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First Time Traveling In Middle East - Basic Questions

United States
Level Contributor
1,025 posts
3 reviews
First Time Traveling In Middle East - Basic Questions

It will be my first time traveling in the Middle East, so I had some basic questions. These are the countries on my list:

- Bangladesh

- United Arab Emirates

- Oman

- Qatar

- Kuwait

- Egypt

- Jordan

- Lebanon

- Turkey

Are all of these countries safe to visit? What are some general things I need to know about traveling in the Middle East? I'm a male and American.

Are there any special airline rules? Is there any airspace I need to avoid flying over? (I remember the Malaysia Airlines flight that was shot down near Ukraine/Russia airspace for example)

23 replies to this topic
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Destination Expert
for Dubai, Chiang Mai
Level Contributor
11,974 posts
77 reviews
1. Re: First Time Traveling In Middle East - Basic Questions

Bangladesh is not in the Middle East.

Nobody can guarantee your safety anywhere in the world but the Gulf countries are safer than your own country and have very low crime rates.

I suggest you do some research on the country forums on this site and other travel sites. There's plenty of info out there. I would have no safety concerns visiting any of the countries on your list.

Level Contributor
2 posts
3 reviews
2. Re: First Time Traveling In Middle East - Basic Questions

I am from the United Arab Emirates. 100% safe here. The cities are lit even at 4am.

Bahrain
Level Contributor
219 posts
32 reviews
3. Re: First Time Traveling In Middle East - Basic Questions

As others said, Bangladesh is not in the Middle East.

Generally, the GCC countries from your list i.e. UAE, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait are very safe compared to the average American city. Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan are safe as well minus a few recent incidents in Egypt but again, nothing major. Turkey is also ok minus the odd scams. Just avoid the rough areas in Istanbul if that is where you are going. Bangladesh is ok also for a foreign traveler but watch out for the protests that are happening nowadays. All in all, I don't see any major red flags if you take sensible precautions.

I think the airlines will manage the air space option :) but again, no major watch outs.

In terms of generic advice (may vary country to country):

1) Try to avoid drinking or being drunk in public

2) If you are carrying prescription medicines, look up the requirement for each country on your list i.e. how to bring those in

3) Don't take photographs of local Muslim women without their permission and avoid photographing government buildings as in some countries this will be looked upon as a security risk

4) Don't advertise the fact that you are American in some countries - there isn't a lot of love for Americans in quite a few places like Bangladesh, Lebanon etc. Better to pretend to be Canadian :)

You can ask specific questions about the country so that we can give you more relevant advice.

United States
Level Contributor
1,025 posts
3 reviews
4. Re: First Time Traveling In Middle East - Basic Questions

Also I forgot to mention this will be in September. Any issues with that month?

Bangladesh was included on there by accident, but thanks for the tips.

Edited: 07 August 2018, 13:34
Bahrain
Level Contributor
219 posts
32 reviews
5. Re: First Time Traveling In Middle East - Basic Questions

Nope Sep should be fine. It's still hot in some of the countries though.

Level Contributor
6 posts
10 reviews
6. Re: First Time Traveling In Middle East - Basic Questions

Oman is beautiful. You should definitely visit Salalah while you are in Oman

I would skip a visit to Qatar & Kuwait as its not much to really do once you've experienced Dubai.

Dubai, United Arab...
Destination Expert
for Dubai
Level Contributor
9,290 posts
9 reviews
7. Re: First Time Traveling In Middle East - Basic Questions

UAE and Oman - safest of the lot

Qatar, Kuwait - next best

I will leave the others in the backburner, though Jordan is ok

Grapevine, Texas
Level Contributor
1,843 posts
134 reviews
8. Re: First Time Traveling In Middle East - Basic Questions

There really aren't any tourist attractions in Kuwait (except maybe the Souk or Khobar Towers.)

Jordan is a wonderful place to visit. There are many ancient sites to see (Petra, Jerash, etc.), and the Jordanian people are well known for their hospitality. It's also very easy to cross over to Israel from Jordan.

9. Re: First Time Traveling In Middle East - Basic Questions

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United States
Level Contributor
1,025 posts
3 reviews
10. Re: First Time Traveling In Middle East - Basic Questions

What about any special airline or airport rules in the ME?

Are laptops and iPads allowed on flights, for example?

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