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Healthcare in Algeria

The standard of healthcare in Algeria varies widely and may not be up to the standards that many expats are used to. This is because public healthcare is chronically underfunded and hindered by bureaucratic obstacles. While services are adequate in the major cities, such as Algiers or Oran, healthcare provision in remote areas is poor to non-existent.

Public healthcare in Algeria

Public healthcare is provided for free to all Algerian citizens. However, due to budgeting and bureaucratic issues, the standards of public healthcare in Algeria remain poor. The majority of medical staff will speak French, with English not widely spoken.

Expats working in Algeria have access to free public healthcare via the social security system. The employer is responsible for registering their foreign staff, and will pay monthly contributions and deduct them from the employee's salary.

Private healthcare in Algeria

Private healthcare provision in Algeria has rapidly grown to fill the gaps in the public healthcare system, and standards are generally higher than what expats can find within the public domain. Due to local staff shortages, private clinics are often staffed by foreign medical professionals, and expats are more likely to encounter doctors who speak English here. Hospitals and clinics typically expect cash payments upfront for treatments, and the cost of private healthcare in Algeria makes it inaccessible for many locals.

Health insurance in Algeria

The national medical insurance scheme is available for salaried and independent workers and their dependents, granting access to the public healthcare system for 90 percent of the population. There is no existing national private health insurance scheme in Algeria.

Expats should arrange comprehensive health insurance before arriving in the country, especially if they're working in remote areas. Expat health insurance in Algeria should include local emergency care and possible repatriation to a country with better health facilities.

Pharmacies and medication in Algeria

Pharmacies are widely available in Algerian towns and cities, and they're a well-trusted source of medical advice. They're open daily during the week and in shifts on weekends and evenings.

Getting over-the-counter medicines in Algeria is fairly easy, but filling prescriptions may be difficult. It may also be challenging to get prescription drugs of good quality in Algeria, especially beyond Algiers. New arrivals should try to bring medication for chronic medical conditions in large quantities. Expats should bring copies of prescriptions in case of immigration or customs queries over the importation of medication, and should also consider bringing French translations of medical documents.

Health hazards in Algeria

Heatstroke and dehydration are significant health risks for expats due to the extreme heat in parts of the country. It's essential to stay well-hydrated at all times. Bottled water is recommended, as tap water in Algeria isn't potable. Sand and dust storms are also a health risk for those with pre-existing respiratory conditions.

Vaccinations for Algeria

Before they travel to Algeria, expats and tourists should consult a healthcare provider to ensure they have received the appropriate vaccinations to safeguard their health. The following vaccinations may be recommended:

  • Routine vaccinations: including measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis (TDAP), varicella (chickenpox), polio and an annual flu shot.
  • Hepatitis A
  • Typhoid
  • Rabies
  • Covid-19

Emergency services in Algeria

  • Police: 17
  • Fire: 14
  • Ambulance 213
  • Gendarme (national police operating in rural areas): 1055

Emergency operators may only speak French or Arabic, and emergency response times may be slow, especially in remote regions. Expats should make sure they have their embassy's emergency number saved.

Working in Algeria

Rich in natural resources, Algeria is home to the fourth-largest economy in Africa. The largest industries in Algeria include natural gas and oil production, mining and agriculture.

Job market in Algeria

The oil and gas industry is one of the largest employers of expats in the country. They are employed in administrative, managerial and labour roles. Expats can find other opportunities in the finance, education and foreign aid sectors. Tourism is also a growing industry where expats may find work in Algeria.

Finding a job in Algeria

The majority of expats secure employment before arriving in the country. Expats seeking work in Algeria can explore various online job search platforms tailored to the country or specific industries. Some popular websites include Emploitic, CareerJet and Bayt. Sending out resumes to international companies could also help with the job search.

Expats seeking employment in Algeria must obtain a work visa, which they can apply for through the Algerian Embassy or Consulate in their home country. The employer usually takes responsibility for the work permit and will need to prove that there are no Algerians capable of doing the job before they hire a foreigner.

