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Old 01-18-2018, 11:15 AM
 
Location: Toronto
6,754 posts, read 3,776,432 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarisaAnna View Post
Not sure if you would consider Turkey as part of the Middle East, but if so, it is one of my favourite places anywhere. Highlight was Cappadocia and of course Istanbul, which is of course partly in Europe.

Our friends have just returned from Iran and really enjoyed it but I think Americans have visa issues with it but I assume you are Canadian.

The easiest to visit is probably Dubai, and also Abu Dhabi in UAE. Interesting buildings, fantastic hotels, desert tours, no major restrictions on what you wear, but avoiding Ramadan is recommended because of the restrictions on eating and drinking in public during the day. I am hoping to get to Oman eventually, looks fascinating and also maybe Jordan.
Thanks. I have been to Turkey. Also liked it, but want to try somewhere different.
I think I would be a bit too uncomfortable about getting in to trouble in Iran.
I love Persian food and art though.
I am worried about the expense associated with Dubai, and also Abu Dhabi in UAE. I don't want to spend my life saving there.
My husband is going to Saudi Arabia for a few weeks in the summer. I am not planning on going to Saudi Arabia with him this time, though the idea of going just to check it out seems interesting.
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Old 01-18-2018, 11:18 AM
 
Location: Toronto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by james777 View Post
There are only three countries in the MidEast that I would visit, Israel, Jordan, and Lebanon because they treat Westerners with respect.
I don't know it that is a fair comment.
Last time I checked lots of countries in the west don't always treat people from the Middle East all that great.

Middle Eastern people are usually extremely hospitable in general.

People in a country and government policy are not the same thing.

If the comment is coming from an American it is kind of ironic considering your current government anti-Arab sentiment.
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Old 01-18-2018, 11:23 AM
 
Location: Toronto
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Originally Posted by Dd714 View Post
The obvious choice I would think would be Egypt, if one considers that part of the "middle east" - full of history and sights. You said you did N. Africa however.
Not sure why you are so easily dismissing Israel, you reasons don't make sense.
Egypt is technically North Africa. I have been there and it was amazing. I wish I had a longer time to visit, but glad I went the year before the Arab spring.

This is the plight of a lot of countries in the region. There is a lot of really hopeless youth looking for change ... looking for hope.

Regarding Isreal.... it is a land of deep sorrow.
It is the perfect example of everything that is wrong with human kind...... greed and ignorance.
I think it is a beautiful country. I have personal interest in the entire region, but don't deal with any stupid political and religions ancient drama when there. I think I would leave that vacation very stressed and upset.

Plus because of my own and my husband's ethnic backgrounds we likely would have to put a lot of effort in to getting visas.
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Old 01-18-2018, 11:40 AM
 
Location: Cedar Park, Texas
1,601 posts, read 2,469,153 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klmrocks View Post
Thanks. I have been to Turkey. Also liked it, but want to try somewhere different.
I think I would be a bit too uncomfortable about getting in to trouble in Iran.
I love Persian food and art though.
I am worried about the expense associated with Dubai, and also Abu Dhabi in UAE. I don't want to spend my life saving there.
My husband is going to Saudi Arabia for a few weeks in the summer. I am not planning on going to Saudi Arabia with him this time, though the idea of going just to check it out seems interesting.
Dubai is only expensive if you want it to be expensive. We aren't into the fancy meals and expensive shopping, so our trip was very affordable. We ate chicken shwarma from a street vendor (still one of the best meals I've ever had on vacation!) and the most fabulous Filipino food in a cheap restaurant, used public transportation as much as possible in Dubai (the train is fabulous but not very expansive across the city) and walked a lot, stayed in reasonable but nice hotels away from the marina and Burj Khalifa, and bought normal-person style stuff that was affordable from markets and grocery stores (except for my two 18k gold rings from the souk, but even then, they were only $125 each and they're magnificent!). You can still see the fancy cars and amazing Dubai Mall but you don't have to spend loads of money. Of course, you CAN if you want - my cousin was in Dubai the same time we were but she was on a business trip. She paid for a meal, with alcohol, at a fancy restaurant at the base of the Burj Khalifa, right by the fountains. The bottle of wine was $150 and the total meal, for 6 of us, was almost $1000. It was good, but my chicken shwarma from the street was better!
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Old 01-18-2018, 11:42 AM
 
Location: Toronto
6,754 posts, read 3,776,432 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chava61 View Post
I too agree that dismissing Israel outright for the reason stated makes does not seem logical to me. Israel has much to offer visitors and visiting Israel would help the OP understand what all the fuss is about!

The idea about being treated with hospitality was brought up.
I guess I might want to mentioned I of middle eastern heritage so as much as going to Isreal would be interesting in many ways.

Going to a country where people with similar heritage then me are systemically treated like garbage is not exactly an experience feel I would enjoy.

I think there are loads of aspects of travel to Isreal I would enjoy ....but watching people from a similar heritage as me being treated that way would really not be something that would sit well with me.

