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Petra | © apdeboer/Pixabay
Petra | © apdeboer/Pixabay
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The Best Cities to Travel to in the Middle East

Picture of Thais Kelly
Updated: 26 October 2017
Everyone should travel to the Middle East at least once in their life time – however how to pick where to go? From party cities to historical hubs to natural wonders, the region truly has it all. However, these are our pick of the must-see cities in the Middle East.

Beirut

The capital of Lebanon was once known as the ‘Paris of the Middle East’. Beirut offers a mixture of culture and liveliness that attracts tourists from all over the world. However, one of the main reasons to visit the city is to party. Beirut is well known for its nightlife, populated by clubs and bars with late hours and exciting events. The city never slows down and is the perfect destination for party-goers who want to avoid the crowds of Ibiza.

Dubai

Dubai is fully focused on tourism. It is the ultimate travel destination for any lifestyle. From desert safaris to indoor skiing, the city has broken dozens of records and made a name for itself globally. In Dubai people can visit the tallest building in the world, enjoy luxurious restaurants and still see the culture of Dubai’s Old Quarter. This is an all-round destination with attractions to satisfy all kinds of people.

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Petra

Petra is one of the most exciting places a history enthusiast can visit. This archaeological site in Jordan is also known as the Rose City, due to the rosy color of the sandstones which compose the site. Petra is gorgeous, but also provides visitors with a chance to learn history, as it’s believed to date back to as far as 300BC. Visitors can find temples and tombs as well as its most famous attraction, a temple known as Al Khazneh or The Treasury.

Al Khazneh, Jordan

Jeddah

Although a lot of people don’t initially think of Saudi Arabia as a tourist destination, this is a must-see country for anyone who wishes to better understand Arab culture and Islam. When is comes down to what city to visit, the port city of Jeddah is one of the most beautiful in the country. Located by the Red Sea, the city has resorts and hotels in order to cater to tourism. The city exudes tradition and culture and is a gateway to the Islamic Holy City of Mecca.

Byblos

Byblos is located in Mt. Lebanon and is best known for being an UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city is believed to be one of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited cities, dating back to as far as 5000 BC. Today, Byblos is a popular attraction due to its ruins by the sea, providing a stunning and unique view for visitors who are fortunate enough to come here. Additionally, the city has an Old Souk, populated by restaurants, making the city still lively today.

Abu Dhabi

The capital of the United Arab Emirates is increasingly becoming as popular as Dubai, with more tourist attractions being unveiled. As well as being a better getaway to understand local culture than its neighbor, Abu Dhabi is home to some of the most unique tourist attractions in the world, such as the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and the Emirates Palace – altogether the city exudes a perfect blend of luxury and culture.

Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi | © jpeter2/Pixabay

Dead Sea

The Dead Sea is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places not only in the Middle East, but also in the world. Located over 400 meters below sea level, this salt lake is one of the lowest points on earth. Travelers can access the Dead Sea through Jordan, Palestine or Israel and bathe in its salty waters. The water of the Dead Sea is the saltiest in the world and is believe to have health and cosmetic benefits for people who take a dip.

Salalah

Oman has no shortage of beautiful cities where visitors can find beaches, mountains and traditions. However, Salalah is definitely an unique place to visit. It does possess the massive mountains which Oman is so famous for and several hiking spots – as well as gorgeous beaches, but it’s the monsoon season which gives Salalah its edge. During the months of July to September the Middle Eastern city turns green due to the rain, contradicting the typical desert sites which the region is known for.