Surprisingly, the Middle East is the first region to revive tourism after the pandemic!

One reason could be the diversity in the landscapes.

There are deserts, harsh climates, and unique old heritages that characterize the Middle East and North Africa, collectively called the MENA region, as a must-visit place for tourists. MENA region’s versatility in cultural and natural geographies makes it one of the most attractive places in the Mediterranean area.

As famously known, the region is home to extreme natural environments and ageless living. Ancient ruins and heritage also add a big plus to activate tourism after the world started spinning again.

So, these assets together create a region with unmistakable tourism appeal.

Today at FAYVO, we are discovering the great MENA region, its attractive sides, and some of the major tourist trends taking place currently and in the near future.

First, let’s talk about the past stats and the forecasting by various searches.

Middle East Tourism Market:


The Middle East & North Africa is blessed with rich resources that appeal to a wide range of tourist types and are beset with problems that challenge not only tourism development. With that, it is seen to have a big hike in the coming seasons.


Source: Statistica

As shown in the tourism graph, we see inbound visitor numbers to the Middle East grew quickly after the pandemic. In 2018, it rose by 4.8 percent, showing a decline compared to eight percent growth in 2014.

However, in the year, 2020, the world literally stopped moving and it was expected to see a sharp decrease in the travel industry worldwide.

Whereas, 2021 and 2022 are the lucky years for tourism in the MENA region as we see the highest peaks there.

Current Market Dynamics Driving the Demand for Middle East Tourism Market:


When we talk about the MENA region, the biggest activity of the year is Hajj. Muslims from all over the world would come for the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. It is a big event every year that promotes tourism in Saudi Arabia.

In the Middle East, Iran is also known as an epitome of tradition and culture. It is one of the most chosen holiday destinations. Hormuz Island is an artistic place to visit in Iran. Other than that, there is a rainbow island or the Bloody Island of Iran. Tourists gather to witness the beauty of the mountain the Valley of Statue, Red Beach, and the Rainbow Mountains.

Persian architecture attracts people from everywhere and the Golestan Palace represents a unique example of ancient Persian construction style. In Iran, The Pink Mosque of Shiraz is something which is one of the most visited places throughout the season. The colorful windows and interior of the mosque make it an INSTAGRAMable location for visitors.

The next one is Turkey and almost 5 out of 10 tourists prefer visiting it for its magnificent landscape, and Ottoman architecture, which makes it one of the most visited destinations. Istanbul is a popular tourist destination and is home to some of the most magical Islamic architecture. Famous tourist spots in Istanbul are The Blue Mosque, the Grand Bazaar of Istanbul, and the Hagia Sofia Mosque.

Moreover, Diyarbakir is the ultimate destination for history lovers. Its story is around more than 5000 years old, and it has still managed to keep 26 different civilizations in this time frame. For the perfect blend of multiple cultures, tourists head on over to Turkey.

It’s time to appreciate the modern beauty of the UAE. For many people, the Middle East is synonymous with UAE. And it is true, UAE has a lot to offer to all kinds of tourists. Dubai, being one of the largest hubs of shopping and fashion is currently one of the most technologically advanced places in the world. Covering the popular Burj Khalifa, calm sand dunes, and Palm islands, Dubai attracts a number of tourists. Jumeirah beach is a perfect spot for family vacations.

For adventure lovers, there is desert Safari. Visitors plan a trip and spend some time in the city outskirts while enjoying the cultural shows on the way. It has a worth-experiencing nightlife.

Types of Tourism in the MENA Region:


According to tourism reports, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region reached around six percent of the total worldwide tourist arrivals back in 2018. And according to United Nations World Tourism Organization, this number exceeded 60 million, of which 15.8 million were received in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This means UAE brings most of the tourists to the region.

For economic stability, tourism is one of the main pillars on which the MENA region depends. The big reason behind great tourist activities in the MENA region is business, leisure, health and wellness, religion, cultural, and shopping.

Back in 2015, Morocco was the leading country in wellness tourism bringing about 2.5 million visitors.

Top Tourist Places to Visit in the Middle East:


 The Middle East has always been a tourist hub especially Dubai. We have shortlisted the best places to include in your itinerary:

  • Dubai
  • Abu Dhabi
  • Amman
  • Morocco
  • Iran
  • Petra
  • Turkey
  • Doha
  • Riyadh
  • Jeddah
  • Mecca
  • Bahrain

Source: Phocuswright

The future can be brighter for the Middle East:


If the COVID-19 prevention procedures are carried out regularly and the states maintain their tourist attraction points in the coming years, research shows the impact on the economy and jobs across the Middle East could be considerable.


In another report, it is proved that Travel & Tourism sector’s contribution to GDP could rise by 33% (US$ 44 billion) by the end of 2022, which is a big number in itself. Researchers predict that domestic spending could increase by 40.1% by the end of 2022.

Under the broader concepts of geopolitics, history, heritage diversity, employment opportunities, environmental hardships, and emerging technologies, the above-explained numbers buck up the expanding tourism in the MENA region.

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