: 110 (ambulance), 112 (police), 113 (fire)
Transport and driving: Drives on the right.