Useful links

Work culture in Algeria

Algerian business structures are hierarchical and formal. Business revolves around personal relationships, and expats will therefore need to develop and nurture relationships and trust with their new Algerian colleagues.

Proficiency in French or Arabic will be beneficial for those seeking work in Algeria. Communication is generally indirect, and the emphasis on maintaining harmony and saving face can sometimes lead to ambiguity in communication. The flexible approach to time in Algeria may also require adjustment for expats accustomed to stricter scheduling.

Appearances are important in the Algerian corporate world, and expats should dress formally in Western-style business attire. Women are advised to dress modestly, covering their shoulders and legs, but traditional clothing like hijabs or abayas is not a strict requirement.

A handshake is the usual greeting in business circles. Typically, men do not initiate handshakes with women; however, some women may extend their hands first. It's best to wait for a woman to extend her hand first when greeting.

The typical working week in Algeria runs from Sunday to Thursday, with weekends falling on Friday and Saturday, in alignment with the predominantly Islamic culture. The standard working week is 40 hours in Algeria, with a generous leave allowance of around 30 days per year.

Banking, Money and Taxes in Algeria

Algeria has a stable banking system that is largely based on the French model. Although they may have some initial bureaucracy to contend with, expats should find it relatively easy to manage their finances in Algeria.

Money in Algeria

The official currency is the Algerian dinar (DZD). 

Money is available in the following denominations:

  • Notes: 100 DZD, 200 DZD, 500 DZD, 1,000 and 2,000 DZD

  • Coins: 5 DZD, 10 DZD, 20 DZD, 50 DZD, 100 DZD and 200 DZD

Note that there are currency restrictions in Algeria on both arrival and departure. Travellers can't take Algerian dinars out of the country.

Banking in Algeria

Expats will find banking in Algeria quite easy. Banks offer comprehensive services, including online banking. Expats have a range of international banks to choose from, including BNP Paribas, Société Générale, HSBC and CitiBank. Major Algerian banks include Banque Nationale d'Algérie (BNA), Banque de l'Agriculture et du Développement Rural (BADR), and Banque Extérieure d'Algérie (BEA).

Credit and debit card use is growing, but Algeria is still largely a cash-based society. Currency exchange services are available at banks, hotels, airports and dedicated exchange bureaus throughout Algeria. Expats should be aware that exchange rates can vary between these providers, so it's advisable to shop around for the most favourable rate.

Opening a bank account

It's relatively straightforward for expats to open a bank account in Algeria. To open an account, they will need a valid identity card and proof of address – a residence certificate, utility bills or a lease contract. In some cases, an expat's employer may have a relationship with a specific bank which can help to expedite the process of opening an account.

Generally, the process can take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks, depending on how quickly the required documentation is provided and the bank's verification process. Expats should plan accordingly to ensure a seamless transition when moving to Algeria.

Income tax in Algeria

Algeria has a progressive income tax rate of up to 35 percent. This is payable by all tax-resident foreigners and locals on money earned in Algeria and worldwide. A tax resident is someone who lives in Algeria and whose main source of income is in the country.

Capital gains tax in Algeria is calculated at 20 percent for foreigners and 15 percent for residents. There may be tax liabilities in an expat's home country as well, so expats should consult a qualified tax consultant to assist them with all tax matters.

Public holidays in Algeria




New Year's Day

1 January

1 January

Amazigh New Year

12 January

12 January

Eid al-Fitr

21–22 April

10–11 April

Labour Day

1 May

1 May

Eid al-Adha

28–29 June

16–17 June

Independence Day

5 July

5 July

Awal Muharram

19 July

8 July


28 July

16 July

The Prophet's Birthday

27 September

15 September

Anniversary of the Revolution

1 November

1 November

*Islamic holidays are subject to change based on sightings of the moon.

Moving to Algeria

Expats moving to Algeria can look forward to living in a fascinating and untouched North African gem. This large country is populated by gorgeous Mediterranean coasts to the north and the Sahara to the south. Due to the Sahara covering most of the country, the population generally sticks to the coastal region, where the weather is more forgiving and land plentiful.

