[All content and prices updated August 2013]

Middle East pillars to plan your trip around

If all you had to go by was the pictures on the news, you would probably think that the Middle East is the last place on this planet that you would want to travel. All the violence, all the oppression, all the anger...

It is true that parts of the Middle East have all of those things and more. It is also true that you are likely to encounter some problems when you travel to some of the problem spots. But to paint a wide brush over the entire region would be misguided. For every danger spot there are hundreds that are safe, fascinating, and eager to welcome you as a visitor as long as you are mindful of the local customs. The Middle East can offer great rewards to those who make the trip.

  • The region boasts some fascinating cities like Dubai, which is rapidly growing and which offers a bizarre look at modern overabundance.
  • There are countries like Qatar and Oman, which serve as vacation hot spots for people from the region.
  • The history here in the Middle East is unmatched - this is where Judaism, Christianity, and Islam were born.
  • There are the popular ancient ruins in Jordan and Syria, but the history is everywhere.
  • Visit one of the many ancient cities still bustling today - Tehran, Amman, Beirut, Baghdad, Damascus, Dubai, and Jerusalem.
  • Float in the Dead Sea with ease as the high salt concentration will keep you afloat.
  • Experience the fascinating and violent history of Israel and see it unfold before your eyes.
  • Eat, eat, and eat some more. Some of the best, freshest, and cheapest food is available in the region, much of it on the street.
  • Open up and discover some of the warmest and friendliest people you've met.

Transportation

Finding airfare to the Middle East has recently gotten much easier. There are many new discount airlines competing for business, especially to Dubai as bargains are easier to get than ever before.

Accommodation

There is a wide variety of hotels from which to choose. You may have read about some of the fanciest hotels in the world that are opening in this region, but there are plenty of cheaper places as well. You might find some of the budget places to be a bit more run down than their photos would have you believe, and you tend to get what you pay for in this region. There are an increasing number of hostels in the Middle East as well, mostly in the large cities. Some budget hotels will be listed alongside those, so it's always worth checking.