The Middle East is a prosperous region of Asia, and it is the richest source of natural oil and gas in the world. Though many people from the western world consider this region to be dangerous due to terrorist activities, different cities of the Middle East are still popular among tourists. Passionate travelers love to explore the rich historical and cultural values of these places.
Is it safe to visit the Middle East?
Jordan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, and the UAE are known as the safest countries in the Middle East. However, tourists should be updated about the current situation of this region before planning their trips here. It is best to avoid the countries where there is any kind of political turmoil.
How to travel to the Middle East
Tourists need to take flights from their homelands to their desired city in the Middle East. Plenty of flights are run by different airlines, like Etihad Airways, Emirates, Oman Air, Egypt Air, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Royal Jordanian Airlines, and Turkish Airlines. People from nearby countries may also take land routes and travel by car to their destination cities in this region.
Befriend budget airlines
Many airlines offer quite cheap flights for the convenience of common people who want to travel to the Middle East. Air Arabia, Flydubai, Air Cairo, and Flynas are known as low-cost airlines that operate regular flights to different airports of the Arabic Peninsula. However, tourists can buy cheap tickets on Qatar airways and save more money on their trips to this region.
Where to Exchange Currency
Various countries of the Middle East have their specific currencies. Tourists need to exchange the currencies of their homelands in government-run kiosks or currency-exchange centers in their destination countries of this region. It is better not to fall prey to unauthorized money exchangers, as tourists may be cheated in the process.
Trip to enjoy the complex Arabic culture and history
- Bahrain – Tourists flock to Bahrain to have a view of Bahrain Fort, Riffa Fort, Dilmun Burial Mounds, several famous mosques, temples, palaces, and museums in different cities of this country. They can visit various water parks, enjoy music in live concerts and watch dance in karaoke bars. They can stay in hotels in Manama, Juffair, Amwaz Islands, and Seef district.
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- Jeddah, Saudi Arabia – People visit Jeddah to see King Fahd’s Fountain, Fakieh Aquarium, Jeddah Lighthouse, and Al Rahma Mosque. They can enjoy in Atallah Happy Land Park, Jungle Land Theme Park, and other amusement parks. Tourists love shopping in the Mall of Arabia, Corniche Commercial Center, and Red Sea Mall. They find suitable accommodation in the hotels of Al-Ruwais, Al- Hamra’a, Al-Amir Fawwaz, Al Junoobi, and Mada’un Al-Fahd districts.
- Riyadh, Saudi Arabia – This capital city is famous for housing Kingdom Tower, Masmak Fort, Riyadh Zoo, National Museum, and Al Faisaliyah Center. Tourists love dining in The Globe, a beautiful glass-made restaurant at the top floor of Al Faisaliyah Center. People love adventurous activities, like quad biking in the Red Sand Dunes and hiking up to the Edge of the World in the desert. They prefer to live in the hotels of Al-Murabba and Olaya, the districts containing most of the tourist attractions.
- Sharjah, UAE – This city is the seat of art, cultural, and sports activities, for which numerous people visit here. Sharjah Mosque, Sharjah Aquarium, Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization, Arabian Wildlife Center, Sharjah Classic Car Museum, Sharjah Arts Museum, and Mlelha Archaeological Center are some of the prominent tourist attractions of this city. Foreigners can participate in Sharjah Book Fair or Sharjah Light Festival along with local people. Tourists can stay at several luxury hotels and resorts, near Sharjah International Airport or close to the prime tourist attractions.
- Dubai, UAE – The most prominent tourist attractions of this city are Burj Khalifa, Al Fahidi Fort, Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum House, Hatta Heritage Village, and Jumeirah Beach. Tourists enjoy a lot in Wild Wadi Water Park, Ferrari World, and YAS Island Waterpark. They also love the shopping experience in Dubai Mall, Wafi Mall, Deira Gold Souk, and Mall of the Emirates. Tourists find comfortable accommodations in the hotels of Dubai Marina, Jumeirah Beach, Palm Jumeirah, and Al Barsha.
