Most Gay Friendly Muslim Countries – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , January 30th, 2019

Most Gay Friendly Muslim Countries - The Nomadic Boys

Being openly gay in the Arab world is certainly not an easy feat! If it doesn’t land you a jail sentence or even a death penalty, the huge stigma attached to it will likely compromise your job prospects, alienate your family, or worse, make you the target of some pretty nasty homophobic violent crimes.

We have travelled extensively around the Middle East as a gay couple and overall had a positive experience. For example, we climbed the world’s tallest building in Dubai, got lost in the rich culture of Jerusalem, wondered around the souks of Tunis, visited stunning mosques in Abu Dhabi and even found a few gay clubs in Beirut. Of course we were always cautious to avoid any public displays of affection and only booked a double bed in hotels we were certain are gay friendly.

In this article, we’ve set out the 5 most gay friendly Arab countries based on our first hand experience and research. To be clear, this relates to the 22 Arab countries around the Middle East and North Africa, which are also member states of the Arab League. They are: Jordan, Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, Morocco, Mauritania, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Sudan, Somalia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, the Comoro Islands, Iraq, Djibouti, and the United Arab Emirates. This does not include Israel, Turkey and Iran.

The point of this article is to show that outside of the pink comfort zone of the gay friendly countries of the world, there also exist pockets of LGBTQ friendly destinations, even in the more unlikely of places, like in the Arab world!

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

 

The Only LGBT-Friendly Venue in Jordan

Author: , April 10th, 2016

Jordan - Andrew John Virtue Dobson

Shortly after my plane took off the tarmac, I flipped open my copy of Rough Guide to Jordan. I tried to get comfy in my seat — it would be 12 hours until I could be skipping across the sand in Amman.

I read through Rough Guide’s helpful notation for gay and lesbian travelers: “Homosexual conduct in private between consulting adults is legal in Jordan, but social disapproval of an overtly gay lifestyle is strong . . . Amman has a small underground scene for gay men and lesbians, for the most part invisible to outsiders.”

Fast forward a few hours, and I’m lounging in a posh suite at the Four Seasons Hotel Amman (the city’s swankiest), flipping through Tinder, woofing on Scruff and saying hello to a legion of friendly locals eager to chat with a foreigner like me. I was in the city over the weekend and wanted to know where the local gays hang out when they want to socialize and have fun. I received a string of responses within minutes, all directing me to one little cafe in the heart of the city.

By Andrew John Virtue Dobson – Full Story at Daily Xtra

Jordan Gay Travel Resources

Photo by Andrew John Virtue Dobson

Why You Should Visit Jordan

Author: , December 22nd, 2014

Alain in Jordan

Today marks my first year anniversary when I flew to Jordan last year to claim the prize I won in January 2013. And oh dear, I had a blast in that amazing country! I celebrated my Christmas in Petraand yes, December is the best time to visit and go around the Kingdom of Jordan.

Jordan might be a tiny country in the middle east but it has many things to offer to tourists. Perhaps, its the only country in the middle east not marred with horrors of war and terrorism. Theyre a country who welcomes and shelters war refugeesthere are a lot of them there! Though unemployment is high (according to our guide), people are thriving, nice and kind.

My 11-day journey in Jordan brought me to places from Amman to Petra; from Wadi Rum to Aqaba; from the Dead Sea to Bethany-Beyond-the-Jordan.

By Alain – Full Story at The Sojourner | Jordan Gay Travel Resources

Twenty Four Hours at the Dead Sea

Author: , December 7th, 2014

Carlos Melia - Dead Sea

I continue reporting on my recent wonderful week in Israel. This time on my 24 hours visit to the Dead Sea, located less than two hours drive from Tel Aviv, with a lovely panoramic scenic drive on the last quarter of the journey, along the coast of the Dead Sea, with the Judaean Desert on the opposite side, and a glance of the Jordanian coast.

