5 Sustainable Tourist Destinations to Visit in the Middle East in 2023
Are you looking to make an impact in the world by supporting sustainable travel? The Middle East is one of the most fascinating and culturally rich regions on Earth, making it a traveler's paradise.
Finding eco-friendly destinations that offer sustainability activities and facilities can be quite challenging, though - until now. In this article we go through five amazing sustainable destinations located in the Middle East which are perfect for visiting in 2023.
From innovative villages with green initiatives to off-the-beaten-path experiences designed for eco-conscious voyagers, there’s something for everyone here.
So, go ahead and get packing - your journey towards a more sustainable future starts here!
Bkassine is a stunning village located in the south of Lebanon. It's 70 km away from the capital and 23 km away from Saida, making it a perfect destination for tourists seeking to explore Lebanese culture.
UNWTO recently chose the village for its Best Tourism Village programme, which focuses on promoting rural tourism for social sustainability. And the reason why it has been chosen is obvious enough.
The village is committed to using clean and renewable energies instead of non-renewable energies, such as gas and oil.
The traditional method of fuel used in the village is pine nuts, harvested from the forests nearby. Bkassine has managed to maintain a unique relationship between advanced technology and natural resources.
Visitors of this charming and peaceful village can experience the fascinating combination of antiquity with modern-day ecology through its commitment to preserving ancient traditions while utilizing more resource-friendly fuels.
Rijal Alma'a (Saudi Arabia)
Located in the Asir region in southwest Saudi Arabia, the Rijal Alma'a Heritage Village is an incredibly special place due to its unique history and culture.
Characterised by its buildings which have a design that mimics a gingerbread village, it's no wonder the village has become known as the Gingerbread Village.
This quaint village has been around for centuries and was once a hub for trade between different cultures and religions. So respected was the village that it was chosen by the UNWTO to be a part of its first edition of the Best Tourism Village programme.
What's more, this vibrant and welcoming community is home to an ancient traditional garment that has been passed down through generations. With streets lined with colorful buildings and stories from days gone by, Rijal Alma'a Heritage Village is a truly remarkable and unforgettable destination.
Sir Bani Yas Island (UAE)
Sir Bani Yas Island is an exquisite island located on the east coast of Abu Dhabi. It is home to a wildlife reserve that has been around for over 40 years.
The island is a paradise for anyone looking to explore the UAE’s unique wildlife and nature, with over 130 species of birds, 9000 animals, and lots of other attractions such as boat trips, safari camps, and beach activities.
The island is also home to the world-renowned Anantara resort, which offers guests a luxurious stay in one of its breathtaking villas nestled amongst nature.
Misfat Al Abriyeen (Oman)
Misfat Al Abriyeen, located in the mountainous region of Oman, is set to be an example of how tourism can positively impact a community.
Chosen by UNWTO for its Best Tourism Village programme, it is working to promote local culture and gastronomy values as well as its commitment to tackling climate change.
Several initiatives are being introduced with the aim of strengthening the community, such as the creation of private-sector jobs for local people and opportunities for businesses.
These have been implemented to utilise natural and human resources more efficiently and sustainably - ultimately allowing Misfat Al Abriyeen to create a successful and thriving tourist destination.
What's more, this captivating village boasts spectacular views of the breathtaking wadi and its surrounding landscapes.
Kharga, located in the Western Desert of Egypt, is a small village brimming with history and culture. The village is known for its ancient monuments, oases, and nearby palm groves, which have been around since ancient times.
Visitors to Kharga can explore the many historic sites, such as the temple of Hibis, the tombs of Bagawat, and the ancient fortress of Dush.
The village also offers a range of activities for guests to enjoy, such as camel and horse riding, nature walks, and bird watching.
Kharga is an ideal place to discover the rich history and culture of Egypt, with its exquisite monuments, spectacular scenery, and stunning sunsets.
Sustainability at its best
The Middle East is full of culture, history, and sustainable development. For this reason, a lot of Middle East villages have been chosen by UNWTO to take part in their Best Tourism Village programme.
These villages are not only beautiful and captivating but also eco-friendly. Bkassine, Rijal Alma'a, Misfat Al Abriyeen, Sir Bani Yas Island, and Kharga are just some of the villages that represent these values and provide a unique experience to visitors.