Young Pioneer Tours

English-Friendly Destinations in the Middle East for New Explorers

If you have not yet visited the Middle East, you do not know what you are missing. The sights, the sounds, the scents, the culture, the food…! The list goes on.

Many countries are suitable for holidays or backpacking adventures – and many are English-friendly. So, here are some of the top destinations that, as a new explorer, you should consider adding to your travel bucket list.

Image source:

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Dubai’s like walking into the future, with its jaw-dropping skyline that’s straight out of a sci-fi flick. The city is chock-full of attractions – think the sky-high Burj Khalifa, palm-shaped islands, and malls that could fit mini-cities inside them.

For newbies to the Middle East who are not confident in their Arabic skills, Dubai’s got you covered. English is super common here since it serves as a global crossroads, so getting around and making friends is a breeze.

Dubai is an international playground where both tradition and innovation play nice – from souk shopping to indoor skiing. Plus, it is pretty cosmopolitan – there are expats from all corners of the globe, which means there is a mosaic of cuisines and cultures to dive into!

Beirut, Lebanon

Beirut has got history in spades, from the National Museum with its ancient artefacts to the Roman baths that whisper stories from centuries ago. As for the food – the mezze platters here will turn you into a lifelong Mediterranean diet fan!

For language, while Arabic is the main groove, many Beirut locals are totally bilingual – or even trilingual. English is widely spoken thanks to a solid education system and heavy tourist traffic.

So, if you are fretting about getting lost in translation on your inaugural Middle East expedition, Beirut’s openness and diversity make it comfy for first-timers looking for both urban excitement and historical allure.

Manama, Bahrain

Manama in Bahrain is a gem that is more chill than its glitzy Gulf neighbours. It is rich with history, packing a punch with the Bahrain National Museum and the iconic Qal’at al-Bahrain Fort.

Seeking something more? Dive into the Manama Souq for spices and pearls, or hit up the Adliya district for artsy vibes and cool eateries.

In this city, English is pretty widely embraced thanks to Bahrain’s international business hub status and thriving expat community.

So, there is no need to break out in a sweat if you are fresh on the Middle Eastern exploration trail – navigating through Manama is smooth sailing for English speakers, while still offering up all sorts of new experiences.

Doha, Qatar

Since the 2022 FIFA World Cup was held in Qatar, the country has become much more popular with tourists – and as a result, it is quickly becoming more English-friendly.

If you visit only one place in Qatar, make it Doha. The city is kind of like that new kid on the block who instantly becomes Mr. Popular – it is relatively fresh to the scene but has quickly upped its game to become a major go-to spot.

The city boasts attractions such as the Museum of Islamic Art, where you can eyeball centuries-old treasures, and the bustling Souq Waqif – for authentic Qatari merch. Doha is the perfect destination if your Middle Eastern adventure is just taking off.

Tips for Travelling in Middle East Countries

Venturing into the cradle of civilization, the Middle East, is an odyssey that promises a rich tapestry of culture, history, and landscapes. To navigate this mosaic with ease, check out these nifty tricks to make your travel smoother.

Learn Basic Phrases

While you will find plenty of English speakers, throwing in a “Shukran” (which means thank you in Arabic) can work wonders in connecting with locals. So, learn some words and phrases before you depart.

Get Your Documents Translated Before You Go

While not mandatory, it could be a good idea to get the important documents you take with you, such as your driver’s licence, passport and medical records, translated into Arabic so that everything runs smoothly if you find yourself in a situation where a local official does not speak English.

You can use a reputable Arabic document translation service to get your docs expertly translated quickly.

Respect Local Customs

Embrace the local etiquette. Dress conservatively outside beach resorts or hotel pools and display a fair amount of cultural sensitivity – it will be much appreciated.

Stay Weather-Wise

Summers can sizzle! Plan around milder months like March to April or October to November for comfy exploration without sweat-soaked shirts.

Understand the Currency Conversion

Get familiar with conversion rates so your budget does not nosedive. And hey, haggling is part of the game here – so practise those bargaining skills!

About Post Author