Moderately exotic, but still closest to Europe, the East occupies the “boots” of the Arabian Peninsula plus the territories adjacent to it: a little in Africa, a little in Asia and a little bit in Europe proper. Deserts and great civilizations, the birthplace of the world’s largest religions, wisdom and discord – all mixed up in its mercilessly sun-scorched expanses.
Oil, the main wealth of the Middle East, provides a constant (and rather big) influx of funds, thanks to which the high standard of living and its attendant pleasures are not a wonder here: first-class hotels and restaurants, entertainment centers, magnificent museums and galleries, quality shopping – in a word, everything for pleasure body and soul.
The Middle East as a travel destination has a lot to offer. Let’s start with the states closest to Russia: Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan are not only “our beloved former” (which means they are completely native, with a common language and a lot of similar cultural features), but also the most interesting sights, ample opportunities for treatment, a lot of active outdoor activities, and, finally, the most delicious cuisine (oh, those plov, satsivi and wine!) and, in addition, without a sharp change in climate and time zone.
We move further east. Before us is Turkey – the heiress of the great Ottoman Empire, an Asian beauty in a European outfit, whose tourist “chips” are not known except perhaps to a convinced hermit. The “City of Memories” Istanbul, for sightseeing of which, it seems, a lifetime is not enough, the coast, long and carefully mastered by domestic “sun worshipers”, natural beauties and magnificent architectural monuments.
The countries of the Levant – Israel and Jordan, Syria and Lebanon – are the soul and heart of the Middle East. People come here to touch the origins – for human civilization there is no land older than this. The roots of Judaism and Christianity are located here, so a considerable percentage of the “Levantine” tourists are pilgrims and those who wish to temporarily fall out of the daily whirlwind and think about the eternal. Let’s not forget to mention the resort attractions of the region – with such a variety of seas and beaches, no one will be left out of work: connoisseurs of underwater beauty plunge into the Red Sea, lovers of the sun and sand cover the beaches of the Mediterranean Sea with an even carpet, and those who want to heal and shake themselves lie on the surface of the sea Dead.
The African piece of the Middle East – Egypt – has prepared for tourists both recreational and cultural leisure: the Mediterranean and Red Sea coasts, plus the impressive heritage of the ancient Egyptian civilization in the form of a mass of archaeological sites and rich museums. Needless to say, both coasts are included in the big “two” of the most popular beaches in the world.
The Arabian Peninsula is, first of all, Saudi Arabia, the center of attraction for Muslims all over the world, and several tourist gems – such as the original and majestic Oman, the richest Bahrain and the Emirates (the latter are a real mecca for demanding “beach people” and a global shopping paradise). Here you can try your hand at falconry and pearl divers, cross the desert in a caravan and drive a Formula 1 car.
Well, those who plan to reach the westernmost edge of the Middle East are guaranteed to enjoy colorful Iran, where the azure ligature of domes is reflected in the reservoirs of sheikhs’ palaces, and precious carpets color the narrow shopping streets of ancient cities.
Middle East countries
According to Countryaah, Middle East has the following countries:
- United Arab Emirates
- Saudi Arabia