The Middle East is a wonderful region to explore on a relaxing and rejuvenating holiday, irrespective of whether you are on a family holiday, on a honeymoon, or looking for a refreshing break from your routine life. There is something on offer for every global traveler.
Tourism plays a major role in this region, contributing to 10% of the world’s economic output. In fact, tourism has skyrocketed in the Middle Eastern area in the last decade or so, with several emerging destinations like Istanbul, Petra, Cairo, and Abu Dhabi featured on the list. Let us take you through the top Middle Eastern destinations that should definitely be on your travel bucket list.
Middle Eastern Tourism
There are 18 countries located near the Mediterranean coastline that constitute the Middle Eastern region. While the Gulf of the Arab World takes all the limelight due to its glitzy and glamorous reputation, several tourist hotspots have emerged to gain traction and prominence in the last decade among the tourist population.
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
The sophisticated capital of the UAE offers ultra-luxurious indulgences with a fantastic blend of modern mega structures and charismatic cultural monuments. Abu Dhabi Tours has been gaining popularity recently with significant investments in sustainable tourism.
Being the largest Emirate, you will find plenty of amazing mosques, theme parks, endless deserts, and museums to dive deep into the city’s rich cultural heritage. No matter what indulgence you choose, you will feel the distinct Arab culture embedded in the modern glamour and glitz of the city.
Best Time to Visit: November – March
Top Attractions: Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Ferrari World, Louvre Museum, Liwa Oasis, Desert Safari, and Saadiyat Beach
A historic paradise in Turkey’s heart is renowned for its rustic charm, natural beauty, intriguing history, and rich cultural heritage. This is a must-visit destination after getting your Turkey visa.
The mind-blowing rock formations, also known as the chimneys, were incepted almost millions of years ago due to volcanic eruptions and stood out among all the fascinating places to explore. Collect traditional handicrafts such as carpets and pottery, and indulge in gastronomical delights with sweet pastries, stuffed vine leaves, and lamb meals.
Best Time to Visit: April – August
Top Attractions: Fairy Chimneys, Kaymakli Underground City, Derinkuyu Underground City, Uchisar Castle, Goreme open-air museum, and Pigeon Valley
Often in the shadow of the prominent cities nearby, Cairo has gained prominence in the tourist world with its amazing history, delicious cuisine, historic sites, and extraordinary experiences. Every global traveler would love exploring the exotic upcoming megacities in the world.
The striking architecture of the past, brushed with modern indulgences, makes it a great city to explore in the Middle Eastern region. This city of a thousand minarets never settles down. It continues to ooze its charm and elegance on every global traveler who visits this beautiful land.
Best Time to Visit: November – April
Top Attractions: Khan el-Khallili, Egyptian Museum, Nile Ritz-Carlton, Nile River, Pyramids of Giza, Downtown Cairo, Tahrir Square, Islamic Cairo, and Coptic Cairo
This multicultural city is home to several expats from different origins. Picturesque architecture, intriguing history, dazzling vistas, and an impressive shopping scene create a refreshing holiday experience. The cultural heart of Qatar, Doha features among the most picturesque cities in the Gulf region, with its neighboring deserts, dotted art sculptures, and a modern edge blending together.
Best Time to Visit: December – February
Top Attractions: National Museum of Qatar, Souq Waqif, Museum of Islamic Art, The Pearl-Qatar, Aspire Park, Katara Cultural Village, Villaggio Mall, Doha Corniche, and the Museum of Illusions
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
You can prepare a travel bucket list without mentioning Dubai. This buzzing city is known for its ultra-glamorous state and state-of-the-art lifestyle. The marvelous metropolis never stops growing and surprises the tourist audience each time with its shimmering skyscrapers, striking desert life experience, modern architecture, and rich history. No matter your indulgence on your holiday, Dubai is always a fabulous choice for a short getaway. In two decades, Dubai has become a modern tourist hotspot on every traveler’s bucket list.
