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.
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