Sudan Everyday Life

Housing and provision

In Khartoum there are rental and purchase offers of houses or apartments comparable to European standards in large numbers. The houses are mostly free-standing with a garden and fencing walls. However, it is not easy to find cheap deals. The not inconsiderable price increases in recent years also affect the housing market. While Khartoum was named the most expensive city in the Arab world according to a study by the American Mercer Institute on the cost of living for foreigners in 2012, the price structure had relaxed somewhat afterwards, but it is precisely for the real estate market in 2015 and also in the following years strongly tightened again.

Districts popular with foreigners are mainly Amarat and Khartoum II. Because of the immense traffic jams during rush hour, the residential area should be as close as possible to the workplace. Since Khartoum does not have a designated business district, this is relatively easy to do.

The trend towards “gated communities” has also reached Khartoum. There are now over twenty of these self-contained residential areas in the city. Khartoum ranks in the Quality of Living Ranking published by the Mercer Institute

, which should be a yardstick for those working abroad, traditionally in the last places. In 2019, Khartoum was ranked 227 out of 231 listed cities, in Africa it was only beaten by Bangui in the Central African Republic to 230.

Due to fluctuations in the voltage, a stabilizer is recommended to protect your own electronic devices. A separate generator helps to bridge power failures that occur throughout the year, vary in duration and frequency and can last for several hours, especially in summer. During the dust and sand storms (Haboubs), which also reach Khartoum, the electricity is turned off completely as a precaution.

According to naturegnosis, the only electricity provider in Sudan is the National Electricity Corporation (NEC), which offers electricity purchase in a prepaid system.

The basic supply and the food supply is not a problem in Khartoum. Fresh fruit and vegetables are best bought at the markets or directly from the farmers who sell their goods on the roadsides. The best place to buy fresh fish is at the Murada Fish Market in Omdurman. Imported and local foods are available in large and small supermarkets. The big markets of the cities offer the most interesting shopping possibilities, in Khartoum especially the souk of Omdurman. Friends of a sterile shopping atmosphere can now also be found in Khartoum, in the form of more and more shopping malls mostly Arab investors, a rich and internationally sorted field of activity. Started with hope, most of these temples of consumption are threatened with closure as a result of the ongoing poor economic situation.

Money and money transfer in Sudan

Useful tips and addresses

Public holidays

The weekly rest day is Friday. In addition to the country’s official holidays, there are numerous unofficial holidays on which business activities are also suspended.


Knowledge of the Arabic forms of greeting, a basic vocabulary and basic knowledge of small talk in Sudanese Arabic, e.g. introducing and saying goodbye, shows respect for the members of the host country and can be helpful as door openers.

Literature tips

  • The most useful travel guide to Sudan, with some information that can also be viewed online, was last published in its third edition in 2012 under “Bradt Travel Guides”.
  • The Rift Valley Institute offers an excellent introduction to the history and politics of the two Sudanese states and their border regions with “The Sudan Handbook” (2011), the full text of which is available for free download in the “Overview” chapter of this country information portal.
  • In a very readable documentation of the modern history of Sudan, WJ Berridge recalls after the wave of the Arab Spring in his 2015 book “Civil uprisings in modern Sudan: The ‘Khartoum Springs’ of 1964 and 1985 ” that the Sudanese were facing deposition Al-Bashirs have got rid of their dictators twice in their recent history by non-violent uprisings.
  • “Sand in my Eyes – Sudanese Moments” (2014) by Enikö Nagy, which was created for DED and UNESCO, offers a fascinating journey through Sudan with its ethnic and cultural diversity and a touching portrait of the country, which has been elaborately documented over several years worked in Sudan.
  • You can find information about Sudanese culture and advice on behavior in German from the ethnologist Ellen Ismail in “Sudan and South Sudan – People and Culture” (1st edition 2015).
  • A new dictionary on Sudanese Arabic was published in 2013 in the SIL International Publications in Linguistics series.
  • A textbook on Bedawi, the language of the Beja who live in the north-east of the country, was published in 2008 and is available online in full.
  • The database Sudan Open Archive represents a treasure trove of historical and contemporary articles and books on Sudan in full text.
  • Project MUSE at John Hopkins University in Baltimore offers a comprehensive compilation of literature on Sudan too.
  • Muna Zaki and Edmund Wyatt offer a comprehensive testimony to the rich Sudanese-Arabic oral tradition with translated and explained proverbs in their book “Sudanese Proverbs”.