Top 5 Tips to Remember when Travelling in the Middle East

The Middle East is a fascinating region to explore, offering rich cultures, fascinating history and incredible cuisine. There are so many areas for the eager traveller to investigate, from the opulent, luxurious and modern United Arab Emirates, to the incredible gem of Egypt. Here you can experience camel rides, desert safaris, souks and cruises, as well as hundreds of tourist attractions.

However, when you travel to this unique region, there are certain issues to be aware of and consider. Here are five tips for travel in the Middle East.


Photo via Wikipedia

Consider Religious Laws

There are a variety of religions across the region and while Dubai is a tolerant city filled with inhabitants of all faiths, there are many areas that follow strict sharia law. However, as long as you’re aware of this before you travel, it won’t be an issue.

It’s important to remember that Muslims are forbidden from consuming alcohol. You’ll find bars in hotels and some tourist areas (destination dependent), but avoid being intoxicated in public. It’s also wise and respectful to steer clear of public displays of affection.

Dress Modestly

This is particularly important for women, but men should take note, too. There are resorts in the UAE that are largely inhabited by ex-pats and therefore have a more relaxed dress code, but on the whole, it’s wise to leave revealing clothes at home. Unless you know that bathing suits are allowed, always cover your chest, shoulders, elbows and knees with loose, long clothing.

Seek Local Knowledge

If you don’t speak Arabic, trying to negotiate travel and find attractions can be tough. To make your trip less stressful, seek the expertise of a guide and discover Israel’s fascinating history with a guided tour, or experience Jordan’s ancient archaeology. Forget trying to plan your itinerary and sit back and relax, knowing your travel and excursions have already been arranged.

Check Travel Alerts

To make sure you stay safe, keep up-to-date with any government issued travel alerts. The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, for example, regularly update information about travel bans or location warnings. If there are any disturbances that begin while you’re travelling, avoid public gatherings or protests and maintain a low profile.

Keep Valuables Hidden

Just like any destination, it’s best to be cautious about gadgets, technology and money. Make sure you keep your passport safe, beware of pickpockets, and keep any valuables, such as your mobile phone or camera, stored in a secure zipped pocket or bag.