Why you should visit the Middle East in 2022

For those are daring enough to get outside their comfort zone when it comes to travelling – the ones who are keen to rough it out a bit then you’ve come to the right place! Overlanding is the way to go. It’s traveling by road to remote locations and being as self-sufficient as possible in terms of cooking, eating, and sleeping – think outdoor adventure but on steroids!

True avid overlanders will tell you it’s the journey itself, not a destination. You travel more remote roads, venture into more national parks, you stop where you want to and move on generally when you’re ready.

Overlanding requires the ability to improvise, be quick-witted and to be in the moment – and with that said, here are some of our must-see destinations in the Middle East.

From spending time at the historic Petra in Jordan and Saudi Arabia's own stunning Madain Saleh, not to mention all the spectacular forts and UNESCO sites in Oman. A trip the Piddle East will envelop you in Arabia's magic.


Ancient hospitality

Jordan is well-known for welcoming visitors with their warm-hearted smiles and arms wide open. This hospitality can be spotted with their camel caravans plied the legendary King’s Highway transporting frankincense in exchange for spices while Nabataean tradesmen, Roman legionnaires, Muslim armies, and zealous Crusaders all passed through the land, leaving behind impressive monuments. These monuments, including Roman amphitheatres, Crusader castles and Christian mosaics, have fascinated subsequent travellers in search of antiquity and the origins of faith.


This acient Nabataean city, known as Petra, is locked in the heart of Jordan’s sandstone cliffs and mountains, and ever since explorer Jean Louis Burckhardt brought news of the pink-hued necropolis back to Europe in the 19th century, the walk through the Siq to the Treasury has impressed even the most travel weary of visitors.

Desert landscapes

Take a ride through Wadi Rum at sunset – a truly Mars like experience, however, don’t be fooled, Jordan's desert landscapes are not confined to the southeast - they encompass a salt sea at the lowest point on earth, canyons flowing with seasonal water, oases of palm trees and explosions of springtime flowers scattered across arid hills.


For many years, Oman has often been overlooked with travellers often flying to shop in Dubai the keeping Egyptian pyramids at the top of their Middle Eastern archaeological itinerary. However, the world is finally discovering that Oman offers breath-taking landscapes and natural wonders and UNESCO World Heritage Sites and archaeological treasures.

From the desert to the sea

Oman is known. For its perfect sand dunes, camel rides, and Bedouin camps. There are several spots to choose from, but tourists report that there’s nothing quite like the sunset on the golden dunes of the Wahiba Sands desert.

What really surprises visitors is the variety of landscapes in Oma – from dreamlike deserts to the southern coast made of waterfalls and lush vegetation, its white sand beaches and crystal-clear waters, and not forgetting the monsoon season.

Dining and shopping

While in Oman you’ll be tempted to walk into a restaurant, a market, or even both. Omani cuisine remains traditional and authentic – a popular dish known as Shuwa is marinated meat covered with banana leaves and left to cook in an underground oven for two days.

Omanis are also famously known for their handicraft. From silverware and pottery to handmade bags and clothes, you will soon find that local markets (souks) are a souvenir goldmine.

History and architecture

All history fanatics can revel in the fact that there are over 500 castles and forts scattered across the country and hidden in the desert – the most famous one being Bahla Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site built in the 13th century.

The architectural landscape of Oman is just as varied as its nature – here one can admire the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, which features a 50-meters high central dome and a hand-weaved Persian carpet measuring 70 x 60 meters. The same architects who designed the Mosque are also behind the Royal Opera House and its arabesques.

Saudi Arabia

Well, the first thing to note is that Saudi Arabia is far more diverse in landscape and scenery than you might imagine. Yes, geographically, the bulk of the country is desert but then there are the soaring, juniper-clad, high mountains of the Asir in the south-west, the azure reefs of the Red Sea, the date palm oasis of Al-Hofuf and the winding backstreets and spice markets of Jeddah.


Jeddah today is a beguiling and culturally rich melting pot where every race of the Red Sea is represented. It is a perennially warm, open-air city where Egyptians sit at café tables, puffing on shisha waterpipes. Yemeni tailors squat cross-legged in clothing shops working late into the night while Somali, Eritrean, and Djiboutian women lay out displays of spices in the street market.

Further up the coast there are beach resorts and scuba diving opportunities.


The date palm oasis of al-Hofuf covers a vast area of eastern Saudi Arabia, said to be the largest of its kind in the world, and creates a lush green world of streams and gardens. But the spectacular attraction here is the ghostly cave complex inside al-Qarah Mountain, registered in 2018 as a UNESCO cultural heritage site.

The natural caves, carved by wind and water erosion, take a bit of climbing to get into but are well worth the effort and is considerably cooler than the heat outside.