Support Skift and Independent Journalism During the Travel Industry's Moment of Crisis.

Give Now

Middle East

Organizers of Dubai 2020 Say How About Dubai 2021?

Organizers of Dubai 2020 Say How About Dubai 2021?

Jon Gambrell, Associated Press

The modern expo has been rethought over the last decade, and the last thing Dubai wants is to make them irrelevant again. Pushing back a year can only improve things in the long run.

5 days ago

United Arab Emirates to Stop Dubai Airport Transit Flights Due to Coronavirus

United Arab Emirates to Stop Dubai Airport Transit Flights Due to Coronavirus

Aya Batrawy, Associated Press

Dubai International Airport is a critical transit hub, including for medical experts and diplomatic officials. Preventing onward travel will affect many destinations and organizations if this decision holds.

2 weeks ago

Saudi Arabia Closes Off Travel to 9 Countries

Saudi Arabia Closes Off Travel to 9 Countries

Jon Gambrell , Associated Press

The combination of a drop in oil prices and the spread of coronavirus is wreaking havoc on Middle East stock markets.

4 weeks ago

Bahrain Grand Prix Will Go On Without Hordes of International Fans Watching

Bahrain Grand Prix Will Go On Without Hordes of International Fans Watching

The Associated Press

The Grand Prix will go on in a few weeks in Bahrain, just without spectators. Sponsor Gulf Air and other organizers made the right call.

4 weeks ago

Coronavirus Tests Economic Reforms for Travel in Gulf Arab States

Coronavirus Tests Economic Reforms for Travel in Gulf Arab States

Reem Abdellatif, Skift

Gulf Arab states are feeling the brunt of an economic slowdown as the spread of coronavirus tests years’ worth of reforms. Countries like the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia have relied on tourism and hospitality sectors to diversify away from oil, but recent travel cancellations and suspensions due to the illness are set to result in significant financial losses.

1 month ago

Saudi Arabia Suspends Mecca Pilgrimages Amid Virus Fears

Saudi Arabia Suspends Mecca Pilgrimages Amid Virus Fears

Jon Gambrell, Associated Press

The precautionary measure to limit entry to Islam’s holiest sites is a wise move on Saudi Arabia’s part, but this would mean a major hit on Umrah travel agents worldwide.

1 month ago

Israel Cautions Against Foreign Travel Over Coronavirus Concerns

Israel Cautions Against Foreign Travel Over Coronavirus Concerns

Associated Press

Coronavirus has become a nightmare scenario for the world's travel industry. Israel is a small country, and maybe this recommendation doesn't matter much. But you can envision other countries making similar recommendations, with devastating consequences for travel brands.

1 month ago

Palestinian Art Center Shines Light to Revive West Bank Tourism

Palestinian Art Center Shines Light to Revive West Bank Tourism

Reem Abdellatif, Skift

Tucked away in the lively city of Jenin in the West Bank, the Jenin Creative Cultural Center prides itself on offering the perfect blend of local art and culture to welcome visitors. But, being at the heart of the never-ending Middle East peace process, the center has faced difficulties in changing perceptions to attract tourists in a region rife with unrest.

2 months ago

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.

3 months 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?

3 months 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 months 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.

4 months ago