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Middle East

Saudi Arabia: Tourist Visas Now Available

Date: December 20th, 2013 | No Comments

Visitors can now apply for tourist visas through the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities, allowing travel within the country for up to 30 days. Previously, visas were issued to Americans with sponsors in the country and were used only for business and work, to visit close relatives, or for transit and religious visits by [read more]

Cyprus: Officials Say Island is Safe

Date: September 5th, 2013 | No Comments

As international intervention in war-torn Syria grows increasingly likely, the foreign minister of Cyprus is working to address concerns about the island nation’s role in the conflict. Cyprus is located a mere 123 miles from Syria, yet officials say there are no plans to use its military bases in attacks against Syria’s President Assad. Despite [read more]

United Arab Emirates: Locals Want Dress Code for Tourists

Date: July 12th, 2012 | No Comments

A Twitter campaign calling for a tourist dress code is gaining steam in Abu Dhabi, where tourists and foreign workers far outnumber local citizens. Launched by a Muslim woman who was offended by the attire foreigners often wear, the campaign suggests that tourists be required to at least cover their shoulders and knees out of [read more]

Lebanon: Five Injured in Latest Restaurant Bombing

Date: April 25th, 2012 | No Comments

In the last few months, bombings have rocked the majority-Muslim city of Tyre, targeting nightclubs, shops and restaurants that serve alcohol. The latest bomb went off shortly after midnight April 23, injuring five and damaging the building that housed the targeted restaurant. While the majority of Tyre residents are Shi’ite Muslims, members of Lebanon’s Christian [read more]

Bahrain: Travel Alert about Violent Demonstrations

Date: January 25th, 2012 | No Comments

The U.S. State Department issued a travel alert about the ongoing possibility for violent demonstrations throughout Bahrain. In recent months, all travelers have faced increased scrutiny trying to get into the country and Bahraini officials have denied entry to some U.S. citizens. Traveling within the country can become dangerous without notice, as clashes between security [read more]

UAE: New Tourist Brochure Available

Date: November 29th, 2013 | No Comments

A new brochure advises tourists to carry identification at all times. The guide, which is available in 12 languages, offers additional behavior and safety tips to visitors arriving by cruise ship and is being handed out by the Abu Dhabi Tourism Police. Tourists are advised against inappropriate behavior, which includes public kissing, cross-dressing and consuming [read more]

Israel: Tourists Concerned, But Not Cancelling Over Gaza Crisis

Date: November 21st, 2012 | No Comments

Concerned by the recent Gaza missile crisis, some tourists may be thinking twice about visiting Israel right now, but tour operators on the ground report business as usual and few, if any, cancellations due to security issues—though new bookings have reportedly slowed down. The Israel Minister of Tourism has maintained that conditions are “normal” and [read more]

Bahrain: Tensions High Following Grand Prix Violence

Date: April 25th, 2012 | No Comments

With the Grand Prix over, the Bahraini monarchy is still faced with the task of stabilizing the country. Clashes between anti-government protesters and police broke out April 22 just hours before the trademark race was set to begin. The race, which was cancelled last year due to tensions in the country, went ahead as planned [read more]

Israel: Tourist Center to be Built in Tense Neighborhood

Date: February 15th, 2012 | No Comments

The government has given a Jewish group permission to build an archaeological center in Silwan, a tense Arab neighborhood in East Jerusalem. Silwan is near Jerusalem’s Old City, and is the site of clashes between Arab residents and Jewish guards protecting 80 Jewish families who have settled there. Proponents of the plan hope it will [read more]

Bahrain: British Embassy Bombed in Recent Display of Disdain for Western Backed Sunni Dynasty

Date: December 10th, 2011 | No Comments

The British Embassy in Bahrain was the target of a small bomb explosion, prompting the Bahraini government to provide additional security to foreign embassies in the country. Earlier this year, Bahrain was swept by a wave of unrest, and the latest bomb attack confirms that tensions remain. Between February and March of this year, the [read more]

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