Middle East

Medical Tourism Emerges as a Bright Spot for Flagging Dubai

Medical Tourism Emerges as a Bright Spot for Flagging Dubai

Reem Abdellatif, Skift

Dubai has faced a slump in recent years as it struggled amid a global economic slowdown, an oversupplied real estate sector, and slow tourism activity due to regional unrest. But its ability to build a reputation for itself as a medical tourism hub in the Middle East has provided some much-needed support for its travel sector.

6 days ago

U.S. Pavilion at Dubai World Expo Will Be Sponsored by Emirati Government

U.S. Pavilion at Dubai World Expo Will Be Sponsored by Emirati Government

Aya Batrawy, Associated Press

The United Arab Emirates is pouring lots of cash into its Dubai Expo 2020, and the United States will reportedly benefit from that generosity. The question is, on what terms?

1 week ago

Looming U.S. Sanctions, Regional Unrest Threaten Turkey’s Vibrant Tourism Rebound

Looming U.S. Sanctions, Regional Unrest Threaten Turkey’s Vibrant Tourism Rebound

Reem Abdellatif, Skift

Turkey until recently was hailed as one of Europe’s most attractive travel destinations. But rising geopolitical tensions and souring relations between Washington and Ankara are now threatening the fragile sector’s growth and potential.

3 weeks ago

Middle Easterners Among the World’s Highest Spenders When They Take a Trip

Middle Easterners Among the World’s Highest Spenders When They Take a Trip

Meghan Carty, Skift Research

Middle Eastern travelers spend a lot of money on outbound trips. It’s time the travel industry started paying attention to this region.

1 month ago

The State of Middle East Outbound Travel: New Skift Research

The State of Middle East Outbound Travel: New Skift Research

Meghan Carty, Skift Research

Outbound travel from the Middle East hasn’t garnered the attention of some other outbound markets, but given the high travel expenditure and growth of the region, we think this is one that’s worth paying attention to.

1 month ago

Syria’s Tourism Industry Shows Signs of Life — But the Comeback Is Controversial

Syria’s Tourism Industry Shows Signs of Life — But the Comeback Is Controversial

Rosie Spinks, Skift

Is visiting a country an implicit endorsement of its leadership? Or can intrepid travelers frame it simply as a gesture of connection with its people? The situation in Syria raises these questions and more.

2 months ago

Saudi Tourist Visa Draws UK, Chinese Visitors

Saudi Tourist Visa Draws UK, Chinese Visitors

Vivian Nereim, Bloomberg

Two things are proven here: Chinese are among the most curious travelers of the world, and it will take a lot more than just issuing a tourist visa category for Saudi Arabia to be on the map as a destination.

2 months ago

Global Hotel Chains Are Keen on $17 Billion Saudi ‘Birthplace’ Mega-Project

Global Hotel Chains Are Keen on $17 Billion Saudi ‘Birthplace’ Mega-Project

Vivian Nereim, Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia, hungry for tourism dollars, has several mega-projects underway. Diriyah Gate, a UNESCO site that’s the ancestral home of the Saudi ruling family and will feature 20 hotels, eight museums and a golf course, is one of them. Global chains are taking a close look.

2 months ago

Hotel Jobs Are Becoming More Appealing to Saudis Looking for Work

Hotel Jobs Are Becoming More Appealing to Saudis Looking for Work

Abeer Abu Omar and Sarah Algethami, Bloomberg

Alongside its planned tourism boom, Saudi Arabia will need a new workforce. And for the first time, it's the Saudis themselves who seem to be warming to the idea of working in the service and hospitality sector.

3 months ago

Dubai’s Big Bet on Expo 2020 Meets Political and Economic Headwinds

Dubai’s Big Bet on Expo 2020 Meets Political and Economic Headwinds

Jon Gambrell, Associated Press

Dubai may have ambitious plans for Expo 2020 to attract 25 million visitors, but regional politics and global economic conditions may stand in its way.

3 months ago

Saudi Arabia’s New Tourism Frontier Explained

Saudi Arabia’s New Tourism Frontier Explained

Raini Hamdi, Skift

Businesses can’t resist the opportunities that a new frontier brings. In the case of Saudi Arabia, however, the gamble they take is whether tourists will actually go, given the kingdom’s poor image. The adage "build and they will come" is being tested.

4 months ago

Saudi Arabia Drops Requirement for Foreign Tourists Booking Hotels

Saudi Arabia Drops Requirement for Foreign Tourists Booking Hotels

Patrick Donahue, Bloomberg

Many have wondered how Saudi Arabia will lure tourists given its strict local customs. It appears the strategy is simple: —have different rules for tourists than the Kingdom does for locals.

4 months ago