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- Cairo, Egypt – Tourists are interested to visit this city mainly for having a glimpse of ancient Egyptian history from the pyramids located near it. Package tours are organized for the sightseeing of the pyramids and the Sphinx of Giza, Saqqara, and Dahshur. Tourists can have a camel ride in the desert, or they may enjoy dinner on the cruise on River Nile. They visit the Egyptian Museum, Al-Azhar Mosque, Mosque of Muhammad Ali, and Museum of Islamic Art in this city. Gezira is the most popular place in Cairo with plenty of luxury hotels whereas there are also budget hotels in the downtown area of this city.
- Kuwait – Kuwait City is the capital of this country and holds the Grand Mosque, magnificent cultural centers, and Kuwait National Museum. Tourists also visit Hawalli for seeing Bayan Palace, Botanical Gardens, Mirror House, and Tareq Rajab Museum. Salwa is another important city of Kuwait, with some famous mosques and Injafa Beach. Kubbar Island is mainly famous for water sports while Salmiya is popular for shopping malls, the Scientific Center, and some unique mosques. Tourists can find several hotels of different price ranges in these cities of Kuwait.
- Istanbul, Turkey – This largest city of Turkey is famous for Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, Aye Sofya, Dolmabahce Palace, and several museums with exclusive displays. Tourists love shopping in Grand Bazaar and Spice Bazaar, taste Turkish delicacies in various eateries of this city, and visit various religious shrines of great architectural beauty. They can find accommodations in Sultanahmet, Galata, and Beyoglu, where plenty of hotels are available.
- Jerusalem, Israel – This capital city is famous for its ancient heritage displayed in Temple Mount, Western Wall of the First Temple, Church of Holy Sepulchre, Via Dolorosa, and Tower of David. There are many pieces of archaeological wonders in the Jewish Quarter, Christian Quarter, Armenian Quarter, and Muslim Quarter. Mount of Olives, Mount Zion, and East Jerusalem are also prominent tourist destinations. Tourists can stay in hotels outside the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem, to make sightseeing easier.
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- Lebanon – This Muslim country is a popular tourist destination, due to the Temple of Jupiter and Temple of Bacchus in Baalbek, National Museum of Beirut, the ancient town of Byblos, 5 Km long boardwalk Corniche, Lake Qaraoun, Chowan Waterfall, and Raouche Pigeon Rocks. Nature-lovers visit Kadisha Valley and prefer hiking through the forest of the Cydars in the mountain of Bcharre. Our Lady of Nourieh and Our Lady of Lebanon are two sacred places for Christians. Tourists can find many luxury and budget hotels in the downtown of Beirut, where they can find all sightseeing facilities.
- Qatar – This country is famous for housing some famous tourist spots, like the Mataf Museum of Modern Art, the National Museum of Qatar, Msheireb Museum, Katara Cultural Village, Radwani House, Al Zubarah Fort, Barzan Towers, Al Khor Tower, and Zekreet Fort. Tourists can take a package tour by booking with qatar airways in the city of Qatar and they may also visit the Doha desert for enjoying overnight camping. There are many souqs or local markets in Qatar, where tourists can enjoy shopping. They can stay in the hotels of the West Bay area, which is close to Hamad International Airport and some renowned shopping malls.
Pamper your taste buds with traditional Middle East dishes
Food-lovers cannot miss the tastes of some famous cuisines of the Middle East, like Hummus or the chickpea spread, Manakeesh or the Arabic pizza, the chicken snack called Shawarma, the vegetarian salad called Tabouleh, the tangy salad called Fattoush, and a chicken dish called Shish tawook. People also love Kofta, Dolma, Baklava, Shanklish, and Umm ali for the unique tastes of these Arabic cuisines.
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Therefore, the travel to the Middle East should be scheduled for many days and make a memorable vacation for every passionate traveler.