Middle East

The Middle East is a region located primarily in western Asia. In the early days it was also called the Near East. It is a little confusing but I see it as follows. The western Border of the Middle East is Lebanon, Israel, Jordan Saudi Arabia covering all countries in between till Iran? Right or wrong I am not sure. In our case we travelled Saudi Arabia-Jordan-Syria and have made numerous stopovers in Dubai flying home to Australia.

Saudi Arabia

Our first stop in the Middle East arriving from Sudan by ship.98% of this country consist of deserts and sand dunes. More important we were lucky to get a visa and drive to Jordan. (3Day transit visa)  First stop was supposed to be Mecca tgether with Medina the holiest cities in Islam. More than 15 million Muslims visit Mecca (Makkah) of this 3 million visit during the few days of the Hajj. It should be noted that non-muslims are prohibited from entering the city of Mecca. Despite this Jeddah is still promoted as the most open city in Saudi Arabia.

JORDAN, a great country with a western influence and lots of historical sites. For us the highlights were, Wadi Rum-Petra-Jerash-Wadi Munjib andMundaba, tourist spots such as Aqaba and the deadsea are a must

SYRIA, such a beautiful country but at the time of writing not much appear to be left many of the tourist sites we visited have been destroyed by the ongoing civil war. Over 11% of employment was in the tourism industry. Accounting for 6.5 billion dollars. For us Palmyra, Aleppo, Damascus, Krak des Chevaliers and Bosra where the highlights we left just as trouble started brewing. Other famous places we unfortunately did not visit were the dead cities. These are a group of abandoned cities just north of Aleppo.

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, the ruler is trying hard to make Dubai the number one tourist destination in the world. And with the money being spend and the facilities this could be possible. Dubai is divided in 2 parts North and south of the Dubai creek. North it has tourist mecca Jumeirah. Dubai has spectacular attractions such as the world largest indoor skislope while out side the temp hovers at around 50 degrees in summer? Despite the nice man made beaches it is to hot for the beach at least 4 months of the year.