As a mother ... how I am going to explain that to my child?
As a person that comes from a country where there are no wars... not walls and no epic levels of tension or hate why would I want to walk in to that sort of situation ... especially with my child.
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Old 01-18-2018, 11:46 AM
 
Location: Toronto
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Originally Posted by RooCeleste View Post
I have been to United Arab Emirates (Dubai and briefly, Abu Dhabi), Oman, and Egypt, all with a girlfriend of mine. UAE and Oman were fascinating and very easy, as English was spoken everywhere and it was incredibly safe. We explored everywhere in Dubai, and really enjoyed the areas outside of the Dubai Mall/Burj Khalifa areas (although those were fascinating, too!). Oman was very different feeling but also very expensive. It would have been fun to have spent more time there, but I'm not sure we could have afforded it. Egypt was a quick long-weekend trip but we had fun for the three days we were there. I'm not certain that we would have felt as safe in Cairo exploring around on our own and on foot like we did in Dubai, but it was perfectly fine with a guide. English is not spoken as widely either, so we would have missed a lot without an English speaking guide. Two nights, we did venture to the Khan el Kahlili markets (both sides of the street, crossing via the underground tunnel). It was a blast! We ventured waaaaaay into it, which might throw some people off, but we are well traveled and aware, so we felt comfortable. We then WALKED back to our hotel late at night, which was surprisingly safe but FAR!

SO, with that all said, I would suggest any of the above. I love the Middle East (odd to hear from a Christian, white female from Texas, right??) and will be going to Israel this spring.
Egypt was interesting in so many ways.
I am not going to lie ... walking around Cairo can be hit or miss.
You walk in to the wrong crowd you could be in for a lot of trouble and it could be dangerous.
I was with my husband, but don't think I would feel comfortable walking around Cairo alone as a woman.
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Old 01-18-2018, 11:47 AM
 
Location: Toronto
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Originally Posted by Prost View Post
I've heard good things about Jordan and Oman (no first-hand experience from me though).
I want to see Petra.... but and am still on the fence about if it is the best trip option.
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Old 01-18-2018, 11:48 AM
 
12,263 posts, read 18,393,933 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klmrocks View Post
Egypt is technically North Africa. I have been there and it was amazing. I wish I had a longer time to visit, but glad I went the year before the Arab spring.

This is the plight of a lot of countries in the region. There is a lot of really hopeless youth looking for change ... looking for hope.

Regarding Isreal.... it is a land of deep sorrow.
It is the perfect example of everything that is wrong with human kind...... greed and ignorance.
I think it is a beautiful country. I have personal interest in the entire region, but don't deal with any stupid political and religions ancient drama when there. I think I would leave that vacation very stressed and upset.

Plus because of my own and my husband's ethnic backgrounds we likely would have to put a lot of effort in to getting visas.
Again I don't know what you mean by "land of deep sorrow", it being one of the most successful, developed, and progressive democracies in the middle east. Actually the only democracy. I think you have the ethnicity concerns backwards - If you are from the US or Canada, or practically any western country, you don't need a visa to enter Israel, nor do they care if you have a passport stamp from an Arab country.
The Arab countries on the other hand will sometimes balk and refuse admittance if your passport has an Israeli stamp.

I take it you have both political and religious objections - I don't want to get into that, that's your business, but really you need to put those issues aside when visiting any country. It's part of the experience of travel to open your mind to other cultures, even those you don't believe in. One usually develops another opinion as a result.
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Old 01-18-2018, 11:49 AM
 
Location: Toronto
6,754 posts, read 3,776,432 times
Reputation: 4619
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RooCeleste View Post
Dubai is only expensive if you want it to be expensive. We aren't into the fancy meals and expensive shopping, so our trip was very affordable. We ate chicken shwarma from a street vendor (still one of the best meals I've ever had on vacation!) and the most fabulous Filipino food in a cheap restaurant, used public transportation as much as possible in Dubai (the train is fabulous but not very expansive across the city) and walked a lot, stayed in reasonable but nice hotels away from the marina and Burj Khalifa, and bought normal-person style stuff that was affordable from markets and grocery stores (except for my two 18k gold rings from the souk, but even then, they were only $125 each and they're magnificent!). You can still see the fancy cars and amazing Dubai Mall but you don't have to spend loads of money. Of course, you CAN if you want - my cousin was in Dubai the same time we were but she was on a business trip. She paid for a meal, with alcohol, at a fancy restaurant at the base of the Burj Khalifa, right by the fountains. The bottle of wine was $150 and the total meal, for 6 of us, was almost $1000. It was good, but my chicken shwarma from the street was better!
That is good to know!
I just assumed that is was be crazy expensive.
I am not a fan of paying crazy amounts of money to stay at hotels. I am only look for somewhere basic, clean and safe as I don't want to stay in the hotel. I want to be out exploring.
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Old 01-18-2018, 11:54 AM
 
Location: Toronto
6,754 posts, read 3,776,432 times
Reputation: 4619
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Originally Posted by Dd714 View Post
Again I don't know what you mean by "land of deep sorrow", it being one of the most successful, developed, and progressive democracies in the middle east. Actually the only democracy. I think you have the ethnicity concerns backwards - If you are from the US or Canada, or practically any western country, you don't need a visa to enter Israel, nor do they care if you have a passport stamp from an Arab country.
The Arab countries on the other hand will sometimes balk and refuse admittance if your passport has an Israeli stamp.

I take it you have both political and religious objections - I don't want to get into that, that's your business, but really you need to put those issues aside when visiting any country. It's part of the experience of travel to open your mind to other cultures, even those you don't believe in. One usually develops another opinion as a result.
I don't want to get in to this as this is a travel area of the forum ... but the the success, development and progress is not being felt by all people in the region and specifically seems to be holding back and persecuting others.

So again ... not a place I am rushing to go visit. The world's a big place ... lots of better options are on the table.

The land of deep sorrows comment relates to the amount of people that have died fighting over taking ownership over this tiny area of land.
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