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One of my hobbies is finding the cheapest possible way to get around the region.
Air Arabia : to Syria Lebanon etc..
for more info www.airarabia.com
www.chamwings.com flys to
Al-Najaf Al-Ashraf (Iraq)
Sharm El-Sheikh (Egypt)
Jeddah (Saudi Arabia)
P.S is better to book upfront to get a law price.
Written Nov 4, 2011
Qatar Airways promotes itself as the world’s ‘Only 5 Star Airline’. They must be the only ones to believe that rubbish. My first flight with them was on a plane that looked like it had been decorated to look like a bad massage parlour/brothel. The seats were poorly covered; amenities poor and the staff looked bored or were extremely indifferent. I would not have given it anything but a 2.5 star rating. Free drinks had to be coerced out of the staff who acted like they were the ones paying for them. The TV screen had a couple of channels that could not be stopped or paused like on GOOD AIRLINES. And their prices can be shocking.
Their organisation on the ground during a transfer to Yemen was scary. The flight to Yemen was, in my experienced opinion, unsafe. The staff could not control a large group of women and seating was thrown into chaos. The crew did not have a good understanding of English and spoke no Arabic. Arguments broke out among passengers because everyone was in the wrong seat and many would not sit down. We were delayed ON THE PLANE by 1 hour because of this. They disregarded many sections of the safety briefing due to time and seeming lack of training. Shocking. Movies? None. Drinks? 1 and that was trouble to get. I have some peanuts thrown at me and the whole flight was like a zoo. Passengers used mobiles actively the whole flight and no staff member did anything about it.
5 Star Airline? No! 5 Ring Circus and total rip-off? Yes.
Qatar Airways. Do not fly them!
Fly Emirates. Wish I had.
Updated Apr 11, 2011
There are currently no ferry boats running between Cyprus and Lebanon. They stopped a few years ago. I actually took the ferry between them, but they have been stopped for a couple of years now. You can go to Syria though.
The link below shows all ferry services between Cyprus and other countries of the region. If they every reinstate the service, it would be listed here.
You can, however, fly between the 2 countries.
*Please note: This tip was written as an answer to a Travel Forum question.
Updated Dec 27, 2009
Border crossings between Israel and Egypt are in Nizzana, Rafiah and Taba, close to Eilat. They are usually open exept on Jom Kippur and the first day of Id ei Adha.
Nizzana, the biggest crossing point, 60 km south of Beersheba, is usually open from 8.00 to 16.00. Rafiah, 50km southwest of Ashkelon, is open between 8.30 and 17.00. Taba, south of Elat, is open from 7.00 to 21.00 Uhr.
IMPORTANT: Check beforehand at what time the border crossings will be opened (tourist info in Jerusalem / Israeli embassy in Cairo) - as the Israelis sometimes close them w/o prior notice.
For Egypt you need a visa, but you can get it at the border. If you leave Israel from Taba and only want to visit south Sinai you get a 7day-visa right away for roughly 5$ tax. And you can only return to Taba! For returing to Israel you need to fill out the return form "AL-17".
For entering Israel you need a visa - please check for the formalities with your countries Israeli embassy website or the Israeli Foreign office (http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/About%20the%20Ministry/Consular%20affairs/SERVICES%20FOR%20FOREIGN%20NATIONALS%20ONLY#visitor).
From Jerusalem there are busses from the main terminal to all directions - so as well to Eilat / Taba for example. The main israeli Bus Co-Op "Egged" goes regularly from Tel Aviv to Cairo, from Eilat to Sharm el Sheikh and to the international Airport Ras el Naqb.
You can also go by private / rental car. Please also check for detailed info at the websites of the Foreign offices and your local AAA.
To south Sinai you can also go by boat from Sharm el Sheikh. You have to get a 48-hour-visa beforehand at the egyptian consulat in Eilat.
Lots of people do daytrips to the Sinai, so transport from there to Cairo or vice versa will probably be as easy.
Written Jul 29, 2008
If you have to travel by car from Alexandria to Cairo ALWAYS use the Desert road known as attaree essahrawi you'll pay 2 LE as at a toll. It is 200 km and you probably make it in 2 hrs to your destination. It is 3 or even 4 lane highway which is very empty.
NEVER use the Agriculture road attaree' aserae'e other wise you'll find your self stuck behind a donkey or some heavy vehicle or worst having an accident with a bicycle. Don't be fooled into thinking it might be more scenic, It is NOT.
Updated Jul 21, 2008
This is probably the cheapist way to fly to and from the UAE. It is to all countries in the Middle East and the Indian Subcont. Here is a list for its destinations Ahmedabad (India), Aleppo (Syria), Alexandria (Egypt), Almaty (Kazakhstan) ,Amman (Jordan) ,Assiut (Egypt) , Astana (Kazakhstan) ,Bahrain ,Beirut (Lebanon) ,Chennai (India) ,Chittagong (Bangladesh) ,Colombo (Sri Lanka) ,Damascus (Syria) ,Dammam (Saudi Arabia) ,Doha (Qatar) ,Istanbul (Turkey) ,Jaipur (India) ,Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) ,Kabul (Afghanistan) Suspended temporarily Karachi (Pakistan) ,Kathmandu (Nepal) ,Khartoum (Sudan) ,Kochi (India) ,Kuwait ,Latakia (Syria), Luxor (Egypt) ,Mumbai (India) ,Nagpur (India) ,Peshawar (Pakistan) ,Muscat (Oman) , Riyadh (Saudi Arabia) ,Sana’a (Yemen) ,Sharjah (U.A.E) ,Tehran (Iran) ,Yerevan (Armenia),
Seats are quite big for economy class and leg rooms are generous. Seatting condition on Air Arabia is actually better than any other Airline I used before. I am about 190 cm (6'3) and I feel very comfortable on Air Arabia
All the plains are new Airbus and Food is sold on board. You can buy a meal for 3-4 dollars.
