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Arab Hostels 101

posted on: Aug 14, 2019

By: Katie Teague/Arab America Contributing Writer

Traveling to the Middle East and North Africa but don’t want to stay in fancy hotels your entire trip?  We’ve got you covered.  Hostels are an excellent option when staying in the Arab world, but you’ll need to plan ahead to ensure a safe and fun vacation.  If you follow these tips and tricks, you’ll be well on your way to pleasant and stress-free living arrangements during your stay.

Staying in a hostel is an inexpensive alternative to your typical hotel.  What’s great about hostels around the Middle East is that many feel like authentic hotels with the Arabian “riad” setting.  At a basic level, hostels will include the following:

  • bed in a dormitory or a basic room
  • (shared) bathroom facilities
  • WiFi

With that in mind, here is a list of the best hostels and small hotels around the Middle East that you should look into, from

1. Dar Hafsa Fes, Morocco

Voted number one hostel in Africa by our users, the family-run Dar Hafsa in Fes, Morocco occupies a sumptuous 19th-century home. With an easy-to-find, central location five minutes from Bab Boujloud, it offers four luxurious rooms (two twins, one double, one double + single bed) a delicious daily Moroccan breakfast and a roof terrace with views of Fes Medina and the Riff Mountains.

Customer praise for Dar Hafsa: “Beautiful decor, helpful and enthusiastic staff, fantastic location, superb authentic breakfast, all the facilities we needed were included.” Rachel Schofield, 03 Feb 2012

Private rooms from €17.92 | Customer rating: 99.2% | Book Now

2. Riad Khabia Marrakech, Morocco

Riad Khabia’s owners Julian and Dani get high praise from our users for their welcoming attitude, beyond-the-call-of-duty friendliness and amazing Morocco city tips. There are four rooms and two suites to choose from, a roof terrace, a courtyard pool and ornate décor throughout. There is Wi-Fi, and rooms have TVs/DVD players.

Customer praise for Riad Khabia: “By far the nicest hotel owners I’ve ever encountered, this was the finest place I’ve ever stayed in. Faultless rooms, service, and the amount of advice and information from Julian were brilliant – I would have happily stayed there permanently.” Jonathan Perry, 23 Dec 2011

Private rooms from €25 | Customer rating: 97.8% | Book Now

3. Riad Verus Fes, Morocco

Also one of our 50 best design hostels, Riad Verus in Fes is a lively hostel perfect for meeting other backpackers. There is a coffee shop, restaurant and roof terrace on-site, and ensuite private rooms have air conditioning, iPod docks, flat-screen TVs, fridges and private balconies.

Customer praise for Riad Verus: “Beautiful interior. The nicest hostel I have seen so far. You could tell the owner to put his own excellent touch into everything.” Veronica Shaver, 14 Feb 2012

Shared rooms from €14.34 | Customer rating: 95.3% | Book Now

4. Nomads Hotel Amman, Jordan

“Nomads Hotel is located in Amman, a stone away from the City Centre that offers everything that independent travellers and groups look for; Friendly atmosphere, modern facilities, Arabic breakfast, great location and a very welcoming staff. In the main floor, we have a warm hang out area with games, Foosball table, books and a smart T.V if you feel like watching a movie with other guests. The Hotel offers 21 rooms, private or mixed dorms (Male & Females) or female only dorms. All of our rooms include air conditions and a strong free WiFi”.

5. Dar Ayed Tamezret, Tunisia

“Dar Ayed Tamezret has an outdoor swimming pool, garden, a bar and shared lounge in Tamezret. Among the facilities of this property are a restaurant, a 24-hour front desk and a shared kitchen, along with free WiFi. The property has room service, a concierge service and currency exchange for guests.

The rooms include a private bathroom, while selected rooms also feature a kitchenette with a fridge.

Guests at the guesthouse can enjoy a buffet breakfast.

Dar Ayed Tamezret has a grill.

Couples in particular like the location – they rated it 9.2 for a two-person trip.”

Best of the rest…

Best Atmosphere
Dar Houdou Fes, Morocco | Book Now
Hostel Riad Mama Marrakech Marrakech, Morocco | Book Now
Riad Marrakech Rouge Marrakech, Morocco | Book Now

Best Staff
Boomerang Hotel Luxor, Egypt | Book Now
Hostel Brothers Cairo, Egypt | Book Now
Riad Attouyour Marrakech, Morocco | Book Now

Best Location
Alexander Hostel Cairo, Egypt | Book Now
Djemaa El Fna Hotel Cecil Marrakech, Morocco | Book Now

Best Value Cheap Hotels
Arabian Nights hotel Cairo, Egypt | Book Now
Cleopatra Hotel Luxor Luxor, Egypt | Book Now
Hotel Sindibad Agadir, Morocco | Book Now

Best Cleanliness
Equity Point Marrakech Marrakech, Morocco | Book Now
Riad Baraka Chefchaouen, Morocco | Book Now

Best for Solo Travellers
Hola Cairo Cairo, Egypt | Book Now

Best for Couples
Riad Lakhdar Marrakech, Morocco | Book Now

Most Popular
Hotel Central Casablanca, Morocco | Book Now
Riad Madina Mayurqa Marrakech, Morocco | Book Now
Riad Medina Azahara Marrakech, Morocco | Book Now

Best Newcomers
Mesho Inn Hostel Cairo, Egypt | Book Now