If you’re a world traveler—or aspire to be one—chances are the Middle East is on your radar. But which are the best countries to visit in the Middle East? Well, that all depends on what you like to do. To help you plan your first trip to the Middle East, we’ve highlighted 6 beautiful destinations. That way, you can decide which one is best for you. But trust us, you’ll want to see them all in your lifetime.
Editor’s Note: Whenever you travel out of the country, check with your embassy for travel advisories.
CONTENTS – In this article, you will learn about six beautiful destinations to visit in the Middle East, including:
- Middle East Travel Overview
- Tel Aviv, Israel
- Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt
- Dubai, United Arab Emirates
- Istanbul, Turkey
- Muscat, Oman
- Amman, Jordan
Travel Overview: 6 Beautiful Destinations To Visit In The Middle East
The Middle East is a region often surrounded by an aura of prejudice. But one thing is certain: more and more travelers choose to explore this fascinating corner of the world.
In fact, recent estimates confirm that tourism in the Middle East is growing steadily year after year and the region is expected to reach 150 million visitors per year by 2030.
It is not difficult to understand what are the reasons that push millions of tourists to visit the most popular destinations in the Middle East. Whether you are interested in ancient archaeological sites, natural wonders, beautiful beaches or lively cities, you will surely discover which one is right for you.
Many travelers do not consider visiting this region, but it is a large area with a very diverse group of countries stretching from the border of Pakistan, through the Arabian Peninsula, to the eastern countries of North Africa.
More than a few nations within this region are safe to visit and offer unforgettable sights and attractions. It’s easy enough to book Air Arabia flights online, today.
Read on to find out what are the 6 destinations we suggest for your first trip to the Middle East.
Tel Aviv, Israel
It is a perfect destination for: combining a beach holiday with one in the city
Often compared to Rio de Janeiro, Tel Aviv is both a cosmopolitan city and a seaside destination.
The city winds along the coast, so you will never stray too far from the sea. During the day, beach lovers populate the beach. This is perfect for sunbathing and water sports. In the evening it comes alive with beach volleyball games and lights. It is a fairy tale sight, coming from the beach bars.
Since there are not many historical sites to visit in Tel Aviv, you can indulge yourself without hesitation by delighting your palate.
You’ll want to explore the myriad of cafes, street food, and cocktail bars.
Be sure to visit the Imperial Cocktail Bar. It was voted the best in the whole Middle East! It’s small, so don’t forget to book in advance.
Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt
It is a perfect destination for: snorkelers and divers
The sun, sea, and beaches of Sharm El Sheikh are unparalleled in the Middle East.
That’s because the exclusive Egyptian beach resort is located on the shores of the Red Sea and offers some of the best opportunities in the region for snorkeling and diving.
In fact, the water is so crystal clear and here, you will be amazed by colorful coral reefs and all sorts of tropical fish.
Many hotels also offer diving lessons, which is ideal for first-time divers because this under-water beauty is not to be missed.
Sharm El Sheikh also has more to offer than its beautiful transparent waters. You’ll find those attractions are concentrated in the Na’ama Bay area, a lively hub where you can indulge in shops, restaurants, bars and nightclubs.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
It is a perfect destination for: lovers of glamor and glitz
If what you are looking for is luxury, Dubai is the place for you. With its soaring skyscrapers and giant shopping centers, this futuristic city is second to none.
This destination is so beautiful, its among the most photographed cities in the world.
Here you can pass the time dividing between brunches and relaxing by the pool in immaculate hotels. But if you have the time and desire to push yourself under the surface of modernity that covers the city, you will find plenty of history and culture to discover.
Head into the old town and get lost in the incredible Gold Souk. That’s the gold market, where you can watch locals and tourists bargain over the price of goods. Believe it or not, you can find free things to do in Dubai to offset this luxury travel destination.
Make sure you have enough time to dedicate to a desert excursion, too. You can climb the dunes aboard a 4 × 4 vehicle for a taste of adventure.
Finally, don’t miss the chance to spend a magical night camping under the stars. It’s positively dreamy.
Related Post: 2 Day Dubai Itinerary
It is a perfect destination for: sightseeing and shopping
Straddling Asia and Europe, the bustling capital of Turkey is the ideal place for your first time in the Middle East.
In Istanbul, you can easily switch from admiring the sophisticated mosques of the old city to sipping cocktails on the terrace of a trendy bar.
In addition, if you are staying in these parts, a visit to the famous bazaars of Istanbul is a must. The Grand Bazaar is the largest and most stocked of all.
You can get lost (in the best way!) browsing over 4,000 shops that wind their way through more than 60 streets.
Arm yourself with nerves and get ready to haggle on the price, whether it’s for clothes, jewelry, spices, or household items. It’s all negotiable.
Tip: It might also be a good idea to buy an extra suitcase to take all your purchases home.
It is a perfect destination for: lovers of less touristy places
Squeezed between the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen, tourists are taking note of Oman. This small state is being favored by the most seasoned travelers, with good reason.
In Oman, you won’t find world-famous attractions like those in Egypt or the glitzy luxury of the UAE. But that’s exactly what makes it a must-see destination.
If you’re looking for a more authentic taste of the Middle East, this is the destination that’s right for you.
Start your journey in the capital, Muscat, and then explore the surrounding nature: the country boasts spectacular landscapes, rugged mountains, unexplored deserts and even a Grand Canyon.
Plus, there are over 1,860 miles (3,000 km) of coastline bordering the Indian Ocean, full of secluded beaches and great snorkeling spots.
It is a perfect destination for: lovers of nature and ancient history
Long a favorite destination for adventurous backpackers and history buffs, Jordan is the right choice for those who want to visit historical sites in abundance.
Base yourself in the capital, Amman, and dedicate time to exploring the ancient Roman ruins. You’ll want to intersperse your excursions with delicious dishes based on falafel, humus, and baklava.
Speaking of exploration, you are just an hour’s drive away from the Dead Sea. Floating in these mineral-rich waters more than 1300 feet (400 meters) below sea level is an experience you’ll never forget.
If you have time, venture south to visit the ancient city of Petra. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the most extraordinary archaeological sites in the world. It owes its fame to being partially carved on a rock face.
Final Thoughts on Middle East Destinations
The Middle East is a region rich with history, culture, and an incredible beauty that any world traveler will love. It’s easy to see that any one or more of these beautiful countries deserves a place high on your bucket list!
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