THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCESM
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES

6 destinations in the Middle East with cooler temperatures to visit this summer

From an ancient Saudi desert city with luxurious resorts and spas to a unseasonally cool Omani enclave, here are six destinations that are an easy, and affordable, flight away

Near+Far

13 June 2023

the normal tel aviv: summer destinations in the middle east

The Middle East isn’t the first place that comes to mind when thinking of a summer escape, but surprisingly, there are a handful of destinations to seek slight relief from the scorching temperatures engulfing much of the region. Eliminating the need and expense to fly farther afield, here are six summer destinations in the Middle East you can actually enjoy this season.

habitas alula pool
The cooling pool at Habitas AlUla

AlUla, Saudi Arabia

Average summer high: 40 degrees Celcius. Average summer low: 24 degrees Celcius

The ancient Saudi Arabian landscape of AlUla is one of the most beautiful and fascinating destinations in the Middle East, if not the world. Inhabited for millennia, the desert city-turned-cultural and leisure destination was once the home of the Nabeaten empire, who built vast, intricately designed tombs – now the UNESCO-listed Heritage Site of Hegra. Being located on the western side of Saudi Arabia, across from Egypt and inland from the Red Sea, AlUla benefits from slightly cooler days and nights than the rest of Saudi Arabia and the region. Daily summer temperatures can reach as low as 24 degrees Celsius, and evening outdoor dining is more than possible in the trendy restaurants that dot the towns and luxury hotels, while daytime typically sits in the high thirties – making morning and late afternoon day trips more than possible. Check into resorts like Habitas AlUla, Banyan Tree and the new boutique Dar Tantora by The House Hotel, and visit the ruins, cultural heritage sites and Old Town.

Salalah Oman

Salalah, Oman

Average summer high: 25 degrees Celcius. Average summer low: 20 degrees Celcius

Away from the capital of Muscat, the Hajar mountains and Oman’s most favourite sites lies the verdant region of Salalah, located in the Dhofar region of the Sultanate. During the summer months, when the rest of the region bakes in near 50-degree Celsius weather, Salalah benefits from balmy temperatures making it a popular spot for a regional break or, indeed, for travellers looking to explore the Middle East in summer. From June to early September, the moisture from the cooler waters of the Indian Ocean condenses and brings in fog and rain, bringing in temperatures that hover around 27 degrees and a light drizzle – bringing much-needed relief and a break from the scorching temperatures of the Gulf. The natural phenomenon, known as Khareef, turns the southern Omani landscape into a lush enclave of blossoming nature and waterfalls. Two luxury resorts offer excellent accommodation in the region, Alila Hinu Bay – right on the beach with private pool villas – and Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara on the Dhofar coast. Read our complete guide to visiting Salalah.

Lebanon beaches: summer destinations in the Middle East

Lebanon

Average summer high: 31 degrees Celcius. Average summer low: 23 degrees Celcius

Located on the eastern shores of the Mediterranean SeaLebanon is known for its vibrant culture, beautiful beaches, world-class nightlife and morning Levantine cuisine. The tiny verdant country is an ideal spot for a summer vacation, with temperatures consistently in the mid-twenties and only hitting the early thirties. Along with cool coastal towns, and public beaches with golden sands, the topography is diverse: mountains, light valleys, a cosmopolitan capital and plenty of historical destinations with ancient ruins. Enjoy a visit to Lebanon and the capital Beurit this summer, and check in to cool, design-led boutique hotels like Arthaus Beirut and Albergo.

summer destinations in the Middle East

Amman, Jordan

Average summer high: 40 degrees Celcius. Average summer low: 24 degrees Celcius

Jordan’s capital Amman is a lesser-trodden option when choosing short-haul flights from Dubai. The historical and leafy city is an enchanting mix of old and new – set across a series of hilltops and home to numerous ancient ruins. A historic citadel includes the domed 8th-century Umayyad Palace complex and pillars of the Roman Temple of Hercules, while another hillside houses the ruins of a 6,000-seater Roman amphitheatre. The city is bursting with modern art galleries and trendy restaurants, and a summer streek market in Jabal Amman has pop-up cafes, street food and live performances from local bands and musicians.

summer destinations in the Middle East
The Norman, Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv, Israel

Average summer high: 40 degrees Celcius. Average summer low: 24 degrees Celcius

As far as a summer break in the Middle East goes, Israel’s beach city Tel Aviv is a solid bet for a weekend of sun and fun. The Mediterranean metropolis basks in near year-round sunshine (and summer only reaches around 30 degrees Celsius) and offers travellers a fantastic food scene, plenty of important cultural sites and world-class nightlife. Live the history of the vibrant coastal town in the Jaffa neighbourhood, enjoy the city’s famous Bauhaus-style architecture (designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites), unwind on 14 kilometres of clean and well-kept beaches, enjoy a foodie tour of The Carmel market and enjoy its thriving bar and nightlife scene and countless happy hours. The city is known for its spectacular dining scene – home to many world-class and award-winning restaurants – and also has some of the best hotels in the Middle East. The Jaffa, housed in an ornate former convent, grand waterfront The Setai, Soho House Tel Aviv and exquisite Twenties-style The Norman are all top places to check in to.

Al Disah Valley

Tabuk, Saudi Arabia

Average summer high: 39 degrees Celcius. Average summer low: 22 degrees Celcius

Tabuk is becoming a much-talked-about destination, about to be thrust onto the world stage with the opening of the first phase of Neom in early 2024. This mountainous region on the western coast of Saudi Arabia stretches from the Red Sea to the city of Tabuk itself and encompasses beaches, deserts, valleys, mountains and wadis. While Neom is yet to open – with its architecture-defying hotels, ski resorts, luxury yachting islands and linear mirrored city – Tabuk is one of the best summer destinations in the Middle East thanks to cooler temperatures, and is a place for outdoor pursuits like camping, hiking, exploring and biking, largely in the verdant Al Disah Valley. Top sights include the famous ruins of the Hijaz Railway – built during the Ottoman period and destroyed in World War II- now a cluster of abandoned stations, rusting locomotives and sand-covered rails across the landscape, castles, museums and traditional markets.

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