The 10 Best Countries To Visit in the Middle East in 2024

No other region surpasses the perfect blend of ancient wonders and modernity in the world’s magical Arabica land, the Middle East!

From the futuristic architectural buildings of UAE and ancient historical ruins of Jordan and Turkey to the unparalleled pyramids of Egypt, it’s an exciting adventure waiting for you.

Here are the 10 best countries to visit in the Middle East this year!

Key Takeaways:

  • Among the top 10 best countries to visit in the Middle East are the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Oman, and Bahrain.
  • The United Arab Emirates, or UAE, tops the list of the best Arab countries to visit, with some of the most popular cities in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah.
  • Some of the top 15 attractions in the Middle East are the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Hormuz Island, Tehran, Isfahan in Iran, and Jerusalem and Tel Aviv in Israel.

Top 10 Best Arab Countries To Visit

1. United Arab Emirates

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Dubbed the “Manhattan of the Middle East,” the United Arab Emirates is also a pivot for businesses and tourism with gigantic skyscrapers, jaw-dropping architecture, and exciting city life. You’ll be fascinated and entertained whether in world-renowned cities like Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah or in the sun-and-sand areas of Ras al-Khaimah and Palm Islands.

Admire the world’s tallest skyscraper Burj Khalifa just, towering over the skyline of Dubai, the gold and white colors of Sheik Zayed Mosque, the Louvre of Abu Dhabi, and the old town of Dubai, Al Fahidi Quarter.

Just adjacent to Burj Khalifa, you can have the best shopping spree in the world’s most extensive shopping and leisure mall, Dubai Mall. Unbelievably spanning over 1M square meters with thousands of stores and food outlets, you can spend a day or two here!

Of course, a trip to UAE would only be complete with experiencing the luxury hot desert resorts for exciting outdoor activities like camel riding, 4×4 dune drives, horse riding, and much more.

2. Jordan

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Just thinking about the country Jordan, you can imagine a lot of biblical representations holding religious significance, thus gaining the term “Kingdom of Heaven.” Mount Nebo is believed to be where Moses stood and saw the Promised Land and the baptism location of Jesus, the Jordan River.

Some notable attractions in Jordan are the tombs and temples of Petra, the dramatic desert of Wadi Rum, the Dead Sea, where you will float, the stunning beaches of Aqaba, and the Madaba for its extraordinary collection of mosaics.

If you’re a city lover, staying a few days in Amman and Jerash is an excellent idea to explore the well-preserved ancient Roman ruins, understand the culture, and learn about the history.

3. Egypt

image showing mosque at cairo, egypt
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Egypt, the “Gift of Nile,” is where you can find the most unique places in the world with historical significance, whether in the desert, the ocean, or in bustling cities.

Visit the Great Pyramid of Giza, explore Luxor’s largest open-air Egyptian museum, and explore Tutabjhamun’s treasures in Cairo.

But Egypt is more than its pyramids, pharaohs, and treasures; the country also boasts its landscape and sceneries. Set to explore and have more fun in the coastal cities of Alexandria and Dahab for some diving and snorkeling, the Siwa Oasis, where you can bathe at Cleopatra’s Bath, and the western white desert for a safari tour and camping.

4. Turkey

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Taking in the memorable name “New Rome” and the sixth most traveled country in the world, Turkey is undoubtedly on the top five of the list! Prepare to be amazed to see the number of structures historically connected to the Roman Empire, like the Temple of Artemis, the Great Theater, and the Library of Celsus, all found in Ephesus.

When you plan to experience the cultural places in Turkey, there are no better places to do that than in Istanbul, a melting pot of ancient and modern attractions. These include the Sultanahmet district, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, and the Blue Mosque.

If you’re seeking unique and fun-filled adventures, there’s Cappadocia’s hot air balloon ride over the picturesque valleys and rock formations, bathing at Pamukkale’s thermal pool terraces, and the beautiful beaches of Antalya.

5. Oman

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Oman is sitting at the 5th spot on the top 10 best Arab countries mainly for its unique and charming landscapes and culture. Resonating the country’s peaceful ambiance are the breathtaking lakeside rugged mountains of Jebel Shams, Wadi Bani Khalid, Al Jabal Al Akhdar, and the diverse landscapes of the Dhofar Region.

Of course, explore its beautiful capital city, Muscat, to taste cultural values and traditions. Pay a visit to the Royal Opera House, the Mutrah Corniche, the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, and Mutrah Old Town.

6. Bahrain

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Bahrain, the “Pearl Capital of the Middle East,” combines exquisite natural and artificial islands, so the pearl-farming industry is booming. To see the oyster beds full of pearls firsthand, visit Amwaj islands for the best beaches with bonus shopping malls and restaurants nearby.

Never miss some of the best spots to experience authentic Islamic cultures, like Bahrain National Museum, Beit Al Quran, Riffa Fort, and Hawar Island.

There’s also Manama City to see the stunning skyline of skyscrapers of Bahrain and the Manama Souq for an authentic experience of the Bahraini food culture.

