There are only a few cities that appeal to “mindful travelers” in the Middle East and North Africa region, according to a recent index. Tunis, Istanbul and Tel Aviv are the top three.
Travel website Kayak.com released its “2023 City Index for Mindful Travelers” last week. It ranks 167 cities worldwide based on 28 diverse factors linked to sustainability, including the destination's popularity, accommodation and transportation availabilities, air quality and cost.
In the Middle East and North Africa region, only a handful of cities have managed to qualify for the list and Tunis stands as the top for mindful travelers, the index shows.
“Tunis, Tunisia, landed a very attractive first place in our rankings for this region, and for many good reasons,” the website reads, citing various factors including relatively cheap flights depending on the season and a wealth of local markets.
Tel Aviv follows Tunis "primarily because it's making strides on the transport front,” it reads, adding that in addition to plenty of charging stations for electric vehicles, the city is also “bike friendly.”
Dubai, the third top city in the region, “offers a good number of cultural attractions and local markets to visit,” according to the index.
Abu Dhabi and Cairo are the other MENA cities that made their way into the rankings.
Turkey, which is listed under the Europe category, has four of its cities in the index, albeit with poor rankings in comparison to their many European peers. Istanbul seems to be its most “travel-friendly city” ranking 63rd in the region, just below the Romanian capital Bucharest and above the Bulgarian capital Sofia.
Turkey’s Aegean coastal city of Izmir and Mediterranean resort of Antalya follow Sofia. The country's much less touristic capital Ankara also placed in the rankings. However, it stands out as the last European city for mindful travelers, with its regional ranking standing at 70.
The cities’ rankings from highest to lowest with their global placements are as follows:
Tel Aviv: 113rd
Abu Dhabi: 131st
Worldwide, the Netherlands have the first two spots with Rotterdam first and Amsterdam following. The Austrian city of Graz is number three.