Help me choose a mid-east destination for a two day trip in near future.

Joined
Jan 22, 2009
Messages
586
Location
London
Currently based in Saudi Arabia, I'm doing contract work with a visa that has a 30 day maximum stay requirement.

In two weeks I need to exit the country for this. Normally I go back to the UK, but the wife is visiting family in South Africa so no point in going back and I thought of doing a short hop to somewhere like Jordan, Beirut, Dubai or similar just to comply.
The company pays the flights, I cover hotel costs (typically not very high in the region relative to UK/US)

With the current instability in mind for some of the local countries, where would you recommend for a short trip that will provide some good photographic opportunities and easy access to them from city locations.

Dubai is an easy location but, aside from the Burj Dubai tower, I'm not sure there's much else to appeal to me over there.

I'm travelling with the d3s, d300 and have the glass covered from 14mm - 300mm.

Thanks in advance.
 
Joined
Mar 31, 2011
Messages
2,455
Location
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
I'd definitely say no to Dubai as you're already living in the Middle East. We get a lot of friends and the Saudi Crowd coming over for weekends, but that's mainly for the entertainment and drink!

I'd say Jordan (don't know how the situation is there at present, as it seems to have disappeared off the ME tension radar recently). Petra and the scenery would be great.

Probably even better would be Muscat in Oman. Easy to get to, great hotels, and some wonderful scenery, mosques, souks etc. If you need a nice hotel, the ultimate is the Chedi Muscat - beautiful!
 
Joined
Jul 6, 2006
Messages
348
Location
Southern California
Think about going to Beirut, you can take a day trip to the Bekka valley and see Baalbek. Also think about Aleppo, great city and there are a lot of things to do. You can take a day trip to some of the dead cities nearby. Very cool atmosphere, lots of different ruins and no tourists. You'd need to get a Syrian visa in advance though.

Some of my photos from the dead cities from about 4 years ago:
http://www.jimbojack.com/Countries/Syria/Syria_Dead_Cities_01.htm
http://www.jimbojack.com/Countries/Syria/Syria_Dead_Cities_02.htm

Jordan is great, but 2 days is a bit short, Wadi Musa (petra) is 3-4 hours one way from Amman. I'd save that for when you have a bit more time
 
Joined
May 2, 2006
Messages
517
Location
Vancouver, BC
I second Jordan, Petra is an amazing place, and Amman is great to walk around. There are plenty of tours available to Petra, local tour operators always flogging them to anyone who remotely resembles a tourist. The ME tension is not as pronounced in Jordan, and they take much better to foreigners than in say somewhere like Televiv or Jerusalem.

I would also recommend Cairo and environs, and down to Alexandria but with recent uprising there, but not a good bet for the near future.
 
Joined
Jan 22, 2009
Messages
586
Location
London
Several Jordanians at work (obviously) recommended the same.
Investigating, I agree with dubaiPhil that Petra deserves more than a two day trip, so I've been looking at the ruins in Jersha.
Seems much easier to reach it.

Any opinions of that site?
 

LyndeeLoo

Administrator
Administrator
Joined
May 19, 2008
Messages
29,408
Location
St. Louis, Missouri
Agree with the both of you; Petra does deserve more than two days - it's an incredible place.

I loved Jordan, and Jerash is very nice. I also liked Madaba. Lots of historical sites there, friendly people and to me, the city was compact and walkable.
 

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