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why travel to the middle east

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Is the Middle East a good place to travel?

The only downside is that the bearable temperatures mean its high tourism season in the Middle East. Accommodation: For budget travelers, destinations like Turkey and Iran are some of the cheapest countries in the region. You can find hostel beds for around $15-30 USD, making it super affordable if you’re planning a long trip in the Middle East.

How many countries are in the Middle East?

Middle East Travel Guide Made up of 16 countries, the Middle East is probably the least-traveled region in the world, due to decades of wars and turmoil. However, there are amazing destinations for travelers throughout. Dubai is a mecca for international travel and over-the-top luxury, and the Burj Khalifa will blow you away.

Do I need a visa to travel to the Middle East?

Generally, US citizens will require a visa to travel within the Middle East. This can be as simple as a free visa on arrival in UAE, Turkey and Morocco, a paid visa on arrival in Egypt and Jordan to a costly received in advance visa for places like Iran. Be sure to check requirements prior to travel.

Where to book day tours around the Middle East?

Our preferred place to book day tours, day trips and shorter multi-day tours is Viator. G Adventures – If you want to do a group tour around the Middle East, go with G Adventures. They offer great small group tours that use local operators and leave a small environmental footprint. If you go on a tour with anyone, go with them.

How effective is tourism in the Middle East?

As tourism to the Middle East continues to grow, it may prove the most effective tool in changing cultural bias to dispel misperceptions of fear. You simply must find out for yourself. For your next trip, break your typical vacation routine and consider traveling to the Middle East. The journey may surprise you.

How many miles is the Jordan Trail?

A path spanning over 400 miles across the entirety of the country, from verdant Umm Qais in the north to Aqaba and the Red Sea in the south, the Jordan Trail is a chance for travelers …

What is Engaging Cultures?

Engaging Cultures , which also operates tours in Jordan and the Middle East, has also seen an increase in American interest. “Our travelers rise above media misperceptions, which push for distrust and fear,” says Daniel Robards, cofounder of Engaging Cultures. “They have already experienced the power of travel to connect, inspire, …

What countries are attracting American tourists?

In addition to Jordan, many other Middle Eastern countries and cities are attracting more American travelers, too. Dubai, a Middle Eastern icon and the largest city in the United Arab Emirates, notes an 8 percent increase in American visitors since last year, making the U.S. the sixth-highest visitor market. Hugh Fraser, director of Corinthian Travel, notes a large increase in American interest to the majority of Middle Eastern countries, including Egypt, Oman, and Lebanon. “After several years of almost no business from North America, there has been a very definite increase in interest of travel to the Middle East over the last six months,” says Fraser. “Egypt is spearheading the rise, Oman is slowly beginning to emerge as a destination on the bucket list of sophisticated travelers, and we’ve seen a smattering of business to Jordan and Lebanon, which we recently reintroduced.”

When did MIR guide Americans through the Soviet Union?

Lucas also finds parallels to travel during the Soviet Union, when MIR guided Americans through the USSR in the late 1980s. Then, just as now to Iran, travelers always left with a greater understanding, realizing the “other” wasn’t so different from them. “Don’t let travel bans or laptop bans turn you away,” says Lucas.

Where is MIR 2016?

MIR’s fastest-growing destination for 2016, however, was in fact Iran, although the Trump Administration’s proposed travel ban did thwart some of this year’s spring departures due to visa delays. The Imam Reza shrine in Mashhad, Iran. Photo: Alamy.

Is MIR in Central Asia?

But interest isn’t solely restricted to the Middle East, either. MIR Corporation, an operator specializing in travel between Tibet and Tehran, sees this increase extending to Central Asia, too. Consisting of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, the company experienced a 69 percent growth in its custom-group programming in Central Asia, an area straddling highly geopolitical Afghanistan and Iran. MIR’s fastest-growing destination for 2016, however, was in fact Iran, although the Trump Administration’s proposed travel ban did thwart some of this year’s spring departures due to visa delays.

How many countries will be in Dubai in 2020?

But the biggest news for 2020 is the World Expo, the first ever held in the Middle East, whose special pavilions will bring 192 countries to Dubai. As for local culture, well, in a land made up mostly of expats, authentic flavour can be elusive.

Where is Socotra in The Lost World?

Lydia Stangroom. The lost world: Socotra. This island, part of a small archipelago off the Horn of Africa, is a magical-realist, Life of Pi bubble amid a sea of geopolitics. The sort of place that inspires dreamers lost in the margins of arcane maps to plot fictional journeys.

Where did Wilfred Thesiger go?

The new frontier: Saudi Arabia. Back in the 1940s, wily British explorer Wilfred Thesiger snuck into Saudi Arabia unannounced, mapping out its quicksands, nearly starving to death on a dune, then writing up his journey as casually as one would a weekend walk in Dorset.

Which country has the most discerning food scene?

The food scene: Kuwait. This tiny country has one of the most discerning food scenes in the Middle East, fuelled by canny entrepreneurs and deep-pocketed clientele, who eat out almost nightly within sight of Kuwait City’s twisty-turny Al Hamra Tower.

