Tourism geography of the Middle East


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Tourism geography of the Middle East

  2. 2. Countries of the Middle East  Bahrain  Cyprus  Egypt  Iran  Iraq  Iraqi Kurdistan (autonomy within Iraq)  Israel  Jordan  Kuwait  Lebanon  Oman  State of Palestine  Qatar  Saudi Arabia  Syria  Turkey  United Arab Emirates  Yemen
  3. 3. The Middle East-Cultural Features  Vast petroleum resources  All but two (Israel and Iran) of the countries in the region are Arabic-Speaking  Predominantly Muslim in Religion, except for Israel and Lebanon  There are substantial ethnic and religious minorities
  4. 4. Cultural Features Aspects of Islam that influence tourist experience:  The obligation of Muslims to pray five times a day with special emphasis on Friday  The requirement to fast between sunrise and sunset during the month of Ramadan  At least once in a lifetime, Muslims should make the pilgrimage or haj to the holy city of Mecca
  5. 5. Tourism Demand and Supply  The region accounts for a relatively small share of the world tourism – almost 3% of arrivals  Dubai invests heavily in tourism  Oil-based prosperity of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states attract a large business travel market  There is considerable volume of travel involving business tourism, returning migrant workers, visiting friends and relatives, pilgrimages and health tourism
  6. 6. Tourism Demand and Supply  With only modest progress in education, most countries in the region are ill-equipped to meet the challenges of globalization  Foreign investors and national governments have provided much of the infrastructure needed for international tourism  Cheap oil: more vehicles
  7. 7. Tourism Resources  A wealth of cultural attractions: the region gave rise to the world’s earliest civilizations and 3 major religions – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam  A generally favourable climate for beach tourism, although in some countries this is restricted by cultural and religious attitudes (except Israel and Dubai)  The mountains in the north of the region provide opportunities for winter sports
  8. 8. Tourism Resources  There is also a scope for adventure holidays in the more accessible mountain and desert areas  Ecotourism in practice has made little progress
  9. 9. Main Threats to Tourism  The political situation has been a major factor in preventing the region realising its tourism potential. Terrorism resulted in much negative publicity  The unique appeal of the region lies in its antiquities and cultural sites. These need careful management and have a limited capacity to receive visitors.
  10. 10. Tourism Geography of Egypt  It is a meeting place of East and West: mysterious yet highly accessible  The most populous of the Arab countries and the cultural center for the Arabic-speaking world  Its people is the inheritors of an ancient civilization that flourished many centuries before the rise of Islam  The bulk of Egypt’s territory is desert  The ‘Gift of the Nile’
  11. 11. Egypt  Egypt is the dominant destination of international tourists in the Middle East  Egypt is attempting to widen its resource base by encouraging conferences and special interest tourism
  12. 12. Nile River
  13. 13. Tourism Resources of Egypt  The Pyramids of Giza – the only survivors of the ‘seven wonders of the ancient world’  The temples and other antiquities near Luxor, including the world famous Valley of the Kings  The temple at Abu Simbel near Aswan, which UNESCO campaigns saved from inundation by the Aswan High Dam Project
  14. 14. Pyramids of Giza
  17. 17. Other Tourist Resources  Fayyum (Fayoum) Oasis  Sailing in traditional felucca on the Nile  Trekking in the Sinai Dessert  Great potential: The Mediterranean Coast and the Red Sea coast (Red Sea Riviera)
  18. 18. FAYYUM OASIS
  20. 20. SINAI DESERT
  21. 21. Red Sea Riviera
  23. 23. ISRAEL  The country is poor in natural resources, but has a workforce that is enterprising and highly skilled in the latest technology  Offer a variety of scenery and climate, including the snows of Mount Hermon, the sub-tropical Galilee, and the heat and aridity of the Dead Sea  Security is a major consideration for travel in Israel itself, and El Al, the national carrier, routinely carried armed air marshals on its flights long before 9/11 made it a global issue
  24. 24. Mount Hermon
  25. 25. Sea of Galilee
  26. 26. Dead Sea
  27. 27. The Demand for Tourism Israel can offer a great variety of tourist products including:  Summer holiday resorts along the Mediterranean coast at Herzliya and Netanya, and Ashkelon to the south  Eilat, Israel’s outlet to the Red Sea, has become a popular winter sun destination, with facilities for underwater photography, diving and water skiing
  28. 28. Herzliya
  29. 29. Eilat
  30. 30. The Demand for Tourism  Spa Tourism has been developed around picturesque Lake Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) and the Dead Sea  Working holidays on kibbutz, the uniquely Israeli experiment in communal living
  31. 31. Spa on the Dead Sea
  32. 32. Mud Hut - Kibbutz
  33. 33. Trekking in the Negev Desert
