Traveling is one of the most rewarding and enriching experiences in life. It allows us to explore new cultures, landscapes, cuisines, and histories. It also helps us to relax, recharge, and reconnect with ourselves and others.
But where should we go when we want to travel? What are the best destinations to visit in the world? According to a recent report by Mastercard Institute, three countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region have made it to the top ten list of the most popular destination among international travelers: Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates.
These three countries have a lot to offer to travelers of all tastes and preferences. They have a rich and diverse heritage, stunning natural beauty, modern and vibrant cities, and friendly and hospitable people. They also have some of the most iconic landmarks and attractions in the world, such as the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, and the Al-Haram Mosque in Mecca.
Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the UAE have also been working hard to improve their tourism infrastructure and services, as well as their safety and security measures. They have invested in developing new hotels, resorts, airports, museums, theme parks, and cultural events. They also have eased their visa requirements and travel restrictions for foreign visitors.
These efforts have paid off, as more and more travelers are choosing these countries as their preferred destinations. According to Almosafer, a leading online travel platform in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, Bahrain, and Qatar have topped the MENA region's list of destinations of interest for Saudi international travelers since Saudi Arabia reopened its borders.
The popularity of these destinations is also reflected in their ranking in the Mastercard Institute report, which is based on data from more than 200 countries and territories. The report measures the number of international overnight visitors, their spending, their average length of stay, and their purpose of travel.
According to the report, Saudi Arabia ranked eighth among the top ten destinations in 2022, with 18.8 million visitors spending $25.6 billion. Egypt ranked seventh with 29.4 million visitors spending $13.7 billion. And the UAE ranked third with 34.9 million visitors spending $28.7 billion.
These numbers show that Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the UAE are not only attractive destinations for travelers but also important contributors to the global tourism industry and economy. They also show that these countries have successfully overcome the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and have resumed their tourism activities with confidence and resilience.