sw733 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6223 posts, RR: 9 Posted (3 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 3885 times:
I travel to the Middle East fairly frequently, to Muscat, for work...however, I have never yet had free time to check out areas nearby, except for a stop in Dubai once. Later this year, I will have such an opportunity, as I plan to take 5-7 free days after my work in Muscat.
So I ask the experts of A.Net - where should I go? I am not looking for a ton of excitement, but places with friendly people, interesting sites (historical or modern), and a relaxed atmosphere would be ideal.
Thanks in advance for all of your help - this is one area of the world that I am fairly inexperienced with!
I thought TLV looked like a downtrodden 70s Miami, and the Bauhaus architecture wasn't doing it any favors. The vibe/people seemed nice but I was struck how dated it looked. Jerusalem obviously is loaded with things to see.
wingman From Spain, joined May 1999, 2027 posts, RR: 5 Reply 14, posted (3 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 3722 times:
From my Jordanian friend who has been urging me to visit the region for 10 years now...Beirut, Damascus and Petra of course. I would also add Israel and Turkey if I had the time and money. Sounds like a full month minimum to hit all that. You could whirlwind the first 3 in seven days but you know how that goes, you won't remember a thing. Best to spend all seven days in one place and make it a quality visit that you'll remember for a lifetime. Have fun.
rwSEA From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 3045 posts, RR: 2 Reply 15, posted (3 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days ago) and read 3715 times:
Cairo definitely does not fit the "relaxed atmosphere" criteria, but the people are friendly and the sights are amazing (I mean come on, it's the Pyramids and King Tut!). I think 5 days would be perfect to see Cairo and maybe do a day or two to Alexandria (easy by train). The prices will be cheaper than what you're used to back home as well.
I have heard that Syria, particularly Damascus and Palmyra, are absolutely amazing. I think Syria and Beirut are next on my Middle East wish list.
I was most impressed with Muscat, though I felt as though I was able to see almost everything in one day. Very relaxed and friendly though, and tons of historic forts, etc. to see! And the Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort was probably hands down the nicest hotel I've ever stayed at!
Well worth a visit, if only to see the interesting modern architecture. You can easily beat the heat at Wild Wadi waterpark, or even Ski Dubai! However, it's not relaxed, nor is it friendly.
Quoting sw733 (Thread starter): I am not looking for a ton of excitement, but places with friendly people, interesting sites (historical or modern), and a relaxed atmosphere would be ideal.
I'd say Jordan would be your best bet. Amman is a very laid-back city, and the Abdoun area is clean, safe, and very friendly. There are historical Roman ruins mixed in with modernity, and you can always escape to the Dead Sea or Petra to see some really fascinating stuff. Then you have the beach down in Aqaba.
Personally I loved Istanbul and Cairo, but it doesn't sound like those hectic metropolises would be your cup of tea.
Flying in the middle seat of coach is much better than not flying at all!
ClassicLover From Ireland, joined Mar 2004, 4579 posts, RR: 24 Reply 18, posted (3 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 3697 times:
Quoting SurfandSnow (Reply 16): I'd say Jordan would be your best bet. Amman is a very laid-back city, and the Abdoun area is clean, safe, and very friendly. There are historical Roman ruins mixed in with modernity, and you can always escape to the Dead Sea or Petra to see some really fascinating stuff. Then you have the beach down in Aqaba.
Everyone should visit Petra and the Dead Sea once in their lifetime. The Dead Sea is seventeen different kinds of amazing to swim in Not been to Aqaba yet, I hear it's great though! Can't wait to go back to Jordan actually!
I do quite enjoy a spot of flying - more so when it's not in Economy!
Love Istanbul. I've been there before and plan to go back this winter. But true Middle East (and perhaps Egypt) is more what I am looking for. So, I am going to decide between Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan depending on how good of a price I can get from Muscat to there.
PlymSpotter From Spain, joined Jun 2004, 11502 posts, RR: 62 Reply 24, posted (3 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 3594 times:
Be sure to visit Aleppo too if you are going to Syria, the citadel there is an often forgotten treasure on the scale of the Pyramids. Nearby San Simeon is also very much worth a visit, and you can continue overland from there to Turkey, which is much cheaper to get back to UK/Ireland from.
...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
25 ramzi: My vote goes for Beirut. The atmosphere in that city is outstanding. Best to visit early or late in the summer, this way you avoid excess heat but ca
26 flanker: Beirut used to be nice. I go to Istanbul every chance I get. I love that city. I also tell people to go to Egypt if they get the chance. Everything is
27 oa260: Well I wanted to go with my friend but he wont go to Syria. Politics and all that I didnt see many tourists other than loads from the Gulf states whe
28 ramzi: That's why I said early or late in the summer #1 destination for two years in a row, first time by the NY Times, I'm guessing its safe to say it stil
29 BA: Yes, it takes 2 to 3 hours on average depending on traffic and border crossing times. Beirut IS nice.
30 directorguy: Here are my 2 cents: 1. Dubai-It's close to Muscat, and you'd be able to fit in all the major sights in 5-7 days. 2. Cairo-The largest Arab city is al