The Arabian Peninsula is becoming more and more of a hotspot for travelers and even backpackers. With its diverse landscape, warm locals, vibrant cultures and delicious food, the Arabian Peninsula should be on everyone’s top places to visit. Here are some of the best destinations on this dynamic stretch of land that are the must-visits.
Dubai, The United Arab Emirates
Truly one of a kind and one of the most futuristic cities while still maintaining its traditions, Dubai is the place to go for gold and riches, traditional culture, desert barbeques, and one of the most international vibes in the Middle East. Boasting some of the most sparkling skyscrapers in the world, Dubai will redefine the very concept of a cosmopolitan city!
Ras Al Khaimah, The United Arab Emirates
Located far north of its more popular neighbor Dubai, Rah Al Khaimah is one of the UAE’s best kept secrets. Sitting at the tip of the country facing Iran across the Arabian Gulf, Ras Al Khaimah boasts pristine beaches, centuries old forts, and immersive archeological exhibitions. Visiting this historic city will thrill anyone wanting to see the raw beauty of the Arabian Peninsula.
The Empty Quarter or Rub’al Khali Desert, The United Arab Emirates/Oman/Saudi Arabia/Yemen
This enormous bright red desert stretching across four countries in the Arabian Peninsula is the world’s largest uninterrupted sand desert in the world. Serving as a film location for blockbusters such as Star Wars and The Matrix, this desert will blow anyone’s mind with just how enormous and powerful it feels. Experience the earth’s raw beauty in the heart of Arabia, and get lost (but not too lost) in the rolling dunes of the desert.
Oman itself may be one of the most beautiful places in the Arabian Peninsula, and Musandam is arguably the most exquisite of all in Oman. Located in the very north along the Strait of Hormuz, Musandam is home to emerald beaches, rolling hills with whitewashed rocks and sand, and dancing dolphins that swim around the clear waters of the coastline. No trip to the Arabian Peninsula is complete without stopping by Musandam to experience an almost dream-like serenity, in one of the most isolated and pristine places in this corner of the globe.
Salalah is another place in Oman that people flock to during the rainy season to experience the rain, cold, and greenery. Situated in the southern part of the country, this area is a literal oasis in the middle of the desert, with lush green banana plantations and vibrant waterfalls during the monsoon season.
The capital of Oman, Muscat, is one of those capitals that isn’t too loud or aggressive and yet still leaves a deep and powerful impression after visiting. Boasting a breezy corniche, cobblestone alleyways ringing with children’s laughter, and a long and historical relationship with sea trading and the Indian Ocean, Muscat will never fail to enchant.
Wadi Ash Shab, Oman
Meaning “the gorge between the cliffs” in Arabic, this is one of the most popular wadis in the Arabian Peninsula. Located in-between the barren rocky mountains of coastal Oman, this wadi hides some of the most sparkling and clear pools of water in the country. People visit to swim in the fresh water emerald pools, have a barbeque, or explore the many waterfalls and pathways among the surrounding rocky hills.
Although plagued by recent conflict and humanitarian disasters, Sana’a is still one of the most beautiful capitals of the Arabian Peninsula. The old quarter of the city is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, and visiting the city will leave you without a doubt as to why this city is so sacred to historians, archeologists, and travelers alike. Inhabited for more than 2,500 years, Sana’a holds the secrets to many of Arabia’s most vibrant and colorful stories and folklore. We hope that peace will be restored for the people of Yemen and so that many more visitors will again be able to enjoy this remarkable city.
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
While Saudi Arabia may have the most formidable image out of the Arabian Peninsula countries, the city of Jeddah along the western coast of the country facing Eastern Africa has a completely unique and colorful vibe to the city. Visit Jeddah for its beautiful corniche along the Red Sea, its vibrant old souq, and delicious foods that are the talk of the country.
Often overlooked because of its small size and even smaller population, the capital of the island of Bahrain is also one of those places that are a must-visit if exploring the Arabian Peninsula. Manama is home to a surprisingly diverse population, an old-town and quiet vibe, and traditional marketplaces and houses that have kept the spirit of old Bahrain alive.
Qatar, recently making headlines for being involved on the receiving end of a political blockade that shocked the world, is home to the capital of Doha that is second only to Dubai for its futuristic skyscrapers and cosmopolitan feel. Don’t be put off by this global vibe from the city however; Doha remains beautifully traditional and Qatari even in the midst of all its commercialism with traditional souqs, colorful cultural events, and a strong attachment to the Arabic language.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.