Due to decades of wars and turmoil, the Middle East is probably the world’s least-traveled region for leisure tourism. Despite this, travelers have amazing destinations to choose from.
- There are 18 countries in the Middle East. Among them are Bahrain, Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.
- The term “Middle East” is sometimes extended to include Afghanistan, Comoros, Djibouti, Maghreb, Pakistan, Sudan, and Somalia.
- It is composed of countries that are ethnically similar, geographically similar, and religiously similar.
Some of the most popular places people visit are Egypt for the pyramids, Istanbul and Dubai.
Generally, Jordan is considered the safest place for tourists, but you should avoid the area within two miles of the Iraq and Syria borders. Here you’ll be able to visit Petra, one of the new Seven Wonders of the World.
US citizens will generally need a visa to travel within the Middle East. Depending on the country, it can range from a free visa on arrival in the UAE, Turkey, and Morocco, to a paid visa on arrival in Egypt and Jordan, to receiving an in-advance visa for places like Iran. Be sure to check the requirements before traveling.