Despite its rocky reputation, the Middle East boasts a collection of mesmerizing destinations that are well worth adding to your bucket list. While some countries in the region really are too dangerous to travel to, there are also those that are perfectly safe. Keep reading to find out which Middle Eastern destinations are the safest to visit, and which ones are too dangerous to travel to.
Qatar Ranks Higher On The Global Piece Index Than The United States
Some travelers choose to steer clear of the Middle East as a whole because they believe the entire region is dangerous. In reality, some Middle Eastern countries actually rank higher on the Global Peace Index than the United States does! One of them is Qatar.
This gem in the Persian Gulf is home to scorching desert and scenic shorelines. In the capital city of Doha, you’ll find the fascinating Museum of Islamic Art and the National Museum of Qatar. There is also a humming souk, or traditional marketplace, where you’ll be able to pick up a range of souvenirs to take home.
Qatar is currently scheduled to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup and is becoming a more popular destination for tourists. It also serves as a halfway point for those traveling between Australia and New Zealand and Europe, and the Doha International Airport is becoming one of the busiest in the world.
Avoid The Wonders Of Syria Until Tensions Decrease
There are history buffs and art enthusiasts all over the world who are dying to visit the ancient city of Damascus. Unfortunately, Syria is considered one of the most dangerous countries in the Middle East due to political unrest and active armed conflict. Currently, the US Bureau of Consular Affairs advises US citizens to avoid traveling to all parts of Syria until further notice.
Syria has a tense relationship with neighboring states which is adding to the instability of the country. Kidnappings and bombings are sadly a reality, and westerners are targeted by armed groups. The Syrian government has also detained US citizens without offering medical attention.
It’s a shame that the situation in Syria remains so dangerous because the country really does have many wonders that it would be a privilege to discover, including the Citadel of Aleppo and the Azm Palace.
Safe And Secure: Kuwait Mixes Old-World Charm With The Future
Kuwait is one of the lesser-known countries in the Gulf, but it is becoming increasingly popular with tourists looking to explore the Middle East. The country lies nestled between Iraq and Saudi Arabia—two countries which aren’t considered quite as safe as their neighbor. The areas close to the Iraqi and Saudi Arabian borders should be avoided, but overall, Kuwait is a reasonably safe country.
Lonely Planet explains that the beauty of Kuwait is that it doesn’t feel as commercial or westernized as some of the other Gulf states. It’s missing the abundance of skyscrapers and advanced technology that countries like Dubai are known for, giving it a more authentically Arabian feel.
There is plenty to do in Kuwait, from museums and art galleries waiting to be explored to relaxing beaches where you can pass days in the sun.
Afghanistan Is Considered The World's Most Dangerous Country
Afghanistan currently sits on the very bottom of the Global Peace Index, making it one of the most dangerous countries on the planet, if not the most dangerous country. The US Travel Advisory recommends avoiding travel to the Middle Eastern nation under any circumstances due to an increased risk of terrorism and crime. Armed conflict and civil unrest have transformed Afghanistan into an extremely hazardous destination.
While some countries in the Middle East are safe in some areas and unsafe in others, there is no region of Afghanistan that is currently considered safe to travel to. Anybody who does need to travel to Afghanistan is advised to keep an extremely low profile and avoid drawing attention to their foreign heritage.
Perhaps in the future, the situation in Afghanistan will improve and the country will become safe for travelers. But as it stands, even the stunning natural landscapes of the nation aren’t worth the risk.
The United Arab Emirates Are An Up And Coming Travel Hotspot
Naturally, the United Arab Emirates is considered one of the safest destinations in the Middle East for travelers. It is also one of the most popular, consisting of the tourist meccas of Abu Dhabi and Dubai. The other emirates making up the nation include Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah, and Fujairah. Abu Dhabi is the capital.
Dubai is home to the world’s tallest structure—the fabulous Burj Khalifa building. There are other attractions and landmarks to see right across the UAE, including the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, the Louvre Abu Dhabi and the Sharjah Aquarium. The United Arab Emirates is the perfect destination for those looking for an introduction to the Middle East without the culture shock.