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Top 10 Tips for Travelling in the Middle East

By January 10, 2012 Travel Advice No Comments
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Travelling anywhere in the world is exciting and adventurous, discovering new places, seeing dramatic scenery and mingling with different cultures are all good reasons for visiting different countries.

The “Arab Spring” event, as it has become known, has focused attention onto the Middle East and for many has made it a place to be visited and explored. However it is never wise to travel to any Country thinking that all people think and live the same as you do and it is always wise to be aware of cultural and social differences to ensure you make the most of your trip. Here are 10 top tips for travelling in the Middle East:

1. The common language in any Middle Eastern Country is Football, so swot up on the premier league before you travel!

2. Always smile and greet people as you will find everyone thinks that is polite and they will warm to you immediately.

3. Always show objective views on politics and religion and don’t get drawn into personal views on these subjects.

4. Don’t be shy to ask questions of people you meet as they will be happy that you are interested in them and their lives.

5. Never drink the local water – always drink bottled water.

6. Ladies – always dress modestly especially at religious sites. Long sleeve cotton tops also protect you from the sun and carrying a scarf everywhere means you can cover your head at any time if needed.

7. Make sure you try the local cuisine as Middle Eastern food is delicious – try a tagine, yummy.

8. If using local transport always make sure you have agreed the fare before you travel and take the number of the driver and the car before you leave to go anywhere.

9.Find out and keep the telephone number of the local tourist police when you arrive at any destination and make sure you have your embassy number with you as well.

10. If you wish to take a photo of local people then always please ask permission to do so as some people, especially older people may take offence. It is also strictly forbidden to take photos of military buildings, airports or police for security reasons and if caught your camera maybe confiscated or worse you may end up answering questions at the local police station!

Simple respectful tips to follow but will also mean you receive respect from those you meet on your visit.

Please feel free to share this post, don’t forget to sign up to our newsletter, and most importantly if you have any top tips of your own then please comment below.

What our clients have to say

What a unique experience this was for my husband and I and a group of friends ( 5 other couples). I felt like we were going back in time and living the life that a well to do 19th century family would have while they were sojourning down the Nile River. The decor of the living spaces on the second level upstairs on the upper deck looked like pieces you would see in a palace of royalty. The bedrooms on the first level that had windows that opened up just above the water level were spacious and comfortable. The bed was comfy as can be!!
The staff on the boat, and there were many, were so very attentive and tried their hardest to meet our every need and also surprised us with daily unexpected niceties and full on entertainment. The food was all homemade and delicious. Our chef was quite talented and the meals were never repeated( except for breakfast which was made to order eggs and an assortment of breads/muffins/croissants and fruit etc. Coffee and tea always available.
The tours that were scheduled for us were so well run and our Egyptologist, Ahmed , was obtaining his Ph.D in Egyptology and was so very interesting and knowledgeable. We had the opportunity to go on a hot air balloon ride and also a trip to Abu Simbel which were both amazing and unforgettable. After every tour we arrived back on the boat and were greeted by Tito and Adam with specialty cold lovely drinks and cold lemon scented wet towels to refresh ourselves with.
Tito took us shopping in the Luxor Market for a couple of hours the day before we left. He helped us negotiate the goods we purchased which was a huge help.
Lastly I have to mention our Dahabiya Cruise Captain, Mahmoud . This guy was amazing! He made sure we had everything we needed and kept us entertained with his humour and incredible dancing skills. Our group learned so much about the Egyptian culture from him during our dinner conversations.
Our group all agreed that we would miss these wonderful, thoughtful people that we spent a week with and hope they all knew how much we appreciated each one of them.

Joan Mancini
Travel date Sept 2021

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