To many people, the Middle East is just some far-away exotic area that they often hear about in the news. The Middle East is so much more than the turmoil and controversies. Did you know the Middle East is a transcontinental region? It includes countries from Western Asia, Northern Africa, and Turkey (Asian and European). Beautiful lands, diverse culture, natural and human-made wonders are all covered under the umbrella of the term ‘Middle East’. Although some nations in the Middle East are embroiled in trouble, several others are safe to visit and explore.
Presenting a list of 7 of the safest places to visit in the Middle East:
Qatar is officially known as the State of Qatar. It offers impeccable hospitality. It is one country where you can behold the most beautiful Islamic art from the past centuries. The quality and diversity of its art collections will impress you. Qatar is also home to a mesmerizing natural wonder, Khor Al Adaid, or the Inland Sea. It is a UNESCO recognized natural reserve with its ecosystem bound by dunes on all sides. Qatar also has a human-made island, The Pearl-Qatar. Its elegance and fresco dining are its main attractions. These have earned it the title ‘Arabian Riviera’. You can also visit the spectacular Dahl Al Misfir, a cave with an otherworldly glow because of its Gypsum deposits.
Oman is officially known as the Sultanate of Oman. It is the oldest independent state of the Arab world. It boasts of a rich heritage and takes pride in its frankincense-trading past. The Sultanate is an example of modernization with simultaneous retention of core values. You can experience the true Arab essence in this country. You can witness the evidence of continental drift in the topography in Oman. You can explore the highest mountain of Oman- Jebel Shams, the large dunes of Rub al Khali, and Duqm’s Rock Garden. Make a trip to the fossil valley of Jebel Huwayah or explore the castles in the interior villages of Al-Buraimi. If you love the desert, Wahiba Sands is the right choice for you.
UAE (United Arab Emirates)
UAE or the Emirates is situated in Western Asia. This country is a mosaic of skyscrapers, islands, malls, and beach resorts. You can experience a surge of spirituality and let the peace overcome you at Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, the capital of UAE. No adventure loving person must miss the Desert Safari on the dunes of Dubai! If you feel like splurging, you can experience a stay at Burj al Arab, the world’s most luxurious hotel located in Dubai. Dubai also houses the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. The second-largest mall in the world, Dubai Mall, is also located in UAE. UAE is a country with the grandest and largest of structures.
The State of Kuwait shares borders with Iraq and Saudi Arabia. It is located at the cliff of the Persian Gulf. Kuwait is an oil-rich small country with a big heart. The Kuwait Towers standing on a promontory into the Persian Gulf, are almost a symbol of the country.
You can view evidence of the country’s history in the form of gates of Kuwait’s Third Wall built exactly a century ago. Behold traditional wind-tower architecture and explore craft workshops. Experience the tranquility of the Kuwait Grand Mosque. Failaka Island of Kuwait is located in the Persian Gulf. It stands witness to one of the saddest episodes of Kuwaiti history, the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. But today, the island serves as a planned vacation paradise.
Jordan is an enthralling mix of tradition and modernity. The starkness of Wadi Rum, the valley of the moon, will enchant you. Did you know that this valley has been depicted as Mars in many movies? In Jordan, you can get the opportunity to float on the Dead Sea. The ancient ruins of civilizations gone by in Petra will humble you.
This is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the Seven Wonders of the World. If you love history and art, the fine mosaics, frescoes, stone and stucco carvings and illustrations of Jordan’s desert castles will entice you. The desert castles themselves are gorgeous and imposing structures. The towering Ayyubid castle at Ajlun is a sight to behold.
The Republic of Cyprus is an Island country. It is a haven for nature lovers. Cyprus always has something new to try and experience regardless of the season. The beauty of the island is one of the reasons various empires coveted it. When you set eyes on it, you will be lost in its magnificence. Cyprus is home to various ancient sites like Kourion. Other castles and ruins are sprinkled generously all over Cyprus. The grandiosity of the empires that once built these structures can be imagined while looking at them.
The Kingdom of Bahrain is a small Arab country in the Persian Gulf. The main island of Bahrain and smaller islands and islets make up the archipelago. The name Bahrain itself means ‘two seas’. It was one of the first states in the Gulf to build a refinery after discovering oil. Riffa Fort in the Hunanaiya Valley, built-in 1812, is one of the main attractions of Bahrain. Bahrain boasts of its own Formula 1 Grand Prix. Pearl diving tours are a possibility in Muharraq Island of Bahrain.
After visiting these places, store your indelible memories easily on a scratch off map of the world by marking the places visited. The Middle East is not to be missed if you love to travel. When traveling by air you should strictly follow some rules. A balance of tradition and modernity characterizes the Middle East. It will open up a whole new world to you.