Written Jul 14, 2007
One of my hobbies after living and working in the Gulf for the past 3 years is to find cheap flights. My job allows me to take 2.5 to 3 months off a year so Ive become a bloodhound so to speak with regards to finding the cheapest possible way to get around the region. Air Arabia is by far the best option and you can fly return from say Oman to Lebanon or Syria return for $300 Canadian dollars tax included. Iran is about the same from Dubai as well as coming from the other direction ie Beirut, Damascus or Jordan. Air Arabia has even extended its network to Central Asia, the Caucasus, India (dirt cheap), Sri Lanka and Egypt. The cheapest possible way to get to Yemen from the Middle East is with Air Arabia as well. Other airlines such as Etihad Airways offer fantastic deals to the UK and Europe and Gulf Air and Emirates have occasional deals. Good luck and happy hunting :)
Written Feb 18, 2007
On the whole, taxi drivers in the Gulf despite what the internet or guide books may say are as dodgy as anywhere else in the world. The UAE and a few other states use meters but Oman and Yemen and Syria etc come down to bargaining skills. There are a few things to know before hopping in a taxi in the Middle East. 1. Not all taxi drivers speak English and in places like Oman and Yemen, you are on your own. A basic understanding of Arabic will go a long way but if you have trouble ask a local to help you (I usually ask folks in the lineup what I should pay from the airport to my destination so I have a starting point before approaching the sharks outside). 2. Negotiate a fare! Dont listen to the 'no problem' or headshake because I guarantee if you dont negotiate you will pay 3 to 4 times higher than normal. 3. Dont RELY on street names in the ME, most places are known by landmarks such as 'bring me to the main bazaar etc' and the whole exchange is less troublesome for you and for the driver. 4. Always check or write down the license plate of the taxi in case something goes wrong such as bags be stolen or (woman being touched) etc. Overall, they are not that bad ;)
Written Feb 18, 2007
Unless you are blessed with wealth, you will probably enjoy most of your travels across the world in Economy – also know as “Cattle Class”. The best airline in the world for those reasonable airfares is EMIRATES.
Why Emirates is better:
• Best Flight Crews in the air
These people pride themselves on being friendly. They are happy to be there, happy to see you and it shows. No request is a problem.
• Comfortable seats
The interiors are always new, you always get a pillow and a blanket, and seats are plush.
• Free Unlimited alcohol
Anything you want and the crew don’t hassle you if you want to drink a lot of cold beers, wine, whiskey, whatever you choose.
• In-flight entertainment
You can watch about 10-15 brand new movies and you can pause movies so you can go on your travels inside the plane. Also have the forward and underside cameras to watch takeoffs and landings just like you were in the cockpit
• Hot face towel when you get onboard.
Really nice if this is not your first flight of the day
• Good food
No airline has great food, but everything is good and the food is recognisable.
• Company ethos
The whole airline is based on the Arabic concept of hospitality. You are treated like a Prince or Princess regardless of how much you paid.
Emirates flights are sometimes $30-100 more than other airlines roundtrip prices, but the service you get is priceless and the rest you get makes your first day of holiday that much better.
EMIRATES. The best. The end.
Written Jan 23, 2007
If you want to travel between Israel/Palestine and Jordan and you don't want to fly between the two international airports Ben Gurion in Tel Aviv and the one in Amman, you can go by bus and taxi. Then you have the choice between three different border crossings:
- The one in the north, which is called Sheikh Hussein (in Jordan) / Jordan River crossing (in Israel),
- the one in the middle, which is the famous King Hussein / Allenby Bridge crossing or
- the one in the south which is called Arabah / Arava border crossing.
The Allenby crossing seems to be the most convenient on the first look because it is more or less on the direct line Tel Aviv - Jerusalem - Amman. But watch out: It is therefore the most crowded crossing and if you are not going there pretty early you will take the risk of not beeing able to cross before they close the crossing (yes, they have opening hours). And for entering Jordan from Israel you need a Visa! It's only available from the Jordan embassy in Tel Aviv - or directly at the Araba border crossing :-)
You can make it an easy and very nice trip like I did by taking the earliest Egged Bus from Tel Aviv or Jerusalem to Eilat with a great stopover at one of the Dead Sea Spas. Then just relax a little on the beach in Eilat and take the taxi to the border crossing (it's not really in walking distance). The border crossing is pretty empty and modern and - not what you expect - the personnel is friendly. You pay some bucks for the entry visa into Jordan (in Jordan Dinar!) and you have crossed. On the Jordan side just take a taxi to Aquaba, Petra or wherever you want to go. Have fun - the Jordanians are really great people! (The border police at the taxi stand offered us tea, cigs and cookies!)
Written Jul 20, 2005
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