Traveling to The
Photo: Jame Abbasi mosque, Esfahan, Iran
The Middle East has a rich culture you can see in the magnificent details of their architecture. The warmth and welcome you’ll experience from locals will shine a whole new light on what you can experience there. So much to see and taste in the wonder that is the Middle East.
The Middle East
Bahrain, Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Northern Cyprus, Oman, State of Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.), Yemen.
Do I Need a Visa to Travel to the Middle East?
Visas are required for traveling to the Middle East. Obtaining them can feel overwhelming if you don’t know what you’re doing. Please discuss which visas are needed with your travel consultant.
(Photo: Nemrut Dagi in Turkey)
Is the Middle East Safe?
The Middle East is a large region that spans across multiple continents, including Asia and Northeastern Africa. It’s kind of a mixed bag in terms of safety as there are places that have struggled with unrest. But there’s a reason the Middle East is a rising travel destination.
Traveling alone throughout the Middle East is possible, even for solo women travelers. There are actually many cases where women have reported that their gender actually aided them during their travels, despite the reputation of it being difficult for solo female travelers. That is not to say that anyone traveling alone shouldn’t still be careful. There are many cultural differences and it’s important to remember that. The Middle East is also quite a bit more conservative than the States so dressing modestly and being respectful will go a long way.
The situation for the LGBTQ+ community is more diverse than you’d think in the Middle East. Homosexuality is illegal in 10 of the 18 countries and is punishable by death in 6 of the 18 countries. This doesn’t mean that there isn’t an active gay scene in those areas, but it’s typically more hidden and kept out of view.
However, Israel is very open and accepting. Homosexuality is legal and Tel Aviv has a thriving gay and lesbian scene.
For more useful travel advice check out our Trips Tips section. You’ll find useful information designed to save you time, keep you safe, and show you what being a good global citizen looks like.
When is a Good Time to Visit the Middle East?
The best times to visit the Middle East are during the Fall (September-November) or during the Spring (March – May). Any other time of year is possible but prepare for the hot summers and chilly winters.
Will I Have Trouble With the Language Barrier?
The Middle East has over 60 different languages. Making the Middle East one of the most linguistically diverse areas of the world. Some are native to the region while some were brought over from other parts of the world.
English is, for the most part, spoken all over. Especially in regards to business and tourism. In some nations, such as the U.A.E. and Iraq, English is taught in schools as a second language. So you shouldn’t have any trouble communicating during your travels.
Accents can be tricky to understand. Both for you understanding someone else, and them trying to understand you. So be patient and use different words if someone is not understanding what you’re asking.
Is the Middle East a Good Place to Travel to With Children?
The Middle East has much to see and do for families. The most popular countries are Turkey, Egypt, Jordan and Israel.
You can expect to see gorgeous beaches, unforgettable landscapes, camel trekking, and even castles. Sounds like a great family vacation to us!
What About Money?
The use of credit cards and ATMs are widely used throughout the Middle East. U.S. dollars are also universally accepted, followed by British Pounds. Though if you’re visiting Iran, then you should know that cash is the best option.
Do I Tip?
Tipping (called Baksheeesh) is generally expected throughout the Middle East. Wages are often much lower compared to Western countries, so tipping becomes a vital part of their income, much more than a reward for good service. Typically, tipping is expected at the end of tours and within the tourism business as a whole.
Ready to discuss traveling to the Middle East with one of our Travel Consultants?
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