The Middle East is often looked over when one is thinking up possible vacation destinations. However, that’s not very fair to a lot of the time and effort that these countries have put into making great experiences for potential travel lovers. There is an obvious need for concern in certain places, but this list will only contain cities with a positive rating from the US Department of State’s Travel Advisory Board. Here are five great destinations to make sure your Middle East trip is safe and unforgettable.
Oman is a small country off the Arabian peninsula and its Ministry of Tourism has worked hard to preserve its natural beauty. Muscat is the capital and has most of the country’s tourism allure. The historic landmarks of the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, Al Jalali Fort, and Sohar can take visitors through the rich history of not just Oman, but the world. The ecological beauty is at its best at the Mutrah Corniche, the city’s waterfront. Feel free to take a leisurely stroll during sunset.
Diving in the Al Munnassir is highly recommended. It is the northern reach of the Indian ocean, so be ready for dolphins, whales, and plenty of colorful fish. For those looking for a little more luxury, there are plenty of luxury camping sites in the Sharqiya Sands, for a romantic safari where you might literally be the only ones around.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Dubai is one of the most exciting places in the world. A plethora of activities like sky-diving, sailing, hot-air ballooning, diving, and various desert adventures ensure that travel lovers will never be bored. Dubai is also trying to be greener – they plan to introduce 500 km of cycle trails by 2020, and to build the largest concentrated solar power project in the world.
Dubai also has a historical district with tours meant to enlighten newcomers to the rich history of the city and the Bedouin lifestyle. Whatever you choose to do, though, do not miss out on IMG Worlds of Adventure, the world’s largest indoor theme park. Dubai is, in a word, excitement.
Tel Aviv, Israel
Tel Aviv is the modern and lively sibling to Jerusalem. In Hebrew, Tel Aviv means “Hill of Spring” and it could not be a more apt title. This cosmopolitan city always has something springing up and going on.
Gordon Beach makes it an excellent summer destination. The Tel Aviv Museum of Art and Flea Market mark the city as a highly contemporary, metropolitan area. Tel Aviv just screams newness and freshness.
The ancient city of Petra isn’t just a treasure of Jordan’s history, but of all the world’s. This is a bedrock of civilization. The highlight of Petra is undoubtedly the hidden city of Siq. Walk through the treasury, palace, theater, and royal tombs, just as the ancient Nabatean peoples did thousands of years ago.
Siq lies in a canyon below windswept Jordan. Therefore, you’ll literally be travelling down into this magical captured moment of time. You could spend several days in this ancient city alone. Therefore, many choose to camp out in the hidden city. This is a must for anyone who loves history and travel.
From history to fairytale, Cappadocia looks like it was plucked from a fantasy. The surreal mix of countryside hills and drip-drop looking mountains makes the topography unique. There are two best ways to experience Cappadocia’s beauty.
One is to travel the hiking trails in the Güllüdere Vadısı, Rose Valley. You’ll experience not just the natural features, but some hidden away stone-cut buildings lost to time. The second way is the popular hot-air balloon tour, only further adding to Cappadocia’s wonderous appearance. The city also has a wonderful museum dedicated to the country’s history of Seljuk culture.
There’s so much on offer for the curious travel lover – make sure to do your research before you plan your Middle East trip.