Middle East

Saudi Arabia Struggles to Become Tourist-Ready

Saudi Arabia Struggles to Become Tourist-Ready

Vivian Nereim and Glen Carey, Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia has a lot of societal issues to solve before it can even be on a serious tourism map of the planet. And so far it has come back with lots of big plans, and nothing else. "Saudi Arabia doesn’t even issue tourist visas." We rest our case.

5 months ago

Dubai to Test Drone Taxis for Travelers

Dubai to Test Drone Taxis for Travelers

Jon Gambrell, Associated Press

We're not sure if this idea will fly — at least with the public. Dubai hopes to have a passenger-carrying drone in July. But it took time for best practices and regulations for helicopters to be worked out. It may be too soon to send individuals soaring by drone over traffic and buildings.

5 months ago

Saudi Fund Is Reportedly Considering a Stake in Six Flags

Saudi Fund Is Reportedly Considering a Stake in Six Flags

Wael Mahdi, Dinesh Nair, and Matthew Martin, Bloomberg

It's not clear whether the reported conversations will result in the fund investing in Six Flags. But regardless of what happens, the theme park operator obviously sees a lot of promise in Saudi Arabia.

6 months ago

Trump’s Actions Endanger Tourism Between the U.S. and Iran

Trump’s Actions Endanger Tourism Between the U.S. and Iran

Beth J. Harpaz, Associated Press

To many Americans, Iran remains almost as mysterious as it was a century ago due to a lack of tourism. Yet in the past few years, tour operators have hoped that the recent thaw in relations would lead to Iran becoming a tourism-breakout star the way Cuba now is. But Trump's travel restrictions may complicate the travel opportunity.

6 months ago

Dubai’s Airport to Expand Thanks to a $3 Billion Loan

Dubai’s Airport to Expand Thanks to a $3 Billion Loan

Archana Narayanan and Arif Sharif, Bloomberg

Dubai already has the world's busiest airport by international passenger volume, but that's not enough for its soaring ambition. The emirate is building a second international airport south of the city at a cost of about $30 billion, making a mockery of rival cities like London that can't even decide upon opening an additional runway.

6 months ago

Bethlehem Tourist Souvenir Vendors Push Local Products to Fend Off Knockoffs

Bethlehem Tourist Souvenir Vendors Push Local Products to Fend Off Knockoffs

Isma'Il Kushkush, Associated Press

It turns out that "local" is a trend in Bethlehem as vendors there are trying to stave off an influx of Chinese products for Christian tourists over the Christmas holiday. Tourists seeking to support a destination should probably buy the home-grown stuff.

7 months ago

Dubai Business Events Director on the Future of Meetings in the Knowledge Economy

Dubai Business Events Director on the Future of Meetings in the Knowledge Economy

Greg Oates, Skift

The BestCities Global Alliance and Dubai Business Events are focusing more on how convention bureaus can collaborate with association conference organizers to create a longer legacy impact of business events for both the organizations and host destinations.

7 months ago

Dubai Opens Doors to Massive New Theme Park in the Desert

Dubai Opens Doors to Massive New Theme Park in the Desert

Associated Press

We are interested to see how development pans out as oil prices decrease. Can big buildings and tourism fill the holes?

7 months ago

Dubai Plans to Spend Big While Making Its Second Airport the World’s Largest

Dubai Plans to Spend Big While Making Its Second Airport the World’s Largest

Archana Narayanan and Arif Sharif , Bloomberg

As Dubai continues to grow its economy outside of oil, plans for the second massive airport show how seriously the emirate is taking travel and tourism.

7 months ago

SeaWorld Is Planning an Orca-Free Theme Park in Abu Dhabi

SeaWorld Is Planning an Orca-Free Theme Park in Abu Dhabi

Paul Barbagallo, Bloomberg

Killer whales have been the biggest stars — and biggest generators of controversy — at SeaWorld. It will be interesting to see how the company builds a theme park without them, and how visitors respond.

8 months ago

Abercrombie & Kent Views Iran Tours as Big Opportunity for People-to-People Understanding

Abercrombie & Kent Views Iran Tours as Big Opportunity for People-to-People Understanding

Jon Gambrell , Associated Press

Developments in Iran might have created new openings for U.S. visitors to experience the country but the results of the U.S. presidential election may see these opportunities vanishing fairly rapidly. There are rumblings in the U.S. Congress about imposing stiff new sanctions against Iran.

9 months ago

Egypt Expresses Dismay Over U.S. Travel Warning

Egypt Expresses Dismay Over U.S. Travel Warning

Associated Press

The U.S., Canada and the UK have all issued travel warnings for Egypt through October 9. Egypt is perturbed and this tension between security concerns and economic interests isn't going away anytime soon.

10 months ago