Anyone going to the Middle East?


Staff member
Have you been to or going to the Middle East?

The closest I have been to the Middle East is Turkey and Egypt.
Had a few days each in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Doha on the way back from our last big trip. Not so keen on Dubai personally, but enjoyed the other two. Iran is on our list, but I can see us getting there anytime soon. I do want to go to Jordan to see Petra, which I think we may just try to do at the end of this year if things work out.
No plans this year, though in the past I've visited quite a few Middle Eastern countries, including Syria, Jordan, Qatar, Dubai, Oman and Turkey so far. Would like to visit Lebanon one day.
I worked on an archaeological dig in Jordan for 8 weeks.

Spent my entire 2009 in Iraq. I really want to see Hagia Sophia in Turkey.
I live in Turkey, and I can attest to the fact that the Hagia Sophia is brilliant! Though, I would venture to say that Istanbul isn't exactly the Middle East. It's more a strange mixture of Europe and Asia, if that makes sense!
It really depends what you're looking for and what your interests are. Dubai is one big high rise modern development punctuated by shopping malls, flash hotels and water parks - you can tell I'm sure that it's not my favourite. It's possibly to see something more traditional e.g. by getting out to Al Ain date oasis or even just visiting the souk by the creek but that's not really what Dubai's about. Oman's capital Muscat is pleasant, the fish market interesting and you can do some good tours such as dolphin-spotting in the bay. Both these have the obligatory dune-bashing activities too. Jordan's my preferred destination of the three: Little Petra the perfect antidote to the hustle and hassle and splendour of Petra, the Roman city of Gerasa (Jerash) just a stone's throw from the capital Amman and of course Wadi Rum and the Dead Sea. A bit of everything.
I have lived in Kuwait for 8 years and Turkey for one. Can't say I recommend coming to Kuwait. Nothing to see here, no matter how hard they try. I really enjoyed Oman. It's about the only country in the Gulf region where you can actually enjoy the outdoors and do a bit of trekking. The fort in Nizwa is pretty impressive. I've also been to Jordan and highly recommend it. Petra was amazing. I spent 2.5 days wandering around there. If you go, take oranges for the kids. People give them candy but they have no access to dental care. I guess Egypt and Morocco are in the Africa thread, but both of them are more Middle Eastern than African and really fascinating countries to visit.