7. Lebanon

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Contrary to what we always imagine about Middle Eastern countries’ hot and dry weather is Lebanon’s picturesque snow-capped mountain ranges! Lebanon, named “Switzerland of the Middle East,” is a place to see the beautiful villages around the mountains and a hub for many jolly winter activities like white trail adventures, skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing.

More than that, you can witness beautiful wonders like the Jeita Grotto in Beirut, the unbelievable Baatara Gorge Waterfall in Tannourine, Raouche Pigeon Rocks, and the well-preserved archaeological structures of Baalbek city.

Fun Fact! Lebanon has its version of the Statue of Liberty called Our Lady of Lebanon, towering 1886 feet above mean sea level. 

8. Qatar

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Qatar may have no trees or plenty of geographical variations, but it isn’t dubbed “The Land of Wonders” for nothing. With its exciting and wow-factor destinations like Al Thakira Mangroves, Dahl Al Misfir Cave, Al Jassasiya Petroglyphs, Al Wsel, and its stunning dunes for paragliding experience, you’ll totally agree that it is one of the best Arab countries to visit.

The Jewel of Arabia is also a showcase of architectural and historical wonders that will leave you in awe, including the Museum of Islamic Art, National Museum of Qatar, and the State Grand Mosque.

Ultimately, you would only leave Qatar satisfied by experiencing its great entertainment with the Museum of Illusions, shopping mall Villaggio, Souq Waqif, gaming hub Virtuocity, and many thrilling theme parks like Gondolanta and Aqua Park Qatar.

9. Kuwait

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The “Bride of the Gulf,” Kuwait is a unique Arabic country with intricate architectural buildings, Islamic culture, and date palm cultivation.

Start your Kuwait adventure at the city center, experiencing diverse attractions like museums, markets, restaurants, and parks. Some top attractions are the Grand Mosque, Al Ahmadi, Kuwait Towers, and Al Shaheed Park.

It also has magical natural wonders to explore, including the Al Kout Beach, Al Mutlaa Bridge, Kuwait Bat, Salwa, and Kubbar Island.

10. Cyprus

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Cyprus is an island nation included in the top 10 best Arab countries, unveiling both the best ocean adventures and historical excursions in the middle east. Dubbed the “Island of Love” because it is the birthplace of Aphrodite, you’ll surely love this country!

Some breathtakingly archeological places include the Ancient Kourion, the castle ruins of St. Hilarion Castle, the Tomb of the Kings, Aphrodite’s Rock, and the Nea Paphos. To experience their undeveloped stretches of turquoise-watered beaches, head over to Karpas Peninsula, Cape Greco, Protaras, and Nissi Beach.

More than the archaeological sites, explore all archaeological artifacts in museums like the Cyprus Museum, the Byzantine Museum, and their distinctively peculiar MUSAN Museum of Underwater Sculpture Ayia Napa.

Top 15 Attractions in the Middle East

1. Petra, Jordan

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Are you looking for an adventure filled with learning? Petra in Jordan is a perfect choice to visit. Visit the Treasury and explore the ancient city carved into cliffs and sandstones. You can also go for a hike to the monastery for picturesque views. Complete your trip by heading to the Petra museum and learning about Nabateans’ rich and colorful history and culture.

2. The Blue Mosque, Istanbul

Image showing blue mosque
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The Sultan Ahmed Mosque, or for many, the Blue Mosque, is a must-visit attraction in the Middle East. With its sinuous tile works and breathtaking domes, a proper place to find solace. Take off your shoes before entering the mosque as a form of respect. Have time to think and enjoy the beautiful tiles inside the temple.

3. Burj Khalifa, Dubai

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Burj Khalifa offers an exciting and unforgettable experience! Start your journey by getting to know the history and the vision of Burj Khalifa by watching the digital presentation on the tower. Afterwards, head over to the observation deck on the 148th floor and enjoy the vast and beautiful city views.

4. Hagia Sophia, Istanbul

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Have a trip full of fun and knowledge in Hagia Sophia. Right from the outside, you can see the beautiful facade of the infrastructure. As you enter, take your time to admire the breathtaking intricate mosaics, and lastly, roam around the grand dome and see the historical artifacts of their cultural heritage. 

Check out more places to visit when in Istanbul.

5. Cairo, Egypt

image showing pyramids at cairo, egypt
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The rich blend of history and culture perfectly describes the City of Cairo in Egypt, which has beautiful attractions like the Pyramid of Giza and explores ancient Egyptian artifacts. Afterward, you can visit Egyptian Museums and the Khan el-Khalili market to taste the native Egyptian cuisines. Your trip to Cairo is complete with visiting the famous Nile River.

6. Grand Bazaar, Istanbul

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The Grand Bazaar offers a vast shopping experience, from household materials to spices, herbs, and even jewelry; remember to haggle for great deals. You can also have a great shopping experience in its vibrant and historic environment. Lastly, end your day indulging in their local cuisines.

