Countries in the Middle East that Remain Safe for Travel

With widespread crisis in the Middle East, it can be difficult to decipher what countries are deemed safe for travel. As with any country, it’s best to research the areas you expect to travel to and through (including airport destinations) and determine if there is potential danger within specific regions.

Some governments have declared entire countries in the Middle East to be off-limits due to extreme crisis, or unrest. Keep in mind that the political climate in many of these countries can change drastically from one day to the next, as we have recently seen with Egypt, so it’s best to have good travel insurance and an exit plan in mind should chaos erupt.

On the flip side, the Middle East offers distinct landscapes, culture and history that many travelers dream of exploring. Being mindful of local customs, reading reputable resources about the areas you wish to travel through and staying  up-to-date on the latest news and government warnings are the best ways to prepare for a trip to an unstable country.  (Keep in mind that each government puts out its own travel warnings, so what may be deemed safe travel by one country may be unsafe by another country’s standards.)

According to the Guardian, Lebanon, the UAE, Jordan, Morocco, Oman and parts of Tunisia  currently remain safe for travel. The newspaper tapped into tourist boards, tour operators and the Foreign Office to give a well-rounded picture of the current situation in 11 Middle Eastern countries. The article does not mention Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Saudi Arabia Israel, the Gaza Strip, or the West Bank, but the FCO has placed serious warnings on these countries due to imminent terrorist threats and/or crisis.  The FCO points out that there are no restrictions in the the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and calls the risk of terrorism markedly low. Kuwait is under a general threat of terrorism, which unfortunately is the case for many countries across the globe.

Have you recently traveled to the Middle East? We welcome you to share your experiences with others readers on our comment forum.

Photo by: Takver/Flickr

  1. In September, I spent a week in Cairo and felt safe the entire time. It might not be a trip that I would take as an independent traveler. But if you go with a well-qualified tour company, the guides on the ground know where and when to take visitors. Our group even met a group of revolutionaries for a discussion in a local coffee shop near Tahrir Square.

  2. Thanks so much for your comment, Donna. We appreciate your feedback, especially since you are a seasoned traveler and can offer knowledgeable advice to those who are torn over the safety issues of traveling to this region of the world.

  3. I spent most of November touring Egypt and never felt threatened. Outside Cairo, I would have remained oblivious to political undercurrents, except for my conversations with Egyptian people. In Cairo I stayed in the downtown area until around 18 Nov, when my hosts (a tour company) asked me to shift back to their own property in the suburbs because of the risk of disturbances and traffic congestion.

  4. Thank for sharing your experience Philip. It’s great to hear such good feedback about your trip to Egypt.

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