Living in Algeria as an expat

Although Algeria is an African and Arabic country, there is also a distinct French influence, owing to its colonial past. This is especially noticeable in the language and architecture. But while major cities such as Algiers and Oran are pretty liberal on the surface, social and religious conservatism are deeply entrenched, and expats should always show respect for the local customs and traditions.

While not a high-profile expat destination, it does attract those with experience in the oil and gas sectors. Others are drawn to job opportunities in the finance, education and foreign aid sectors. 

Security is a significant issue in some parts of Algeria, mainly in the oil-producing regions and the southern Saharan areas. Certain parts of the country are not considered safe to visit, notably the border areas in the south and with Tunisia. Numerous governments advise their nationals against travelling to these areas.

Cost of living in Algeria

Being one of the cheapest countries in the world, expats can look forward to a low cost of living in Algeria. While housing will be the most considerable expense, expats who shop locally should find their everyday expenses relatively cheap. International school fees are high, but expats may be able to work education costs into their benefits. All in all, salaries are generally more than enough for expats to live comfortably in Algeria. 

Expat families and children in Algeria

Expats will have access to public healthcare in Algeria, but the public system is largely underfunded. It's essential for them to have comprehensive private health insurance to cover the costs of private medical care, including cover for evacuation to a nearby country with better health provisions.

With an education system based on the French model and classes taught in Arabic and French, expats mainly send their children to international schools, with a fair few to choose from in Algiers and Oran.

Climate in Algeria

As Algeria is so vast, the country's climate differs from region to region. While the northern coastal areas have a warm Mediterranean climate, the central parts of the country are hotter and dryer, with colder winters. The weather in the Saharan region of the country, however, is characterised by extraordinarily high summer temperatures during the day and freezing winter nights.  

With its rich, diverse culture and openness to the world, Algeria offers plenty for those considering the move. Its position in Africa and proximity to Europe make it the perfect place for anyone wanting to settle into a simple life in an area they can easily explore.  

Fast facts

Population: Nearly 45 million

Capital: Algiers (also the largest city)

Neighbouring countries: Algeria is bordered by Tunisia to the northeast, Libya to the east, Morocco to the west, the Western Sahara, Mauritania and Mali to the southwest, and Niger to the southeast. The Mediterranean Sea borders the north of Algeria. 

Geography: Algeria is the largest country in Africa by land mass and is covered mostly by the Sahara Desert. The Atlas Mountains sit to the north, with the highest point being Mount Tahat. The country enjoys a vast coastline along the Mediterranean Sea.

Political system: Unitary semi-presidential republic

Major languages: Arabic and Berber are the official languages. French is also widely spoken.

Major religion: Sunni Islam

Money: The Dinar (DZD) is the official currency.

Time zone: GMT+1

Electricity: 230v 50hz. Algeria uses the European plug, type C.

International dialling code: +213

Internet domain: .dz

Emergency numbers: 213 for ambulance, 14 for fire, 17 for police.

Transport and driving: Cars in Algeria drive on the right. Taxis are plentiful in main cities, but expats will likely need their own vehicle, especially if travelling to more remote areas.

Weather in Algeria

With such a large territory, the weather and climate in Algeria have vast variations. The northern coastal regions, which include the capital city Algiers, enjoy a Mediterranean climate, with mild and wet winters balanced out by hot summers. Temperatures average around 54°F (12°C) in winter and 79°F (26°C) in summer.

The central parts of the country have a continental climate, being both warmer and drier than the north. Winter temperatures in this region average around 43°F (6°C), with frost and occasional snowfall. Summers average a pleasant 82°F (28°C).

The huge Saharan area has a desert climate with sweltering summer temperatures that turn incredibly cold during winter nights. Temperatures range from 14°F–93°F  (-10°C–34°C) and oppressive highs of 120°F (49°C) aren't uncommon. The area also suffers from frequent and violent winds.