  34. 34. Cultural Tourism Archaeological sites many of which are mentioned in the bible Herod the Great’s Hilltop Fortress Historic port of Acre (Akko)
  35. 35. Christian Pilgrimages
  36. 36. Major Cities  Tel Aviv is the Financial Center of the country  Haifa is Israel’s largest port  Jerusalem-the capital of ancient Judea
  37. 37. TOURISM GEOGRAPHY OF JORDAN  Jordan is a small, relatively poor Arab country  Tourism plays and important role in the economy  Major attractions now include:  Petra, the ancient city of the Nabatean civilisation  The desert scenery of Wadi Rum  Eastern shores of the Dead Sea  The Crusader Castle at Kerak  Roman City of Jerash  Pilgrim sites on the east bank of the river Jordan  Beaches and watersports of Aqaba on the Red Seas coast
  38. 38. Ancient city of Petra
  39. 39. Wadi Rum
  40. 40. Eastern shores of the Dead Sea
  41. 41. Crusader Castle at Kerak
  42. 42. Jerash
  43. 43. River Jordan
  44. 44. TOURISM GEOGRAPHY OF SYRIA  Roughly the size of England and Wales, Syria comprises a large section of the Fertile Crescent  Poor infrastructure is a major constraint on tourism development  Syria’s cultural heritage are represented by:  The capital Damascus, the world’s oldest city  Ruins of the ancient trading city of Palmyra  The Krak des Chevaliers-castles built by the crusaders
  45. 45. Damascus
  46. 46. Ommayad Mosque
  47. 47. Palmyra
  48. 48. Krak des Chevaliers
  49. 49. TOURISM GEOGRAPHY OF LEBANON  Lebanon is a classic example of a multi-cultural society peopled toa large extent by successive waves of refugees from other parts of the Middle East  Beirut – not only the financial capital but also its main entertainment center  The country’s tourist attraction include:  Mount Lebanon – a number of ski centers have been developed  Bekaa Valley, includes the ancient temples of Baalbek
  50. 50. Mount Lebanon
  51. 51. Bekaa Valley/temples of Baalbek
  52. 52. TOURISM GEOGRAPHY OF THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES  A major player in international tourism  Dubai has done most to attract Western tour operators, and is an example of economic diversification  A cruise terminal  World-class golf courses  Yacht marinas  Ultra-modern shopping malls and traditional markets  Sport tourism, including the Dubai World Cup
  53. 53. Dubai
  54. 54.  Abu Dhabi is aiming to a centre of cultural excellence
  55. 55. TOURISM GEOGRAPHY OF QATAR  The Qatar Tourism Authority has used its wealth, based on vast reserves of natural gas, to become a ‘sustainable niche market destination.  Doha’s international airport is designed specifically to handle the new generation of Airbus ‘superjumbos’  Has hosted a number of sports events, including the 2006 Asian Games
  56. 56. Doha, Qatar
  57. 57. 2006 Asian Games - Doha
  58. 58. Doha Landmarks – Doha Pearl
  59. 59. Doha Landmarks – Spiral Mosque  The spiral mosque of the Kassem Darwish Fakhroo Islamic Centre is a recent construction - It has become in a few years one of Doha's most famous landmarks. This is not a traditional Qatari mosque but a replica of the Great Mosque of Al- Mutawwakil in Samarra in Iraq.
  60. 60. TOURISM GEOGRAPHY OF OMAN  In contrast to Dubai, Oman can offer the tourist a more genuine experience of traditional Arab culture.  The country has a long history of seafaring traders from the port of Muscat venture widely across the Indian Ocean.  Batinah Coast- being developed as a winter sun destination for Europeans.  Dhofar region-appeals to Arabian families
  61. 61. Muscat, Oman
  62. 62. TOURISM GEOGRAPHY OF SAUDI ARABIA  Saudi Arabia has the largest GDP in the Middle East – it has the quarter of the world’s oil reserves  Primary destination for business travellers, focusing on Riyadh and Jeddah  Visiting religious reasons to perform the haj/umrah to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina
  63. 63. Mecca
  64. 64. Medina
  65. 65. Jeddah and Riyadh
  66. 66. Jeddah Airport
  67. 67. TOURISM GEOGRAPHY OF YEMEN  Yemen is much poorer than other countries of the Arabian Peninsula, and tribal traditions persist to a much greater extent  This mysterious country has much to offer the more adventurous tourist, namely:  Archictectural heritage of mud-brick tower houses and palaces in Old Sana’a, Zabid and Shibam  The remains of the ancient Sabean civilisation, probably the biblical Sheba
  68. 68. Old Sana’a
  69. 69. Mud-brick houses in Sana’a
  70. 70. TOURISM GEOGRAPHY OF IRAQ  The major part of Iraq is made up of the fertile plains of the Tigris and Euphrates, historically known as Mesopotamia  Archeological sites: Ninevah, Babylon  Baghdad is a modern capital, and little remains of the city of the Abbsahid Caliphs
  71. 71. TOURISM GEOGRAPHY OF IRAN  Known as Persia until 1935  Different in laguage, ethnicity and culture from its Arab neighbors  Iran’s Tourism resources include:  Isfahan ‘the city of mosques’  Persepolis – remains of the Pre-Islamic Persian civilisations  Ski centers of Alborz mountains  Summer resorts along the Caspian Sea  The island Kish in the Gulf – upmarket winter destination
  72. 72. Isfahan – The City of Mosques
  73. 73. Alborz Mountains
  74. 74. Kish Island