Middle East

Saudi Arabia’s Bold Global Tourism Efforts Gain Traction But With Locals For Now

Saudi Arabia’s Bold Global Tourism Efforts Gain Traction But With Locals For Now

Raini Hamdi, Skift

Saudi Arabia has unwittingly learned that to open its doors to international leisure travelers, a good start is to first open the hearts of its own local population to discover the country's unique destinations.

1 month ago

Our Columnist Flew to Dubai — This Is What He Learned About a Reopening

Our Columnist Flew to Dubai — This Is What He Learned About a Reopening

Colin Nagy, Skift

Dubai is offering a master class on safety, operational protocols, and reopening to the world. Other countries, including the U.S., need to take note. 

3 months ago

Turkey Changes the Tourist Magnet Hagia Sophia From a Museum to a Mosque

Turkey Changes the Tourist Magnet Hagia Sophia From a Museum to a Mosque

Ece Toksabay and Daren Butler, Reuters

Officials still want Hagia Sophia to draw about four million tourists a year. But authorities may obscure some of the structure's glorious mosaics and frescoes to comply with interpretations of Islam that ban the portrayal of people and animals. 

4 months ago

Dubai Expects Slow Recovery Amid Reopening to Foreign Visitors

Dubai Expects Slow Recovery Amid Reopening to Foreign Visitors

Jacob Greaves and Aziz El Yaakoubi, Reuters

Dubai hoteliers say they are relying on staycations for near-term business, but hotels in the tourist-centric emirate can't survive on local travel alone.

4 months ago

Saudi Arabia Won’t Allow Overseas Visitors to Attend Hajj

Saudi Arabia Won’t Allow Overseas Visitors to Attend Hajj

Reuters, Reuters

Saudi Arabia has erred on the side of caution for this year's hajj — the first time in modern history that Muslims from around the world will be unable to make the religious pilgrimage.

4 months ago

Dubai to Let Foreign Tourists Enter From July 7

Dubai to Let Foreign Tourists Enter From July 7

Samar Hassan, Reuters

All positive news is welcome these days.

4 months ago

Saudi Arabia Invests $4 Billion Into Tourism Development

Saudi Arabia Invests $4 Billion Into Tourism Development

Rosie Spinks, Skift

Even during what is perhaps the worst crisis for global tourism in modern times, Saudi Arabia is redoubling its efforts to become a world class tourism destination.

4 months ago

Dubai Chain to Be Rare Middle Eastern Hotelier Expanding to U.S.: Sign of Things to Come?

Dubai Chain to Be Rare Middle Eastern Hotelier Expanding to U.S.: Sign of Things to Come?

Korey Matthews, Skift

Expanding in a pandemic is a bold move unto itself. But Dubai-based Leva Hotels' plans to operate hotels in the U.S. are doubly courageous — and its success or failure will be closely watched back in the Middle East.

4 months ago

Turkey Plans to Resume Flights With 40 Countries in June

Turkey Plans to Resume Flights With 40 Countries in June

Tuvan Gumrukcu, Reuters

Governments are going to huge efforts to open up for the summer season, and in Turkey's case that means discussions with some 92 countries.

5 months ago

Turkey Reopens Grand Bazaar and Resumes Domestic Flights

Turkey Reopens Grand Bazaar and Resumes Domestic Flights

Daren Butler, Reuters

It's a symbolic move for Turkey to reopen one of its most famous attractions, the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul. But it's also important that the country has been able to stick with its timetable of easing restrictions taken against the pandemic.

5 months ago

Dubai Pushes the Restart Button With Transit Flights Allowed From Wednesday

Dubai Pushes the Restart Button With Transit Flights Allowed From Wednesday

Nayera Abdallah and Samar Hassan, Reuters

The reopening of this critical gateway airport will be welcome news for those airlines pinning hopes on an initial Asian and Australian tourism revival.

5 months ago

Dubai’s Future Is Threatened by the Side Effects of Coronavirus

Dubai’s Future Is Threatened by the Side Effects of Coronavirus

Jon Gambrell, Associated Press

Forget the idea that butterfly wings trigger hurricanes. With its Expo 2020 postponed, flights grounded, and investment halted, this sheikdom in the United Arab Emirates has seen how a pandemic can trigger an economic crisis in a very practical way.

6 months ago