Algeria is frequently hit with heat waves during the summer months. Expats should stay out of the sun and ensure they are hydrated during the day.


Accommodation in Algeria

There is a variety of accommodation in Algeria for expats to choose from. Where an expat lives will depend on their circumstances and the type of work they do. Those living in the main cities will likely live in apartments or villas, while expats working in the more remote oilfields will probably live within secure compounds managed by their companies.

Types of accommodation in Algeria

Algerian cities offer several types of accommodation, including studios, apartments and villas. Both furnished and unfurnished accommodation is available, with the former being more popular among expats.

Security is always an important consideration when searching for accommodation in Algeria. Those that work in the oilfields, in particular, will likely be housed in compound accommodation that is heavily secured.

Furnished and unfurnished

In Algeria, expats can choose between furnished and unfurnished accommodation. Furnished properties come equipped with furniture, appliances and other essentials, making it convenient for expats who do not wish to invest in these items or transport their belongings. Unfurnished properties, on the other hand, offer flexibility for those who prefer to bring their furniture or customise their living space to their liking.

Short lets

Short-term leases are also available for expats who plan to stay in Algeria for a limited period or are still exploring their options. These leases can range from a few weeks to a few months and often come with furnished accommodations. They provide greater flexibility and ease for expats who need to relocate within the country or are on a temporary work assignment.

Finding accommodation in Algeria

It is important to note that knowledge of French and some understanding of the local housing market and residential neighbourhoods are essential when searching for housing online. Enlisting the services of a local real-estate agent can greatly assist in navigating the process, and many expats can also rely on the assistance of their employers in their housing search.

Many popular real estate websites offer listings for housing in Algeria, providing an excellent starting point.

Useful links

Renting accommodation in Algeria


Leases in Algeria are typically signed on a one-year basis, but expats may also find month-to-month rentals. Lease agreements are usually drawn up in Arabic, making it essential to have them translated into English to ensure expats fully understand their obligations. Real-estate agents can assist in this process, providing a smooth and informed experience.

Deposits, costs and fees

Paying a year's rent in advance is not unusual in Algeria, although expats renting on a short-term lease will most likely be able to pay rent each month. It is also required to pay a deposit equal to a month's rent when signing the lease. This deposit is refunded once the lease has ended and the tenant hasn't damaged the premises during their occupation period. On top of rent and the deposit, expats must also know they will be charged agency fees.

Terminating the lease

Expats who need to terminate their lease early must be aware of any potential penalties or conditions outlined in the lease agreement. Providing proper notice and discussing the situation with the landlord or property management company can help to minimise any financial impact. It is essential to be familiar with the lease terms and local regulations to avoid complications during the termination process.

Utilities in Algeria

In Algeria, expats are responsible for managing and paying for their utilities unless they reside in a secure compound where utilities are usually included in the rental agreement. This means that expats living in compounds do not need to worry about setting up accounts or paying for individual utilities, as the management company or landlord takes care of these expenses.

Natural gas is the primary source of energy for heating and cooking in Algeria. The state-owned company Sonelgaz is the primary provider of gas services in the country. To set up a gas connection, expats will need to contact Sonelgaz and provide the necessary documents, such as a lease agreement or proof of residence.

Electricity in Algeria is also supplied by Sonelgaz. The electricity in Algeria operates on a 230-volt system with a frequency of 50 Hz.

The Algerian Water (AdE) authority manages water supply and distribution in Algeria. To set up a water connection, expats need to contact the local water provider and provide the necessary documents, including the lease agreement and proof of residence.

Waste collection and disposal services are managed by local municipalities in Algeria. In most urban areas, waste collection occurs regularly, while recycling facilities are limited. Expats are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the waste collection schedule and any recycling options available.

Internet and telephone services are widely available in Algeria, with the leading providers being Algérie Télécom, Ooredoo and Djezzy.

Useful links

  • Residents can upload their meter readings and pay their accounts on the Sonelgaz website.
  • The Algerian Water portal allows registered users to manage their subscriptions, estimate bills and submit complaints and connection requests.
  • The state-owned Algérie Télécom and the private Djezzy and Ooredoo are the most prominent phone and internet providers in Algeria.

