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The first thing that comes to mind when Middle East and North Africa are mentioned is ancient cultures, desert safaris, River Nile cruises, tasty cuisines, the pyramid of Giza and a great holiday experience.

But which are the best places to visit in North Africa and the Middle East for an unforgettable holiday experience? In this article, Hossam, a tour director for, shares the list of the best holiday destinations to visit in the Middle East and North Africa.

These are the best holiday destinations that can allow you to enjoy a cruise ship as you tour these desert regions or explore modern life or ancient civilizations. Without further ado, here is our countdown:

  1. 1.   Petra, Jordan

Jordan might be surrounded by unrest and chaos, but you can hardly know what is happening in Iraqi and Syria when visiting this country. You just have to keep at least 3 km from the borders of Iraq and Syria, and you are in for the holiday of your lifetime. You can start by touring the ancient city of Petra during the day and see its breathtaking buildings that reach into high cliffs. It is an ancient city with historical artifacts dating back to 2000 years ago.

Petra City was awarded the International Award of Sustainable Tourism in 2019 at the World’s Travel Trade Show in Berlin. It is a site you can travel during the spring and autumn days when the temperatures are low.

Another factor that makes Petra a superb holiday experience is its affordability.  You can spend a day trip in the city for as low as $82 per day/per person. Even better, the cost of your holiday in this Middle East country decreases with increase in the duration of your holiday. We would recommend 4 to 21 days for comprehensive exploration of Petra and other attractions in Jordan.

When it comes to the list of things to do and see in Petra, the destination has something for every traveler, hence the title “jewel of the Middle East. Some of the most memorable activities while here include seeing the Bab As-Siq and visiting the Treasury.

  1. 2.   Dubai, UAE

Dubai provides you with a balance of new and old to give you a collection of activities to give you loads of memorable moments during your Middle East Tours. For example, you can relax in the morning at Jumeirah Beach and spend your afternoon at Ski Dubai. Or you can head to the traditional Spice and Gold Souks before spending your money on the latest fashion at Dubai Mall. Put simply, Dubai has something for every adventure seeker.

Dubai is a recognized travel and business destination and it won the 2019 World’s Leading MICE and World’s Leading Business Travel Destinations. It is the right city for travelers who want to engage in business activities and at the same time, have fun.

You can visit Dubai all-year-round, but the best time runs from November to April. January and February are often busy due to the famous Dubai Shopping Festival. The festival attracts people from all over the world, and that leads to travel costs rising from an average of $290 per day/per person to over $300. 

Dubai is famous for many fun activities and things like:

  • Burj Khalifa building
  • Dubai Creek
  • Entertaining theaters
  • World-class shopping malls
  1. 3.   Luxor, Egypt

Luxor is the capital of all the attractions in Egypt because of its sheer wealth of historical monuments including tombs of ancient kings and temples. It was the base of the traditional Thebes, the biggest city of the Middle and New Kingdom Pharaohs.

In 2018, Luxor city was recognized as having the safest airports in Africa and won the Airports’ Council International award, in the Safest African Airport Award category.

It is advisable to visit this city from March to April or October and November. You get the most favorable weather and affordable cost of about $100 per day/per person. Some of the fun things to do during a North Africa vacation in Luxor include exploring the:

  • Karnak Temple
  • Luxor Temple
  • Valley of the Kings and Queens
  • Temple of Hatshepsut
  • Colossi of Memnon, and more.
  1. 4.   Aswan, Egypt

Aswan is a warm, relaxing, and welcoming city in Egypt with hundreds of things you can see and do. It is a quiet place that you can visit, which is a contrast to the street hassle and traffic of Cairo.

The city provides you with the opportunity to learn about ancient Egypt by offering lots of archeological and historical sights. You get a superb view of the Nile and experience the peaceful Nubian villages.

The city was recognized as a learning region and took the UNESCO Learning City Award in 2019. It is among the cities that experience hot climate throughout the year, with the colder months being December to February.

The region does not see a lot of visitors, and the average daily cost is $18 per day/per person. Many travelers miss the chance to visit this side of the country due to its hidden nature. We recommend you book the Nile Cruise Luxor Aswan tour to explore the hidden gems of the Nile. Some of the best activities to engage in while in Aswan Egypt include:

  • Sailing in the Nile.
  • Visit the Abu Simbel temple
  • Touring the Philae temple
  1. 5.   Manama, Bahrain

Manama is the Arabian Gulf trade center because it is located at the center of most international trade routes. The city has collected many honors like the Arab Culture Capital in 2012, the First Arab Youth Capital in 2015, and the Arab Women Capital in 2017.

The city’s temperatures are scorching for about six months and favorable for the next half a year. You should avoid touring Manama in June, July, and August as they are the hottest months.

The average daily price of visiting Manama is $128 per day/per person, but some people spend less than $45. It is a city that offers numerous fun activities that you can engage in while on this side of the Middle East.

They include:

  • Bahrain National Museum
  • Beit Al Quran Mosque
  • Fatih Mosque
  • Manama Souq shopping center
  • Dine at Nepalese Cafes
  • Buy tradition Arabian lamp and rugs
  1. 6.   Fez, Morocco

Fez is the most preserved medieval city of North Africa that offers a mix of modern and middle-age world. It was the capital city of Morocco for more than 400 years and is the culture and religious center of the country.

You should schedule your visit to Fez from September to October or mid-March to May. It has warm weather that is not too cold nor too hot.

A trip to Fez can cost you around $41 per day/per person. That price can go as low as $12, and you can see or do the following:

  • Walk around the city
  • Visit Royale Palace
  • Tour Mellah
  • Visit the Jewish Quarter
  • Learn history from the Merenid tombs

In Conclusion

The best holiday destinations in middle East and North Africa take you back to the ancient time by providing you with old sights and breathtaking world wonders.

They also allow you to visit vibrant markets and souks selling traditional artifacts and new items. Visit and start planning your vacation to these Arab nations.

(guest article)

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