The Middle East is the cradle of all civilization — it is a region that is full of history and culture. There are many different tourist destinations in the Middle East, each with its own unique attractions. Here are three of the most popular cities for tourists in the Middle East.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates – known for its luxury hotels, shopping malls, and skyscrapers
If you’re looking for luxury, there’s nowhere quite like Dubai. This city in the United Arab Emirates is known for its opulent hotels, huge shopping malls, and towering skyscrapers. Tourism weakened in Dubai because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it has been steadily increasing, with more hotel rooms booked in 2022 than in 2021. It has some of the most luxurious places in the world, and here are most tourists’ favorite places to visit there:
- Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, is located here. Visitors can go to the 124th and the 125th floor, the highest vantage points on the building — which is still not as high as the 163rd floor, the highest floor on the building. You have to got through Dubai Mall to enter Burj Khalifa
- Dubai Mall is a tourist destination in itself. It is full of shops for almost any kind of tourist, with lots of luxury stores, too. It has more than 1,200 shops.
- The Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo is one of the largest aquariums in the world. It has more than 140 different species of aquatic creatures, and it even has a 48-meter tunnel that will make you feel like you are underwater while you are walking through.
- The Palm Jumeirah is an artificial island in the shape of a palm tree that’s home to some of the city’s most exclusive hotels and resorts. If you’re looking for a more relaxed atmosphere, head to Jumeirah Beach where you can soak up the sun and take a dip in the crystal-clear water. Dubai is a modest country, so even though bikinis are allowed, it is best to wear modest swimwear.
- The Aquaventure Waterpark is a mega waterpark, and it is lauded in the Middle East as one of the best there, even rivaling the best waterparks Europe has to offer. It is 141 acres big, with many waterslides, pools, and water rides — you can even swim with dolphins there!
No matter what you’re looking for or what your idea of fun is, Dubai has something for you.
Istanbul, Turkiye– a city with a rich history spanning East and West cultures
Istanbul is a city like no other. Situated at the crossroads of East and West, its long history has seen a succession of civilizations leave their mark on the city. From the acres of Roman ruins to the majestic mosques and palaces of the Ottoman era, Istanbul is a time machine through culture and history. Here are the most popular tourists spots in Istanbul:
- Hagia Sophia is an Islamic mosque that was once a Christian cathedral. Its soaring domes and beautiful mosaics are testaments to its rich history. It is also widely considered as one of the most impressive works of architecture for its time, and it is a masterpiece of Byzantine architecture.
- The Basilica Cistern is an eerie underground network of tunnels and chambers that were once used to store water for the city. It is an astonishing work of architecture as well, spanning 105,000 square feet. It is an amazing place to take photos, too!
- Topkapi Palace, also known as the Seraglio, is the best place to visit for a taste of Ottoman luxury. It was built on the banks of the Golden Horn and was once the home of the sultans and their harems. It is now a museum.
- The Istanbul Archaeology Museum houses one of the world’s finest collections of Classical artifacts. If you wish to learn more about the rich history and culture of Turkiye as well as other civilizations of antiquity, visiting this museum would surely make you happy. It is one of the biggest museum collections in the world, with more than one million artifacts.
- The Grand Bazaar is a bustling labyrinth of stalls selling everything from spices to carpets. Visit this place to get a feel of how lively trade is in the Middle East! This bazaar has shops for everything, and you can find some of the best Turkish restaurants in this area.
If you’re interested in culture, history, or shopping, Istanbul is perfect for you. Make your inner history nerd happy and visit Istanbul!
Cairo, Egypt – home to the Great Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx
Cairo, Egypt is home to some of the most iconic ancient monuments in the world, including the Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx.
- The Pyramids of Giza was built around 2,500 BC. It is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. This why Egypt is so famous as a tourist destination. However, this is very far from the city center, so it is better to book a hotel that is not near the Pyramids. The Grand Egyptian Museum will open near the Pyramids in late 2022, too, so watch out!
- The Museum of Egyptian Antiquities houses one of the largest collections of ancient Egyptian artifacts in the world. You will be able to see lots of things related to pharaohs and ancient Egypt here.
- Khan Al-Khalili is a bustling market district filled with shops and stalls selling everything from spices to souvenirs. You can experience how it feels to shop as locals do in this area, even though there are still many tourist shops and souvenir shops here.
- The Cairo Citadel, also known as the Citadel of Saladin, was built in the 12th century. It is a fortification that houses several museums and mosques, including the Mosque of Mohamed Ali.
Cairo is a city steeped in history and culture, and an essential stop on any tour of the Middle East. It is better to rely on taxis and ride-hailing apps such as Uber, Careem, DiDi, and inDriver here because the public transportation system can be confusing for foreigners.
Cairo, Egypt is home to some of the most iconic ancient monuments in the world, including the Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx. The Museum of Egyptian Antiquities houses one of the largest collections of ancient Egyptian artifacts in the world. You will be able to see lots of things related to pharaohs and ancient Egypt here. Khan Al-Khalili is a bustling market district filled with shops and stalls selling everything from spices to souvenirs. You can experience how it feels to shop as locals do in this area, even though there are still many tourist shops and souvenir shops here. The Cairo Citadel, also known as the Citadel of Saladin, was built in the 12th century. It is a fortification that houses several museums and mosques, including the Mosque of Mohamed Ali. Cairo is a city steeped in history and culture, and an essential stop on any tour of the Middle East.