Dead Sea - Carlos MeliaWe arrived late at night, after an amazing day exploring Jerusalem, so checked IN at our host hotel, the Isrotel Hotel in the Dead Sea Resort of Ein Bokek. A fairly nice basic property, nothing striking, right along the coast. But I must be fully honest, none of the hotels we visited were much of a difference, other than the fact that some of them had direct access to the beach. Ours the Isrotel Hotel, didn’t, but in full fairness, it was just a few steps away from it.

Following morning I woke up rather early, and WOW as I opened the shades to my private balcony, this was the scenery that showed before my eyes. Deep below sea level, at the lowest point on the face of the earth (417 meters below sea level), on the shore of a unique natural phenomenon, Dead Sea is a green oasis of health, tranquility, indulgence and spa, within dramatic views of desert mountains and elevated cliffs. I quickly rushed to breakfast, at a private restaurant, since I was staying at an Studio Room on the Moab Floors, I was entitled to enjoy VIP amenities, treatments, and of course a balcony overlooking the magnificent Dead Sea and Arava Desert.

The Dead Sea, also called the Salt Sea, is actually a lake bordering Jordan to the east, and Israel to the west. One of the most unique tourist attractions in Israel, bringing in visitors from around the world thanks to the ancient landscapes of the region and many medicinal virtues attributed to the Dead Sea water and mud. Earth’s lowest elevation on land , 9.6 times as salty as the ocean, which makes swimming similar to floating. I mean literary, I felt that I could float to the coast of Jordan in an hour with no effort on my side. The salinity makes for a harsh environment in which animals cannot flourish, hence its name.

Dead Sea - Carlos MeliaThe sea bed also has deposits of black mud that is easy to spread on the body and provides the skin with nourishing minerals. As if that were not enough, the bromide in the air is also beneficial to the body’s systems, thus making the Dead Sea a provider for good health and healing for vacationers from all over the world.

Biblically, it was a place of refuge for King David. One of the world’s first health resorts by King Herod the Great, and it has been the supplier of a wide variety of products like, fertilizers, to create cosmetics and herbal sachets.

I spent the full morning, both bathing at the Dead Sea, and afterwards, using the indoor/outdoor Dead Sea water pools at the Spa of our hotel. Around noon we checked out, and moved a few blocks away to do a site inspection of the HERODS Dead Sea Resort, followed by lunch. I personally like this resort over the one we stay. But I have to say that I preferred the beach area at the Isrotel Hotel.

Dead Sea - Carlos MeliaOn our way back to Tel Aviv, by the Judaean Desert, we did a two hours stop at the biblical Palace and Fortress of Masada by King Herods the Great. One of the highlights of my week in Israel.

If you would love to experience this and much more, join me on a journey to Israel and Jordan in 2015. For more information contact me directly @ carlos@carlosmelia.com. This trip was made possible by the support and invitation of both the Tourism Office of Israel and a Tel Aviv based tour operator OUTStanding Travel.

By Carlos Melia – Full Story at the Carlos Melia Blog | Jordan Gay Travel Resources

A Gay Tourist in Jordan

Author: , June 21st, 2014

Alain in Jordan

Now, I know the best way for a gay guy to get laid in Jordan–wear brightly-colored fashion and accessories. Even if you don’t have to walk like Ru Paul or like a beauty queen, Jordanian men will know that you are a fabulous specie of the human kind. I say these based on my experience. I was approached not once but four times.

So, here’s the story of a gay tourist in Jordan – how two strangers invited me for fun. In Petra, after a long walk and hike around the wondrous UNESCO Heritage Site, two young guys in their 20’s, honked at me from their car. I just exited the gate and was walking on my way to the hotel when they saw me — in a dark pink cashmere sweater, an orange beanie, blue pants, thin, blue scarf, and a light pink loafer! If a guy wears these, there’s no mistake he’s one damn fabulous mortal!

As I crossed a narrow street, they halted their car right in front of me. They smiled and started a conversation with something I didn’t expect to hear in a face to face encounter for the first time.

