Ten things to know before traveling to the Middle East

The Middle East, a land of rich culture and historical value, is one of the most preferred destinations for many tourists. But what happens when you choose the Middle East as your next traveling destination? Read on to know more about this. In all of its cultural and geographical variety, the Middle East is one of the fascinating corners on the planet. But if you’ve been thinking about traveling there but are worried about your safety or aren’t sure where to go, we have everything you need to know right here.

The Middle East has become an increasingly popular destination for those planning on traveling there. However, there is no exception for those looking for adventure and who enjoy learning about people, cultures, and traditions. The article gives you all the possible information needed before traveling to the Middle East to understand what to expect and prepare yourself for an adventure!

The UAE region is a highly developed one. While most developed countries still use their standard transportation methods, which were brought in the recent centuries, the Middle East is one of the few countries, who have wholly embraced the automobile culture, and are using it as a preferred method of transportation.

This region is very prosperous, but it also has specific things to take care of. This region is known for its rich food resources, but also its people. In addition, this country is home to many rich cultures, which have shaped the world around it. One can also learn about this region from its people, its history, and its different political ideologies.

Here are ten things to know before traveling to the Middle East:

1. Clothing.

Regardless of where you are located, it is essential to show respect, given that this is a Muslim country. For instance, you can wear bikinis and flip flops in hotels, as well as tank tops and flip flops when you’re on vacation. The exception to this rule is public areas such as shopping malls and parks, where revealing clothing is not permitted. Of course, you will not get locked up for it, but it’s always a good idea to make sure you know the place’s culture before you travel!

2. Alcohol

In the UAE, alcohol stores aren’t available due to religious reasons. If you want to have a few drinks, make sure you visit a restaurant or bar within a hotel. Only hotels are permitted to serve tourists alcohol in the UAE. 

3. The best time to visit.

UAE can get extremely hot. It is, therefore, unbearably hot to walk around during the day. However, during these months, you can find some great hotel deals in exceptional hotels in the UAE due to the heat. A great time to visit is from October through April, as the weather is a lot more bearable during the day.

4. Tips.

There is no expectation or requirement of tipping in the UAE. You may want to leave a little extra tip in cash if the service was excellent, but it is not required. Similarly, tipping taxi drivers is not expected nor compulsory, but it is customary to round up to the nearest note if the driving was satisfactory.

5. Car Hire.

It is highly recommended that anyone older than 21 rent a car for the duration of their stay. An essential car can be rented for a meager price. A day’s travel will cost about 30 US dollars, and petrol isn’t that expensive either. It is also a bonus that nearly all hotels and public parking lots have accessible parking, or if not, it is still cheap!

6. There are no hostels.

UAE law prohibits hostels, as rooms must be shared with strangers. Those on a tight budget might want to consider going in the summer when hotel prices plummet. Even in the off-season, you can still enjoy a luxurious hotel.

 7. Avoid Public Display of Affection

You’re not allowed to show affection in public, even if you’re married. It is seen as highly offensive and rude. Public kissing, holding hands, or cuddling is prohibited. In popular tourist areas, like malls, you might encounter people doing this as well. The traveler should always be culturally aware and respectful of different cultures, so they should avoid showing such behavior in public.

8. Taxi services

Most major cities in the UAE offer a taxi service, which is reasonably priced. Taxis are meter-based and can be flagged down along the roadside. The ladies’ taxi is specifically designed for female solo travelers. They have a pink rooftop that distinguishes them from other taxis.

9. Do not just visit Dubai.

It is a common mistake for tourists to visit only Dubai when traveling to the UAE. The city is fantastic, and it is well worth spending some time there. In addition, Abu Dhabi has several significant sites, including Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. In Al Ain, if you are interested in seeing more of the UAE, you will find a zoo located in the desert, an oasis, and a great viewpoint.

A few must-visit places include the Pyramids of Giza, the vast ruins of Persepolis, and the gleaming domes of the Hagia Sophia.

10. Food.

There is nothing better than Arabic food! The Middle Eastern dishes range from traditional mutton stew to kebabs to various vegetarian options. Each region also has its specialties, like the unleavened flatbreads called pita bread in the Levant and the spicy harira soup in North Africa. Also, try the authentic flavors of Emirati and Persian Gulf cuisine, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and za’atar (a fragrant spice blend with sesame seeds).

Enjoy your trip to the beautiful UAE, and Happy Travels!

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