Who are the Jordanian sisters?

Jordanian sisters Nafsika and Stephanie Skourti stitch Middle Eastern glamorousness into British-style avant-garde with their Nafsika Skourti label. Here are their personal tips for Amman, a city that’s fast becoming not just Jordan ’s but the region’s fashionable hub.

Who designed the Abrahamic Family House?

On the horizon is an even grander idea: the Abrahamic Family House, designed by David Adjaye, with a mosque, church and synagogue facing each other in studied contemplation. By Rick Jordan.

Who made Socotra the Island of Djinns?

For his 2016 film Socotra: The Island of Djinns, Spanish documentary maker Jordi Esteva followed three cameleers on a journey into the mountains before the monsoon, playing flutes of bone and spinning fireside tales of spirits that take the form of cows, and a monstrous serpent coiled in the island’s interior.

What surprises many visitors to the Middle East region?

One thing that surprises many visitors to the Middle East region, is the cross section of modernity, ancient sites, and proximity to the bright blue Mediterranean, says Camila Seta of Visit Israel.

What is the Middle East?

The Middle East has a long, storied history, dating back to the earliest days of human civilization. To visit is to get in touch with and walk among the ancient world.

Where are the Mesopotamian civilizations located?

While a majority of Mesopotamian structures exist in Iraq and Syria - both ill advised travel destinations – the ancient city and UNESCO World Heritage site, Persepolis, is located in Iran.

Is the Middle East a less traveled area?

Given the Middle East’s prominence on the evening news, it’s no surprise that it’s a less traveled to area of the world. Although the World Tourism Organization did report a 4% increase in tourism to the area in 2015, the events of 2016 make it impossible to predict if this trajectory will continue.

Who were the leaders of the Ancient Egyptians?

They planned meticulously for the afterlife, built structures of incredible magnitude, and their leaders included everyone from the boy King Tut to the woman Hatshepsut.

How old is Hagia Sofia?

Once a church, then a mosque, now a museum. Nearly 1500 years old, the Hagia Sofia stands proud in Istanbul’s Sultanahmet district, where most of the tourists flock. Its Islamic aspects are the most prominent, but many of the mosaics from its Orthodox past have been uncovered and restored.

How much does a hostel cost?

Hostels are usually in the range of $7-$15/night, while a budget hotel room will be closer to $20-$30/night. Of course, these prices go up quickly in places like Dubai and Qatar.

How many tombs are there in the Valley of the Kings?

The burial place of many pharaohs, the Valley of the Kings contains 63 known tombs, though only 18 can be opened to the public. General admission allows entry to some of the tombs, but others require additional tickets.

What is Cappadocia known for?

Known for its tall pointed rock formations called “fairy chimneys,” Cappadocia is a popular tourist destination in central Turkey. It’s promoted as a place to go hot-air ballooning, but there’s much more to experience, including underground cities, houses, and churches carved out from the rocks.

What religions came from the Middle East?

Some of the world’s most prominent religions also came out of the Middle East. Christianity, Islam, and Judaism have many important sites throughout the region.

Where is Pamukkale located?

A unique natural formation in western Turkey, Pamukkale is a small mountain covered in white travertine with terraces and hot springs. After walking up its side barefoot with warm water running over your feet, you’ll find the Hierapolis ruins at the top to explore.

Which airlines fly Middle Eastern?

If you have a multi-stop ticket, there’s a good chance you’ll find yourself on one of the more well-known airlines. Otherwise, you’ll want to look at flydubai and Air Arabia, the region’s leading budget airlines.

What is the most interesting city to visit in Turkey?

DISCOVER THE CITY OF ISTANBUL: (Turkey) The Turkish city of Istanbul is a melting pot of culture due to its location. It marries a little bit of Europe with a lot of the Middle East, making it one of the most fascinating places to visit in Turkey. Be sure to give yourself enough time to truly appreciate the city.

How to travel between countries in the Middle East?

FLIGHTS: The quickest way to travel between countries in the Middle East is to fly. The region is incredibly well connected by many different airlines, as many Middle Eastern cities serve as global hubs for air transport.

What is the climate of the desert?

Climate: Arid and dry desert with two distinct seasons, summer and winter.

How to get around the Middle East?

There are a few ways to get around the Middle East during a visit, including cruises, buses, car rentals and flights. There are few railways outside of Egypt and Turkey. Plan ahead and be flexible.

What countries are on the Arabian Peninsula?

The Arabian Peninsula includes the countries of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain and Yemen. We’ve spent just over two months traveling in the countries of Morocco, Egypt and Jordan during our Middle East travels.

How many countries are there in North Africa?

This area covers a total of 20 countries. North Africa includes the countries of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Egypt. Western Asia includes the countries of Turkey, Kuwait, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Israel and Palestine.

What is the Middle East?

It’s a region that provides fascinating culture, history and food to experience. The goal of our Middle East travel guide is to show you exactly why. Geographically, the Middle East is comprised of 3 distinct regions broken down into North Africa, Western Asia and the Arabian Peninsula.

