6 Destinations in the Middle East to Add to Your Travel List
Time for that summer travel planning!
Image via @LiveloveByblos on Instagram
Whether you're looking for a new urban landscape to explore, or nature unlike any for your next adventure, or something that's just overall awe-inspiring and unforgettable, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is home to many great destinations worth booking your next flight to. Although there are too many to choose from, here are six cities that you should definitely add to your travel list.
If you’re looking for the slow, relaxing, and delicious pace of a Mediterranean seaside town, the Byblos (or Jbeil as it is known locally) is for you. This Lebanese coastal city is home to the old town, which is a popular tourist destination known for its historical landmarks, shops, cafes, restaurants and bars. Situated next to the Mediterranean Sea also makes it a spot for famous fish restaurants such as Pépé, yachts that can take visitors on cruise, and a public beach for families.
AlUla, Saudi Arabia
The Saudi region of AlUla is a tourist destination rich in historical heritage, but also a rising art scene. Nicknamed the "world's largest living museum," its majestic desert landscape was home to the ancient Nabataean civilization, with historical sites such as Hegra capturing imaginations of tourists. It is also host to the annual Winter in Tantora festival, live performances at Maraya, and the Desert X exhibition with plans to make AlUla a destination for contemporary art. Furthermore, clear skies make it one of the best destinations for stargazing.
Petra is an archeological site in Jordan dating back to the Nabataean civilization. It is home to several historical sites with Al-Khazneh being the most popular in the nation. This ancient temple reflects the Nabataean architecture with its facade carved out of sandstone. Since its recovery in 1812, it has served as a setting in many fictional works capturing imaginations of the world over.
Situated next to the Persian Gulf, the Qatari capital is an example of a must-visit, modern city in the Gulf region. Named the "Arab Capital of Culture" in 2010, the city is home to iconic landmarks such as the Museum of Islamic Art, the National Museum of Qatar, and Souq Waqif to name a few. Most importantly, we mustn't forget that Doha will be hosting the upcoming FIFA World Cup, a highly anticipated sporting event for 2022.
The Egyptian city is the second largest after Cairo, but it's also the most famous for its historical site. Dating back to the Pharaohs, its Pyramid Complex is home to ancient structures such as the Sphinx, the Great Pyramid, which serves as a tomb to King Khufu, and ancient temples. Locals and tourists flock to the region annually, with the Pyramid Complex capturing imaginations of the world over.
Although not as frequently visited as other Moroccan cities such as Rabat or Marrakech, Casablanca is a picturesque landscape complemented by the Atlantic Ocean, and home to the second largest mosque in Africa. There are so many places worth visiting such as taking a stroll at the corniche, shopping at the souq at Rue Allal Ben Abdallah, or visiting the old city dating back 200 years.