middle east

Middle East

Women Safety in the Middle East

As there are vast cultural differences in attitudes to women, remember to travel with a little common sense and a respect for cultural and religious differences. The place of women in Muslim countries depends on the degree of Sharia Law operating in each country. In Saudi Arabia, for example, women are covered up most of the time and are not allowed to drive cars. In Israel, on the hand, women travelers will feel just at home as they would in Europe, Australia or North America, but do dress modestly when in Arab areas and religious Jewish neighborhoods. Jordan is also largely more progressive than other Middle Eastern countries. In Kuwait, Yemen and Iran women must also be completely covered. Women can still feel uncomfortable by the hassling they may get in Cairo and the more touristy areas.

Take the same precautions you would take in other countries – don’t go to isolated places after dark, and be wary of ending up alone with strange men.

Middle East in a nutshell

Admire the view of Dubai from Burj Khalifa's observation deck. Explore the "lost city" of Petra and the Great Pyramid of Giza. Float on the waters of the Dead Sea. See the magnificent landscape of Wadi Rum.

Getting around the Middle East

Note** By having evidence of a visit to Israel in your passport, you may not enter (on the same passport) all Middle Eastern, Gulf or North African countries, apart from Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Qatar, Oman, Morocco, Mauritania, and Tunisia). There is only one way to not have your passport show evidence of a visit to Israel and that is to fly in and fly out - requesting no stamp on both entry and exit.

The Middle East does not have a regional rail network to speak of. Long distance buses are also a discomforting test of endurance. Most bus companies have international routes, but be prepared for lengthy delays going through customs. For those routes that don’t offer border crossings, it’s not difficult to exit the bus at the border, clear customs, and hop on another one in the new country. Flying is certainly the most user-friendly method of transport in the Middle East. Air Arabia and Fly Dubai are two of the low cost carriers in the Middle East. Note that Flying isn’t possible between Israel and the Palestinian Territories and other Middle Eastern countries, except for Egypt, Jordan and Turkey.

Digital Nomad Scene

Big cities like Dubai, Tel Aviv, and Cairo offer a choice of places to work. Tel Aviv also has a big start up scene.

Women Necessities

Egypt: Tampons can be found in Cairo, Alexandria, Luxor, Sharm el-Sheikh and Hurghada, but are rare outside of Metro Supermarket. Outside of the main cities they can be expensive and more difficult to source. Birth control pills and morning-after pills can be hard to find - best to bring your own supplies.

UAE: Tampons are available in supermarkets and pharmacies. In Dubai, you don’t need a prescription to obtain contraceptives pills, although you need one in Abu Dhabi. Morning-after pills are banned in the UAE.

Israel: Tampons with or without applicators are readily available. Birth control pills can be obtain from doctors. Morning-after pills can be bought at pharmacies.

Oman: Tampons are available in supermarkets and pharmacies.

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