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Lebanon | © raandree/Pixabay
Lebanon | © raandree/Pixabay
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The Best Places to Visit in the Middle East During Winter

Picture of Thais Kelly
Updated: 24 October 2017
Although most people think of Europe when looking for a winter getaway, the Middle East is filled with perfect destinations for the chillier months. From mountains where you can ski and enjoy the full winter experience, to beaches for those who simply don’t like the cold – the region has it all. So when picking where to head to on a winter break, consider the Middle East for a unique and unforgettable holiday.

Lebanon

Beirut

For anyone who enjoys nightlife, Beirut is the perfect place to go. This won’t be your typical cozy holiday, chilling under the covers and sitting by the fireplace. Beirut is vibrant and pumping, with several popular clubs and bars to pick from and late nights for both residents and visitors. Winter does not slow the city down, making this the ideal destination for those who love a good party.

Faraya

Forget heading to Aspen in order to ski, Faraya provides visitors with the perfect snowy hills for them to ski and snowboard. Filled with cabins, this is a great place for those who have done Europe one too many times and are looking for something new to do this winter. Here, travelers can take in beautiful views and get active at the same time.

Cedars

The cedar tree is portrayed in the Lebanese flag and is one of the main symbols of the country. The Cedars is also one of the most beautiful places for tourists to visit in Lebanon. One of the highest points in the country, this is a fantastic place for winter sports and to take in nature. Here, you can enjoy the awe inspiring view of the snow and the sky blending into one during winter.

United Arab Emirates

Dubai

For a brand new winter experience, why not head to the beaches of Dubai? The city is known for its excruciatingly hot summers, but it has perfect weather in winter. Yes, winter is beach season in this city, so pack your swimsuit. And if you still with to see snow, you can just check out Ski Dubai for an unique experience.

Abu Dhabi

Much like its neighbor Dubai, Abu Dhabi has perfect weather during winter. This is the perfect time of the year to enjoy outdoor activities, such as visiting Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and going to the beach at the Corniche. The city is also very family oriented, with activities for all ages, it is the perfect place to bring the young ones on a holiday.

Fujairah

For a complete contrast to the typical winter holiday, head to one of the many beach resorts in Fujairah. This Emirate is best known for being the only one located on the East Coast of the UAE and is one of the country’s residents’ favorite places to enjoy in winter due to perfect beach weather. In Fujairah, visitors can do anything from snorkeling to camping.

Jordan

Petra

For all history enthusiasts, Petra is the ultimate destination in the Middle East no matter what time of the year. This archaeological sight is one of Jordan’s most popular touristic attractions. This is only made better during the winter months, as tourists can take the walk through the Petra walls while enjoying the refreshing, chilly breeze.

Dead Sea

This salt lake is widely known around the world for its beauty. People from all over travel to the Dead Sea in order to see one of the lowest points on Earth, at over 430 meters below sea level. This is one of the most epic trips you can take in your lifetime and you should head here no matter what time of the year.

Oman

Muscat

Muscat is the city where mountains and the desert meet, forming a breathtaking geographical sight. The city has a vibrant culture, as well as being a port city, meaning you can enjoy the city and the sea. Additionally, Oman is very popular for its hikes, such as the Hajar Mountains, which are much more enjoyable during winter when temperatures are cooler.

Salalah

This coastal city located in the south of Oman is certainly one of the most beautiful ones in the country. Arriving in winter means missing the Salalah‘s famous monsoon season which extends from July to September, this is the perfect place to enjoy hikes in the city’s mountains as well as pleasant weather, since summer may get a bit too hot.

Salalah
Salalah | © Flo/Flickr

Bahrain

Manama

Like most other Middle Eastern cities, Manama has extremely hot summers, therefore the best time to visit the capital of Bahrain is during winter. Manama has been designated as the Capital of Arab Culture and should definitely be on everyone’s itinerary when coming to the Middle East in order to take in its unique skyline, as well as traditions.