Best Time to Visit: November – March
Top Attractions: Burj Al Arab, Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall, Atlantis the Palm, Desert Safari, Dubai Underwater Zoo & Aquarium, Dubai Museum, Downtown Dubai, Bur Dubai, Dubai Marina, Dubai Creek, Ski Dubai, and Aquaventure Waterpark
This popular destination is often termed the unofficial capital of Turkey, as it remains at the heart of all activities within the region. Turkey’s most populated and largest city is a tourist hotspot. It is surrounded by the Bosphorus on both sides, providing the essence of Europe and Asia in one destination. A Turkey visa is an essential travel document that will be the first step towards fulfilling your relaxing Turkish holiday. Get your Turkey visa guide through a reliable travel buddy who will partner with you to ease the entire process and milestones involved in the visa journey.
Best Time to Visit: April – May and September – October
Top Attractions: Sultanahmet Square, Sultan Ahmed Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Glhane Gardens, Emirgan Gardens, Dolmabahe Palace, Topkapi Palace, Bosphorus Strait Cruises, and Grand Bazaar
Jerusalem, the cradle of three monotheistic religions, boasts a fascinating mix of cultural experiences with a rich history and religious vibe that brings an alluring tourist vibe to this city. Shop till you drop if you have browsed through the sacred shrines and experienced a wide range of cultural experiences to make up for an imposing holiday experience. The old Jerusalem city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site featuring four distinct quarters: Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and Armenian, which add a unique offering to this city’s diversity and rich history.
Best Times to Visit: April – May and October – November
Top Attractions: Dead Sea, Masada, The Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem, Villa Brown Jerusalem, the Western Wall, The Israeli Museum, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre
This charming city features plenty of unique attractions that deserve to be the next hidden gem on your travel bucket list. The striking architecture of both modern and contemporary times, with the fabulous emerald beaches and rolling hills, brings an amazing vibe to this beautiful modern city. Retail therapy is the best activity to indulge in if you are a shopaholic. Experience the best Omani hospitality as you browse the Persian Gulf’s dazzling souks and delectable seafood. It’s an ideal place to trek deserts, witness dolphins at sunsets, and much more.
Best Time to Visit: November to mid-March
Top Attractions: Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, Opera House, Chedi Muscat, and the Emerald Blue Beaches
It’s one of the seven wonders of the world, mostly due to its iconic archeological sites since its inception in 312 BC. Being among the oldest cities globally, it is also among the birthplaces of the extraordinary prehistoric civilizations, the Nabatean Arabs, who carved this lost city into its mountains. This beautiful Jordanian city still carries an archaeological destination’s rustic charm and essence. You will find several churches and a colonnaded street thanks to the Byzantine influence.
Best Time to Visit: March-May and September – November
Top Attractions: Bab Al Siq, The Dam, the Theatre, The Siq, The Streets of Facades, the Treasury, Palace Tomb, the Corinthian Tomb, The Urn Tomb, The Silk Tomb, The Colonnaded Street, The Sextius Florentinus Tomb, and the Great Temple
Tel Aviv, Israel
Tel Aviv has gained sudden prominence in the tourist world with its gorgeous beaches, amazing restaurants serving delightful Israeli cuisine, rich culture, vibrant nightlife, and much more. This enigmatic destination in Israel has often raised eyebrows with its spectacular development in the last few decades. You will feel the free-spirited nature here, with plenty of political freedom in the air, unlike the bondage you will sense in Jerusalem. The Bauhaus architecture, the thriving art culture, and the zipping nightlife give you an amazing feeling of hip-hop in one go.
Best Time to Visit: March – April and September – November
Top Attractions: White City, old Jaffa Port, Carmel Market, Ein Gedi, Tel Aviv Port, Yarkon Park, Great Synagogue, Tel Aviv Museum of Art
Whatever you want to enjoy and browse through on your refreshing holiday, the Middle Eastern region has everything to cater to your taste and requirements. Several hotspots mentioned above are quickly gaining traction in the tourist world. Thanks to their rich history, inspiring culture, fascinating heritage, delectable cuisine, and remarkable experiences. It gives you all the more reasons to add a couple of names to your existing travel bucket list.