So why Egypt? Isn’t there all this bother there at the moment, you know, the protests and trouble and all of that? The newspapers are full of it. Please, please, please forget the headlines because they only tell a tiny part of the Egyptian story, a very tiny part indeed.
Millions of tourists are visiting Egypt right now, and having a fabulous vacation to boot. So dust down your credit cards and enjoy what Egypt has to offer. You won’t be sorry. Let’s face it, there are few countries in the world that can boast 6,000 years of civilisation filled with a list of pharaohs as long as your arm. Names like Tutankhamen, Cleopatra, Nefertiti and others perhaps not so well known.
Then there’s the Sphinx, the River Nile, the Valley of the Kings, the Temples of Karnak, Abu Simbel and more – hey you could be here reading all day. Almost forgot the pyramids, too, of which some 130 or more have been discovered so far. So there’s plenty to keep you going. Plenty to keep you coming back, too!
To most foreign visitors, Egypt is practically all about enjoying its huge number of antiquities. And in case you didn’t know it, there are plenty banks around – HSBC, Barclays, Citibank and others – well able to top up the cash should funds begin to run low. Or simply use your credit card in one of the many thousands of ATMs which are to be found on just about every street corner these days. Easy as pie.
If you’re more into sand, the beach and desert variety, then you’ll find ample quantities of both in the famed Red Sea resort of Sharm El Sheikh and in the desert. Depends what your idea of a great vacation is – lounging on a beach all day sipping your favourite tipple or sweating profusely on the back of a camel heading out into the emptiness of the Sahara. Your choice.
While Egypt has suffered over the last year or two in terms of tourist numbers because of the January 2011 revolution, the same can’t be said for the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and particularly the city of Dubai. Heard of it? Who hasn’t. Dubai, surrounded by the emirate of the same name, is simply an incredible experience, a place everyone should visit at least once before kicking the proverbial bucket.
Marcello Baricordi, General Manager for Visa UAE, said recently that the UAE was ranked first in the Middle East for having the most advanced travel and tourism sector. It was no surprise, he said in the Visa 2012 report, Tourism Outlook: UAE, that millions of tourists selected the country as a holiday destination year after year.
While 8.2 million overseas visitors sought out the UAE in 2011, a drop of 8.8%, it was important to note that the actual amount spent on Visa credit cards increased significantly over the previous year, indicating the quality of visitors that the UAE was attracting.
He added, “It is also vital to remember that despite the volatility in the Middle East in the midst of the Arab Spring of 2011, which saw the number of tourists in the region as a whole drop by 7% in 2011, the UAE emerged as a safe haven in the region and continued to attract international visitors.”
Why not read this extremely interesting report yourself? It can be found here.