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.
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