Sandy dunes spanning across the wide horizons, warm breezes that fill your soul, and natural formations replete with aesthetic and cultural values – the Middle East couldn’t get any more beautiful than it already is. Indeed, there is beauty all over this sunny region that the world has to explore. As a tourist you can explore the wonders of this magical region. For more detailed information visit Lonely Planet’s Middle East guide. In the meantime, below are the ten must-see travel destinations in the Middle East.
1. Dome of the Rock
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Dome of the Rock remains to be one of the most recognizable landmarks of Jerusalem, visited by tourists all over the world. It is located in the heart of Jerusalem, particularly at Haram Al-Sharif. The shrine boasts of an astounding Islamic architecture, including its spectacular golden dome and intricately beautiful tile works, patterned after the Byzantine style during the 7th century. This Islamic masterwork houses the Foundation Stone, an artifact deemed holy and valuable by the Jews and Muslims.
2. Khawr Al Udayd
Who says you can’t go for a nice swim in the Middle East? Khawr Al Udayd, sometimes spelled as Khor Al Udaid, is Qatar’s very own sensational desert which lazily stretches and borders a magnificent crystal-clear beach. In the morning, the water advances on to the desert which gives that exotic resort ambiance, and at night, the sea recedes, unveiling once again the beautiful desert. This changing scenery further adds to the beauty of the beach.
If you love windsurfing, Hurghada is perfect for that. Witness the turquoise waters and the beautiful coral reefs right before your very eyes. Hurghada is a busy town and you can easily go to Eastern Arab Desert and Giftun Islands as you visit the place. Tourists flock in this place because of the beach escape.
4. Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv thrives in beaches, music, young professionals, arts, bars, clubs and gay life. This place is a modern metropolis and is known as the White City. In fact, the architecture in the city has been UNESCO-designated. Catch cabs, drive or walk to experience the beautiful and historic place of Tel Aviv.
Experience the exciting city life in Luxor, Egypt, branded as the world’s greatest open-air museum, where the hot-air balloons and casinos are among the many splendid sights you will see. You will not only enjoy magnificent ancient sculptures, but also the modern vibe of the place.
If you’re a lover of purely ancient cities, then don’t miss the chance to visit Cairo. It is one of the biggest and most modern cities in the Middle East. This city is a spending location to explore the culture and history of Egypt.
Famous for its rock-cut architecture, Petra is part of the prestigious 2007 New 7 Wonders of the World. This stunning southwestern desert in Jordan houses the famous Al Khazneh temple and many other archaeological and historical sites.
8. Dead Sea
The intense heat in the Middle East sometimes makes you long for a long, breezy atmosphere. The Dead Sea is that one place you must go to. Bordered by Palestine, Jordan, and Israel, this salt lake gives you that scenic view, calming vibe and quiet space in the Middle East. You will even enjoy the salt formations gorgeously and naturally formed all throughout the years.
If your agenda is to shop until you drop, surely Dubai suits you. The place is a mixture of top-notch shopping centers, historical sites, adventure parks, and other entertainment centers. This bustling city is considered the business hub of UAE. Many tourists enjoy the one-of-a-kind desert dunes adventure and underwater hotel in Dubai, so make sure you don’t miss out the fun.
10. Istanbul, Turkey
Of course, who would forget Istanbul? Its history is as colorful and elaborate as its Ottoman – and Byzantine-inspired structures. Visit the Topkapi Palace, the museum Hagia Sophia, the iconic blue mosque Sultan Ahmed, the colorful labyrinth Grand Bazaar, the 67-meter high tower Galata Tower, and many other sites.
Traveling in the Middle East surely suits everyone. The place offers various destinations for your different travel needs.