By Alain – Full Story at The Sojourner | Jordan Gay Travel Resources

The Grand Canyon of Jordan – Wadi Mujib

Author: , March 7th, 2014

Wadi Mujib

Should you be traveling in Jordan by rental car or on a road trip with a local chauffeur, insist that you take the King’s Highway where you pass a lot of interesting, historical places back in Biblical Times. This is the same route that takes you all the way to Petra, Jordan’s national pride and to Wadi Rum where the desert is a visual feast of colours.

Wadi MijibThe views along the King’s Highway are stunning, though there are times when you see nothing but the vast expanse of a lonely desert cut through by an equally lonely highway that stretches like a straight arrow at some point. The sunset is painfully beautiful and you hear nothing but silence from afar.

But the most exciting part of the road trip would be passing Highway 35, snaking through the beautiful valley of death. Here on this highway, you’ll find Wadi Mujib – The Grand Canyon of Jordan.

Authored By Alain – See the Full Story at The Sojourner

Click here for gay travel resources in Jordan.

Visiting Wadi Rum – The Red Planet

Author: , February 12th, 2014

Wadi Rum - Jordan - Alain the SojournerI finally understood what the “sands of time” means. Wadi Rum, in Jordan, taught me that. Its vastness, its beauty, its magnificence stupefied me. It’s not your ordinary desert of plain golden sand.

It’s a desert that defies stereotypes of an arid, solitary piece of nature–hues of red, pink, gold, black and brown blend together harmoniously, creating a rugged but charming vistas that bewitch visitors, strangers, warriors, wanderers, lovers and royalties.

Here, in Wadi Rum, “the crimson sunset on its stupendous cliffs and slanted ladders of hazy fire down its walled avenue,” you retrace the footprints of the history of the Great Arab Revolt led by T.E. Lawrence and the warriors of King Faisal.

Authored By Alain – See the Full Story at The Sojourner

Click here for gay travel resources in Jordan.

The Faces of Jordan

Author: , February 11th, 2014

Abdullah in Alain's rainbow wigWhile I was in Jordan I made sure to ask the names of people I talked to or met in a fleeting moment — and asked if I could photograph them.

Nobody said no. I reckon, all I have is my irresistible charm!

As Lady Gaga said, “I was born this way,” LOL…

Authored By Alain – See the Full Story at The Sojourner

Click here for gay travel resources in Jordan.

Visiting the River Jordan

Author: , February 10th, 2014

River Jordan - AlainWith compelling historical, archaeological and biblical evidences presented, a small area in River Jordan has caused religious leaders of the Christian world to declare it as the actual Baptism Site, where Jesus Christ was baptized by John the Baptist, who was then reluctant to do such honor to the Son of God.

Do I sound like a clergy now?

Forty-five minutes drive from Amman, Bethany Beyond the Jordan, as it was called in the Bible, doesn’t boast of something that’s common to most tourists attractions: amazing structure and breathtaking landscapes.

The patch of land surrounding the Baptism Site is plain boring and it doesn’t have a developed infrastructure. It doesn’t have the glamour of Louvre Museum in Paris nor the awesome interior of Sistine Chapel in Rome. Not even one percent of the grandeur of St. Peter’s Basilica nor the might of the Amazon River. It looks just like an ordinary farmland.

Authored By Alain – See the Full Story at The Sojourner

Click here for gay travel resources in Jordan.

Jordanian Cuisine – Simple But Delicious

Author: , February 9th, 2014

Naan Bread - JordanI’m not a foodie nor a chef but I do eat what looks good in picture. If there’s no picture of the dish, I’d ask for the wait staff to tell me about the food that caught my fancy from the menu.

The simplicity of Jordanian cuisine may not be well-known around the world but one should try when he has a chance. For 11 days in Jordan, I’ve sampled some foods I’ve never heard of or eaten before. Nothing disgusting I’ve tried but there’s one thing that I saw at the market that made me cringed. (You have to scroll down to the end of this blog entry to see it.)

Here are some interesting things I discovered about Jordanian cuisine and meal habits.

Authored By Alain – See the Full Story at The Sojourner

Click here for gay travel resources in Jordan.