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By : Fernanda lustosa | Sep 24, 2020
When thinking about religion most people will associate the Middle East with Islam, which is true. Most of Arab countries share Islam as the religion of majority of people. However Christianity still plays an important role and there is a lot of Christian heritage across the Middle East. So, if you would like to try something different for your next Christmas vacations, why not considering this part of the world where culture and history are so old and have a lot to tell? Check out some of the best places to go on Christmas in the Middle East.
Cairo is a vibrant city and we can say it never sleeps. Coptic Christians celebrate their Christmas in January, but you can already feel the vibes and see the decoration in December, when the festivities begin. Locals actually love the season and there is a lot of shopping and markets around the city. Enjoy the Pyramids of Giza, shop in Khan El Khalili, feel the Christmas spirit in Coptic Cairo, and more. Even though not as cold as European countries or in North America, it is better to bring some warm clothes with you as temperatures fall in this time of the year in Egypt.
Dubai is a great place to visit throughout the year, with lots of activities. During Christmas season is your opportunity to spend it on the beach, enjoy many festive markets and even do shopping on Christmas day, as everything is open. But if you miss the snowy vibes, don’t worry. Dubai is home of the largest covered indoors ski area, the Dubai Ski, which is particularly nice during this time of the year. Palm Jumeirah on the other hand invites visitors to enjoy their own Winter Wonderland and a German-style Christmas market.
Bethlehem is a very special place to spend Christmas. Even though the city is beautiful at any time of the year, it is special during this specific time. The celebrations start in December and last until Coptic Christmas in January. Decoration is seen around the city, with lights in the streets and Christmas trees. Locals and visitors enjoy the Christmas Markets and Christmas Parade, and several processions take place, attracting pilgrims from all over the world. The celebrations are as special to Christians as it is for Muslims, and there is a sense of community and collaboration that is truly meaningful.
Lebanon has the largest Christian community in the Middle East, around 35% of the population. Many parties are thrown at the hotels and at Lebanese homes a Nativity Crib substitutes the Christmas tree, as locals find it in general more meaningful. Yet, visitors can still find giant trees in the main squares. There are some famous markets taking place as well, such as the Christmas Village and Badaro’s Magical Christmas.
Christians in Jordan represent around 10% of population and even for those who do not share the same religion the date still is a celebration, reminding that Jordan Christians are amongst the oldest in the world. Amman, the capital, offers a couple of celebrations, parties and is decorated accordingly. Some visitors take the opportunity to combine a trip to Bethlehem.