Education and Schools in Algeria

Expats will have to think carefully about their children's education options in Algeria. New arrivals to the country are unlikely to send their children to a local Algerian school unless their young ones have a background in Algerian or Arabic culture or language or are proficient in Arabic or French. English is only taught from middle school onwards.

Expats living in Algeria's main cities have a handful of international schools to choose from. For security and practical reasons, expats working in the oilfields or beyond Algiers or Oran are unlikely to have their families with them.

Public schools in Algeria

The Algerian government has been committed to improving the public education system, which is based on the French model. There are nine years of primary and three years of secondary education. Schooling is free and compulsory for children between six and 15 in Algeria, but enrolment can be low after primary school.

The language of instruction in public schools is Arabic, with French as the first additional language. Schools also may not function at the level that most expats would expect. For these reasons, it's rare for expat children to attend public schools in Algeria.

International schools in Algeria

There are a few international schools in Algeria, most of which can be found in the capital, Algiers. Some schools follow the American or British curricula with English-speaking programmes, while others follow the French or Arabic education systems. If possible, expats will probably want to choose a school that follows their home country's curriculum to ease their children's transition into life in Algeria. Some private schools in Algeria offer the globally recognised International Baccalaureate programme.

As is the case globally, international schools in Algeria offer excellent facilities and standards of education but are pricey, and places may be limited. Expats should plan well ahead and, if moving as part of an international relocation, negotiate school fees as part of their contract.

Special-needs schools in Algeria

The Algerian government has implemented an inclusion policy to accommodate children with special educational needs in mainstream schools. Although children with special needs are being enrolled in public schools, the institutions are not always necessarily equipped to assist with these children's educational needs.

That said, specific special-needs schools are available in Algeria, as well as trained professionals that can act as private tutors for these children.

Tutors in Algeria

There are several websites where expat parents can find private tutors for their children. Apprentus and TeacherOn are two such sites that register and advertise tutoring services in the country. These tutors can come to expats' homes or teach in their own studios or online. 

Tutors are useful for helping children adapt to new school curricula or a new language of instruction. This may be helpful to children attending Algerian public schools or even international schools following a different curriculum from their previous schools. Children struggling with particular subjects in school can also benefit from a tutor. 

Cost of Living in Algeria

Expats can look forward to a low cost of living in Algeria. In Mercer's Cost of Living Survey for 2022, Algiers ranked 218th out of 227 cities. This places Algeria as one of the cheapest countries to live in the world. The cost of living in Algiers is roughly equivalent to Istanbul and Addis Ababa. It's much more affordable than in Western and Asian cities like New York City or Hong Kong.

The low cost of living and high expat salaries make living comfortably a reality for those settling in Algeria.

Cost of groceries in Algeria

Groceries in Algeria are generally more affordable than Western European or US prices, although this depends on whether products are imported. Local markets offer fresh fruits, vegetables, meats and spices at reasonable rates.

Expats on a budget will find that shopping at local markets and opting for locally produced alternatives to imported goods will present significant savings and a more authentic Algerian experience. Imported items, brand-name products and Western luxuries like alcohol can be pricier and difficult to find.

Cost of accommodation in Algeria

The cost of accommodation in Algeria varies depending on the location, size and type of property, but it will often be expats' greatest expense. In major cities such as Algiers or Oran, expats can expect to pay higher rents than in smaller towns and rural areas. Accommodation in sought-after neighbourhoods or gated communities with additional amenities might come at a premium, but this investment often guarantees better security and comfort.

Cost of education in Algeria

The cost of education in Algeria depends on the type of school one's child attends. Public schools are free but may not be suitable for expats due to language barriers and differences in curricula. International schools, while steeper, provide a familiar learning environment and typically follow international curricula.

These schools cater to the needs of expat children but often come with a higher price tag. Those relocating as part of an international or inter-company transfer should factor education costs into their contract negotiation.

