Published By: Puja Sinha

Trending Tourist Destinations in the Middle East

Swathes of barren land and a history as old as the Earth—Middle East beckons travellers and how

The dawn of burgeoning tourism in the Middle East has made the scenario fertile for the boom of travel companies willing to provide tourists with an immersive experience of this global phenomenon. Be it a wedding destination, luxury cruise, corporate excursions, client meetings, or the simple urge to backpack and trot, the Middle East never disappoints. 

Here is your itinerary for a dive into the surreal dream called the Middle East:

Bahrain—an Archipelago of 33 Islands

Bahrain is a key highlight of the Gulf countries for comingling of the traditional and the modern and the liberty it gives to travellers during their stay. Bahrain is popular for a plethora of reasons. Its pearl legacy, perhaps one of its kind in the world, is something to pause and wonder at. The Bahrain Pearling Trail is an enchanting 3.5km trail spanning the city of Muharraq which shows the traditional architecture of the city—the quintessential Bahrain stuck in time. The souks are beaming with splendid gold, diamond, and pearl-studded jewellery while the restaurants and street vendors are replete with some amazing culinary delights. The Islamic architecture is another allure. Bahrain’s queer mix of skyscrapers, refurbished traditional houses, and historical buildings has elevated it to the pedestal of UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is an experience that parallels travelling to and fro in time.

Giza—the Treasure-trove of Archaeological Wonders 

The city of Giza is revered for its Pyramids and Sphinx whose mystery might never be unravelled by human civilisation. Besides the pyramids, Giza has many praiseworthy museums whose collections will leave you awestruck. It is advised to stroll the ancient streets of Cairo before cruising down the Niles and catching a glimpse of the temples and ruins of Aswan and Luxor. What really shatters the cultural stereotypes is perhaps the bubbling street life of Giza’s suburbs which boast of a separate set of archaeological splendours such as Saqqara Necropolis besides displaying the humdrum local life in all its abundance. The picturesque trail crisscrossing the city makes for an amazing photowalk session.

Cappadocia, the Land of Hot Air Balloons 

Cappadocia is in Turkey which is the majestic gateway into the Middle East. The region with its rock formations, arid landscape, imposing caves, fairy-tale castles, and hot air balloons dotting the vast, blue sky is a visual treat. Its pristine beauty is a willing suspension of disbelief and yet Cappadocia is very much real. You may find yourself walking through an underground city—there are many, as you try to unearth what Cappadocia is in its true essence. There is, of course, no dearth of adventures and thrills with tourists partaking in mountain biking, hiking, and horseback riding. Teeming with spectacular viewpoints, Cappadocia hosts weddings and mini-parties.

Petra, Layers of Facades and a City Lost in Time

Petra in Jordan is a homage to the ancient—of a time bygone. The Siq is the ancient entry to Petra and is a beautiful valley, long and narrow in shape. The city has staggering tombs and monuments towering over you like an omnipresent presence. The Royal Tombs is worth mentioning in this respect, a site revered for its majestic facades which date some 2,300 years to the Nabataeans Era. Tourists also visit the Street of Facades which is a long, serpentine street lined with tombs and facades. Besides the extravagant display of architecture, Petra has numerous hiking trails – Monastery Hike, Al-Madras Trail, Sabra Trail, and Al Khubtha Viewpoints, that guarantee an authentic Petra experience. Perhaps sunrise is the most rewarding and delightful time to saunter through the slumbering city.