The Arab world is full of touristic destinations to discover. Middle East countries charm visitors with their cities steeped in such a special environment and having exceptional monuments and architectural buildings. There are also the souks and medinas but also the exotic landscapes of a breathtaking beauty. The Arab world can boast having some of the most visited cities by tourists in the world like Dubai, Mecca, Cairo and Istanbul. Discover the top 10 of the most popular tourist cities in the Arab world.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Dubai, a shopping capital attracts millions of visitors each year. Its most visited place is the Dubai Mall, its huge commercial center which has 1200 shops and a same overweening aquarium nestled at the foot of the tallest tower in the world Burj Khalifa. 42% of the visitors come in this beautiful city close to the desert for beach tourism. In 2015, Dubai recorded more than 11 million foreign visitors and aims at the double of this number in 2020.
Abu Dahbi, United Arab Emirates
Again in United Arab Emirates, the city of Abu Dhabi, which is also the federal capital of the state attracts also many people. Visitors appreciate its calm, its public gardens and its cornice. Falconry, breeding of purebred, camel racing, growing date palm, henna decoration, … are some of Abu Dahbi people’s jealously guarded traditions. Natural islands with beaches of fine sand and Ferrari World and Yas Waterworld amusement parks are some of the city’s tourist trump. Abu Dahbi has 3.5 million visitors in 2014.
With 11 million visitors in 2014, Cairo appears in the list of the most popular tourist cities in the world. With its cultural heritage and its legendary archaeological sites, it fascinates people who can visit the Pyramids of Giza, the Sphinx, the Memphis and Sakkara tour, the Egyptian Museum or the Khan el-Khalili souk. Beside Cairo, Sharm el Sheikh is another city appreciated by tourists in Egypt.
Mecca, Saudi Arabia
This city is surely the capital of religious tourism of Saudi Arabia and also of all Muslim countries in the world. Knowing that each Muslim must do the Hajj, the fifth pillar of Islam, at least once in his life, the Guardian Of The Holy Places remains among the most visited cities by religious tourists worldwide. Mecca has hosted nearly 9 million pilgrims in 2015.
Casablanca is the largest city in the Maghreb and the fourth in Africa. Its economical dynamism makes of it the highlight city of business tourism in the Arab world. The city nevertheless contains some marvels like buildings from the 1930s, the old medina and the picturesque alleys. It is also in Casablanca found the Hassan II mosque, the largest in North Africa and one of the most beautiful by its excess and luxury.
Ryadh, Saudi Arabia
We are back in Saudi Arabia, in the capital of the country and official residence of the King. Ryadh is a modern city characterized by its picturesque avenues and its glass buildings. It is a popular spot for tourists who would appreciate to move in the city by taxi or by renting a car to visit the Masmak Fortress, the main palace of Saad bin Saud, the Faisaliah Tower, Kingdom Tower or the National Museum of the city.
Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, attracts millions of tourists despite the civil war that almost destroyed the city. It is among the most prestigious tourist destinations in the Arab world especially with its distinct confessions sites: orthodox churches, mosques, catholic churches … There is also its shops and ultra chic boutiques; its traditional bazaars and its gastronomy.
The capital of Jordan, located at the desert’s gates and full of 9000 years of history is at the top ranks of the most visited cities of the Middle East countries. She bravely crossed the times and today still hosts the witnesses of these successive eras. Fortresses and towers, ancient theater, the old districts, the mosque of King Abdullah, the Jabal el-Qal`a Citadel and iconic sites around the Jordan continue to amaze tourists.