Cost of transport in Algeria

Public transport in Algeria is relatively cheap, with buses and trams being the most popular options. Although prices can vary depending on the route and time of day, taxis are also widely available and fairly inexpensive. Expats planning to drive should know that traffic congestion can be a significant issue in major cities. While petrol prices are lower than in many Western countries, purchasing and maintaining a vehicle might still be a considerable expense.

Cost of entertainment and eating out in Algeria

Entertainment and eating out in Algeria can be affordable for expats who frequent local establishments. Traditional Algerian restaurants and street food vendors offer tasty and budget-friendly options. On the other hand, upscale restaurants, particularly those offering international cuisine, can be quite pricey. Similarly, entertainment options like cinemas, theatres or clubs range from low-cost local venues to upscale Western-style establishments.

Cost of healthcare in Algeria

Public healthcare in Algeria is free, but the quality of service may not always meet the expectations of expats accustomed to Western standards. As a result, many expats opt for private healthcare services, which can be more expensive but provide a higher quality of care. It's essential to consider obtaining comprehensive health insurance to cover any medical expenses incurred while living in Algeria.

Cost of living chart for Algeria

Prices may vary depending on the product and service provider. The list below shows average prices for Algiers, Algeria for April 2023.

Accommodation (monthly rent)

Three-bedroom apartment in the city centre

DZD 60,000

Three-bedroom apartment outside the city centre

DZD 36,000

One-bedroom apartment in the city centre

DZD 33,000

One-bedroom apartment outside the city centre

DZD 18,500

Food and drink

Dozen eggs

DZD 230

Milk (1 litre)

DZD 111

Rice (1kg)

DZD 186

Loaf of white bread

DZD 22

Chicken breasts (1kg)

DZD 700

Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)

DZD 340

Eating out

Three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant

DZD 3,000

Big Mac meal

DZD 650

Coca-Cola (330ml)

DZD 72


DZD 121

Bottle of beer (local)

DZD 240


Mobile call rate (per minute – mobile to mobile)

DZD 11

Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month)

DZD 2,200

Basic utilities (average per month for a standard household)

DZD 5,800


Taxi rate/km

DZD 50

City-centre public transport fare

DZD 40

Gasoline (per litre)

DZD 41

Culture Shock in Algeria

Expats can expect some initial culture shock in Algeria. Algerian culture is a fascinating mix of African and Arab characteristics, with a strong French influence. Islam significantly influences the nation's customs, so expats from different cultural backgrounds may need time to adapt.

Language barrier in Algeria

The main languages of Algeria are Arabic and Berber. French is also widely spoken, heavily influencing the local dialect of Arabic spoken in Algeria. English is becoming more popular, but expats wanting to integrate into Algerian society fully should try to learn Arabic or French.

Religion in Algeria

Islam is Algeria's main religion and informs virtually all aspects of life in the country. While other religions are accepted in Algeria, Islam is the predominant faith, and expats should remain respectful of local customs and laws. Discussing religious issues should be avoided.

Algerian dress is traditionally modest. Women, in particular, should cover their shoulders and legs when out in public. Public displays of affection are generally discouraged in Algeria, and unmarried cohabitation is not widely accepted.

Food and drink in Algeria

Algerian food is typically Arabic, with French and African influences. Algerian cuisine largely features rice, fresh fruit and vegetables. Lamb and fish are well-loved proteins, with popular dishes including mechoui, spicy lamb roasted over a fire, and makroudh, a pastry stuffed with dates or almonds and dipped in honey. Couscous is also a favourite and is often served with meat, vegetables and spices.

Expats will find some international cuisine available in Algiers, with a few Italian, French and Indian restaurants available. In accordance with Islamic dietary restrictions, pork is not commonly consumed in Algeria and is largely unavailable in restaurants or shops.

Alcohol is also not always easy to find. A few shops sell alcohol in the main cities or towns, but they tend to be discrete and hard to find. That said, many high-end establishments offer alcohol, although it may not be explicitly listed on the menu.