7. Jerusalem, Israel

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Jerusalem in Israel is a place bustling with unique and must-see attractions. You can stroll around the Old City and see some of its fine attractions like the Western Wall, the church, and The Holy Sepulchre. You can also have a quick break in their local markets and taste local Middle Eastern delicacies like deep-fried chickpea balls served in pita bread with different toppings.

8. Hormuz Island, Iran

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Hormuz Islands perfectly describes the blend of romantic yet fun-filled places. You can roam around beautiful geological formations like the Portuguese Castle and Rainbow Valley. Have a romantic date on their scenic coastlines or even watch the sunsets on their one-of-a-kind beaches like Tandis Beach and Hormuz Beach.

9. Tehran, Iran

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A trip to Tehran is undoubtedly worthwhile with its extraordinary attractions that you will surely enjoy. Start your journey at Golestan Palace, a UNESCO world heritage site, and you can also pay a visit to their national museum and learn about their culture and rich history. 

10. Isfahan, Iran

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Iran’s picturesque Isfahan is a Persian-inspired town known for beautiful gardens, stunning mosques, royal palaces, hotels, and the 400-year-old UNESCO World Heritage Site city square Naqsh-e Jahan Square.

Admire the beauty of explicitly Persian-designed mosques like the Shah Mosque, Jameh Mosque, Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, and Chehel Sotun Palace. Besides the mosques, the Isfahan neighborhoods like Julfa and Jolfa are worth discovering too for an experience of Armenian heritage and architecture.

11. Beirut, Lebanon

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Beirut is one of the top 15 attractions in the Middle East that will truly capture your heart. A day trip to the “Paris of the Middle East” Beirut in Lebanon is a jam-packed experience of historical landmarks like the Pigeon Rocks and Roman Baths, tasting the best culinary delights from kibbeh to shawarmas, and indulgent for high-end shops, brands, and restaurants at Beirut Souks.

12. The Dead Sea

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Float and experience the weightlessness sensation at the Dead Sea! The Dead Sea is one of the top 15 attractions in the Middle East because it is not your typical or ordinary sea where you can swim freely all day without any restrictions. Still, only a good 15 minutes is ideal.

Due to overly high salinity concentrations approximately 10 times saltier, getting the water into your eyes or wounds can be dangerous. Alternatively, consider floating, mud bathing, sunbathing along the shores, hiking the natural reserves nearby, and visiting the Dead Sea Panoramic Complex are advised.

13. Tel Aviv, Israel

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Being one of the most beautiful and dynamic among the Middle East countries and cities, Tel Aviv lets you experience a bunch of both city and water activities at a pacing that works for you. One of the best-known activities in the city is relaxing and sunbathing at the famous beaches of Banana, Frishman, or Gordon.

You may also explore the neighborhoods of Neve Tzedek for some street arts and nightlife, the city of Jadda for a glimpse of art and historic buildings, Tel Aviv Port Area to celebrate festivals, and Carmel Market to taste some local Israeli delights that you have not experienced before.

14. Abu Dhabi, UAE

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Walk around the capital city of UAE, Abu Dhabi, to experience the architectural grandeur of its world-renowned buildings, such as the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Louvre Abu Dhabi, Emirates Palace, and waterfront gem Corniche.

Entertainment is also top-tier in Abu Dhabi, having the world’s fastest roller coaster at Ferrari World and the most thrilling water activities at Yas Waterworld.

More than anything, you’ll experience the best shopping of your life with its luxury malls like the Marina and Abu Dhabi Mall.

15. Jerash, Jordan

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Be prepared to step back in time as you immerse yourself in the cultural and historical city of Jerash in Jordan! Start your archaeological ruin adventure at Oval Plaza, going straight to Hadrian’s Arch, Hippodrome Stadium, the Temple of Artemis, and the Nymphaeum. What’s unique about a walk in Jerash is that the ruins are intact and well-preserved, so you can imagine ancient Roman life as it is!


What is the best country in the Middle East to work?

Considering the best country to work in the middle east always depends on your preferences. However, the UAE is regarded as an excellent choice for working because of its rising economy, plenty of job opportunities, and tax-free income.

What is the safest country in the Middle East?

With its stable political environment and low crime rate, the United Arab Emirates is considered one of the safest places in the Middle East. But always remember that your safety will always start with yourself.

Which Arab country is the most visited in the world?

We can’t deny that the Middle East is a region that has a lot of beautiful and unique places. But the most visited country is Saudi Arabia (KSA), with more than 18 million international arrivals in the first nine months of 2022. It is hailed as the most visited country in the Middle East, higher than any Arab Country.

What is the most underrated country in the Middle East?

Known for its rich history and picturesque landscape views, Oman is considered underrated among other Arab Countries. It is often overlooked by neighboring countries broadly known for visitors, like UAE and Saudi Arabia.

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Enoch Omololu

Enoch Omololu is a traveller, culinary tourist, and money expert. He is the co-founder of Only Earthlings and established the popular Savvy New Canadians platform. Enoch has been featured in Business Insider, Forbes, Best Life Online, GOBankingRates, Penny Hoarder, Globe and Mail, Yahoo, and CBC News.

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