what to see in Jordan

Backpacking in the Middle East – Travel advice

A backpacking holiday is the one of the best ways to travel and see the world. You’ve got everything you need strapped to your back and you can go as far as your wits, and your budget will take you.

While Europe is a top destination for backpackers, the Middle East, offers a truly unique experience for every backpacker. With such a rich religious history and a culture, it’s a trip that can last a lifetime. Here are some tips to get you started on a backpacking tour around the Middle East.

Before you go

Planning your trip beforehand is extremely important, as each country in the Middle East may require a visa, or have restrictions on where you’re coming from. For instance, if you’re looking to go to Israel, make sure it’s the end destination. Some countries do not allow you to enter if they see an Israeli stamp on your passport, so find out what restrictions and precautions you will have to be aware of before you fly.

What to see in Israel

 

Where to go

With no solid rail system, travelling around the Middle East can be a little bit more difficult; however, it’s not impossible. Start off in a centralised hub, like Dubai, where you can easily travel to other destinations.

Flights to Dubai are relatively inexpensive, and it’s a great introduction into the cultures of the Middle East. Just make sure you don’t spend all your money there, which is surprisingly very easy to do, thanks to all the great shops, bazaars and markets in the Emirate!

With so many sights to see, where you go depends on what experience you’re looking for. From visiting the pyramids in Egypt to the various and influential historical sites of Jerusalem, one of the oldest cities on the planet, the Middle East truly has it all for every traveller.

what to see in Jordan

Safety concerns

This may be the biggest barrier to people traveling to the Middle East. In reality, it’s actually a very safe place to be, as long as you use your common sense. When travelling in the region, remember basic personal safety tips, such as keeping your personal belongings, such as your cash and your passport close and keeping photocopies of your travel documents as back up, in case you lose the originals.

It’s important to remember that Ramadan (June 28th-July 27th), is the holiest month for many in the Middle East and it’s when Muslims abstain from smoking, eating, or drinking until sundown. Unless you are Muslim, you won’t need to follow this, but be aware that many cafes and shops will not be open during the day.

What to see in Egypt

Cost

The low cost associated with travelling in the Middle East is another huge benefit for backpackers. One thing to remember are the visa fees you will have to pay, as these can add up depending on how many countries you plan on visiting. Expect to pay around £25 a day for basic accommodations and food, which actually works out cheaper than Western Europe.

So this year, why not try backpacking in the Middle East? It could be the best decision you’ll ever make.

Best places to visit in Qatar

The State of Qatar is a small country in Gulf Area in Middle East. Although not as grand and famous compare to its neighbouring country UAE, it offers variety of attractions that global travellers would surely love to visit.

Souq Waqif

If you love shopping in traditional way, then you will love this part of Doha, the capital city of Qatar. Souq Waqif literally means “the standing market” dating back at least a hundred years. This shopping destination is renowned for its souvenirs, handicrafts, spices and traditional garments. It is also home to several restaurants serving cuisine from all over the world. And if you love Shisha, this is the best place to try. Souq Waqif also became the hotspot for art galleries and workshops and local concert during holidays. Gold Souq is also a must visit place if you love gold, jewelleries, precious stones, silver or pearls. Here, little shops vie with each other to provide the best prices and hand-made designs.

Museum of Islamic Art

Just a short walk away from Souq Waqif, you can find this interesting place. It is built on the sea surrounded by beautifully maintained landscape. Aside from the precious collections it houses, the building is an attraction itself. It is an architectural masterpiece designed by Pritzker Prize laureate, I. M. Pei. MIA houses magnificent collection of artworks dating from 7th to 19th century including manuscripts, precious stones, ceramics, glass, metal, textiles etc. from three continents. From the building you can find a spectacular view of the West Bay Area with its one-of- a-kind buildings. The museum also houses a library with a vast collection of books and electronic materials.

West Bay Area and Pearl Qatar

This is the new part of the city and home to magnificent buildings, large international hotels, and the country’s largest mall, City Center Mall. West Bay Area is like a large art center with its uniquely designed buildings including bullet shaped Burj Qatar, tornado shaped Tornado Tower, pyramid shaped Sheraton Hotel and many more.

Pearl Qatar is the counterpart of The Palm in Dubai consists of residential buildings, shopping arcades and world class restaurants.

Aspire Zone

This extravagant project has been intended for the 2006 Asian Games. This state-of-the-art and leisure complex boasts some of the world’s finest stadiums and sporting facilities which continue to attract and accommodate local and international events. It also home of many shopping selections like the famous and artfully decorated Villagio Mall which design is inspired by Italian city of Venice.

Khor Al Adaid

Located in the southern part of the country, also known as the Inland Sea, is one of the Qatar’s finest treasures. This wonderful art of nature provides breathtaking view for the local and international travellers. The towering crescent-shaped sand dunes soaring from the water’s edge make a magnificent photo opportunity. The sea surges west in a narrow channel and divides Qatar from Saudi Arabia.