Where was Jordan my first destination?

Jordan was my first destination in the Middle East and is still one of my more memorable trips. Seeing Petra for the first time, scuba diving in the Dead Sea, walking the streets of Amman and off-roading through the Wadi Rum desert was such a magical and incredible experience.

What is the culture of the Middle East?

Local Culture: The majority of the countries in the Middle East are Muslim and have strict rules that men and women have to follow. When packing your bags, make sure you dress conservatively to show respect to the local people and read up on each country’s rules, so you don’t accidentally break any laws.

How many countries are there in the Middle East?

Middle East Travel Guide. Made up of 16 countries, the Middle East is probably the least-traveled region in the world, due to decades of wars and turmoil. However, there are amazing destinations for travelers throughout.

What is the cheapest place to stay in the Middle East?

Accommodation: For budget travelers, destinations like Turkey and Iran are some of the cheapest countries in the region. You can find hostel beds for around $15-30 USD, making it super affordable if you’re planning a long trip in the Middle East. Dubai, Jordan, and Israel are slightly more expensive countries to visit. You can expect private rooms in hotels to range anywhere from $80-300 USD per night.

When is the best time to travel to the Middle East?

The best time to travel to the Middle East is between March and May. The temperatures are comfortable, and the landscapes are green with blooming wildlife flowers. It’s the perfect time to visit top attractions like the Rose City of Petra or to venture into Jordan’s Wadi Rum region.

Which is more expensive, Jordan or Israel?

Dubai, Jordan, and Israel are slightly more expensive countries to visit. You can expect private rooms in hotels to range anywhere from $50-120 per night. Save Money: If you’re traveling to Jordan, I highly recommend buying the Jordan Pass before you arrive.

What are the most famous attractions in Egypt?

Great Attractions. Imagine seeing the pyramids of Egypt, which are thousands of years old. In fact, the pyramids are among the eight wonders of the world. Another amazing attraction is the Suez canal connecting the Mediterranean Sea and the red sea. The Nile River, Aswan High Dam and Mesopotamia, where modern agriculture was developed, …

What are the major attractions in the Middle East?

The Nile River, Aswan High Dam and Mesopotamia, where modern agriculture was developed, as just some of the main attractions in the Middle East. There are many attractions in most Middle Eastern countries, so you only need to pick the best destinations to visit in the region.

What language do people speak in the Middle East?

In many countries around the world, however, a large section of the population speaks some English. In the Middle East, however, almost everybody speaks Arabic only. The number of English speakers is limited. Other languages are Farsi and Pashtu. This is a major setback for international visitors as most people appreciate a local population …

Which countries have a wide range of sanctions that make them unattractive to world travelers?

Countries like Syria, Yemen and Iran have a wide range of sanctions that make them unattractive to world travelers. For instance, international airlines, financial institutions and manufacturers are prohibited from doing any sort of business in Iran.

When is the best time to visit the Middle East?

This means that you can visit these countries during the winter season to escape the cold in the Northern Hemisphere. If sun and sand between December and March are what you are looking for, then the Middle East is a great place to visit.

Is it safe to travel to Libya before the Arab Spring?

Even before the Arab Spring, some Middle Eastern countries were already unstable. Currently, visiting Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Iraq and Afghanistan is a risky affair. One of the main disadvantages of visiting these countries is that you may get caught up in some geopolitical problem. Imagine all outbound flights getting cancelled when visiting a popular attraction in a Middle Eastern country. What would you do next? While such occurrences are not usually very common, they can occur, so be sure to keep this in mind.

Can Iran travel to the US?

In fact, anyone who visits Iran cannot visit the US, Austral ia and many other western countries. Be sure to do some research on EU, UN and US sanctions before visiting any Middle Eastern country because you do not want to inconvenience yourself in the future when trying to travel.

Why You Should Go

As one of the oldest regions of the world, the Middle East is home to a lot of bucket list items. The Pyramids, Petra, the Dome of the Rock, the Western Wall, the Burj Khalifa – you’ll find all these unsurpassable treasures on a Middle East vacation. The sheer number of world icons present in the Middle East should be enough to justify a trip.

What to Do in the Middle East

There is a lot to do when you head on a Middle East vacation. In fact, if we had no length limit on this article, this section could go on seemingly forever. When you visit the Middle East, you’ll have your pick of cultural experiences, tours of historical wonders, and adventures through stunning nature.

Where to Go in the Middle East

Where you go depends on what you want to do on a Middle East vacation. However, there are essential stops in each country.

When to Go

Although all of these countries have variations in geography and climate, the Middle East is fairly homogenous in terms of weather. It is hot and dry and since it’s in the Northern Hemisphere, its summer coincides with the summer of Europe and North America.

How to Get There

It’s easy to fly to the Middle East. Flights to most destinations have a layover in London or Frankfurt before connecting to major centres like Cairo, Amman, and Abu Dhabi. However, there are direct flights from Toronto and New York City to destinations such as Tel Aviv and Dubai.