Middle East travel influencers you need to know about

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As marketers, we are increasingly recognizing the power of a travel influencer when we see them as we scroll through our feeds.  In fact, one of the major findings from our very own influencer marketing survey was that 69% of respondents ranked influencer marketing as a strategic priority for 2019.

Let’s take a look at Instagram travel influencers that can supercharge your marketing campaign.

Why Instagram?

Boasting over 25 million business profiles and 200 million visiting at least one business profile every day, Instagram is quite a competitive market for brands. And Instagram influencer marketing can be just the right tool to brave that storm.

Have you got the right Instagram influencers down for your marketing strategy?



Who are travel influencers?

Now, there are some people who like to distinguish between social media influencers and bloggers and others who like to add the prefix ‘micro’ and ‘macro’ to indicate the size of the network, and there are some who brush off the term altogether.  

When we talk about travel influencers here, we’ll be talking about individuals with unique profiles and a distinct interest in travel.  Be it lifestyle or luxury travel, adventure travel or even culinary travel. They can have millions of followers or a couple thousand highly engaged ones.

If you’re looking for a certain aesthetic or a fresh perspective that you would love to add to your personal feed or if you’re after a great fit who would really resonate with your brand profile, this list provides a diverse selection of influencers that I hope allows you to find just the one(s) for you.

Table of contents


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Adventure Travel Influencers 

Omar Samra

Aventurerer, speaker, writer, and entrepreneur, Omar Samra barely leaves anything for the rest of us to do! He has one of those inspirational stories that sees him quit a corporate day job to pursue the dream. And, for Omar, that just happened to be traveling and exploring. On his journeys, he fell in love with climbing mountains with a goal to climb Everest. And so he did, becoming the first Egyptian and youngest Arab to ever do so.

Since then, he went on to share his story through motivational speaking and founding an Adventure Travel company, Wild Guanabana. He also broke a few other records including becoming the first Egyptian to climb the highest mountain on every continent and the first Egyptian to ski to the Geographic South Pole. Follow him for a guaranteed dose of inspiration and quite possibly the chance to witness him break another record!

Rami Rasamny

Because the mountaineer/entrepreneur combination is a spectacular one, I’ve decided to share another great profile that ticks these very boxes. Rami is a co-founder of Life Happens Outdoors, a global outdoors community that organizes adventures and expeditions for those seeking a thrill and a life changing experience.


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Ghida Aranaout

We can’t talk about Life Happens Outdoors without mentioning its other co-founder who also happens to be an inspirational adventure travel influencer, going by the handle of monkyseemonkydo. Ghida is all about the adventure travel and climbing life but she’s also a mental health advocate. Check out her blog as well for a variety of posts covering adventure, travel and wellness.

Nelly Attar

Nelly is a Lebanese-born, Saudi-based fitness and adventure fanatic. She is the founder of Saudi Fitness Challenge and Move Riyadh studio. Recently, she climbed Mount Everest and shared her inspirational journey online and on TV.

Saud Aleidi

Another combination of Saudi Arabia, entrepreneurship, and Everest Summiter over here. Saud is a mountaineer-traveler and founder of Pangaea, an adventure club.  

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Adventure Faktory

What’s better than an inspirational adventure traveler? A couple of them! Mitch and Thuymi are a Dubai-based couple who write about their passion for travel on their Adventure Faktory blog. They work with tourism boards, hospitality groups, and travel brands as content creators and marketing consultants, with a goal to make a positive change within the travel industry.

Njood Fahad 

Saudi travel and adventure junkie, Njood, comes with an extra perk! When you’re on a wild adventure, wouldn’t you want to be there with a certified Wilderness Emergency Medical Responder? I sure would. Follow Njood for an adventure-packed feed! 

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Aziz is a 26-year old Saudi who quit his job to simply live in the mountains. He describes his relationship with nature as an obsession and those who have walked The Appalachian Trail, his role models. To read more about his passion and journey, check out his blog.

Abdelkareem Alshati

Abdelkareem uses his Instagram and YouTube channels to share more about his travel and backpacking adventures where he either documents 24 hours in a city or a talweeha, a single travel experience.

Joyce Azzam

The first Lebanese woman to complete 7/7 summits (climbing the highest mountain on every continent), Joyce is also an Ambassador at the Lebanese Ministry of State for Economic Empowerment of Women & Youth. If that wasn’t impressive enough, she is also a Child Protection Advocate at Himaya, an NGO aiming to fight and prevent child abuse in Lebanon. That’s a handful of reasons to follow Joyce!





Family Travel Influencers

Karen Wazen

When you think of Karen, you think incredible fashion, luxury travel and a picture-perfect family! Yes, she’s that kind of travel influencer. And if that’s what you’re after, you should definitely check her Twitter profile too. Don’t say I didn’t warn you about the cute family overdose.

Zeina El Fakahany

Zeina is an Egyptian lifestyle influencer. Her Instagram profile combines the warmth of family, food, and travel. Follow her for posts that feature mouth-watering shots of food and a cute toddler thrown in the mix!


Family travel isn’t easy and that’s why travel blogs with a family focus can come in really handy! Mizra is an American living an interesting best-of-both-worlds life with her Emirati family. She blogs about her adventures with the family - from travel to food and hotel staycations. 

And if you’re worried about recent UAE regulations about working with influencers, you’ll be happy to know Mizra is licensed!


Polly is a British expat living in Qatar. She blogs about life with husband and toddler and their travel adventures as a family. Her main focus is to keep her blog and social channels a positive space, sharing practical and uplifting advice and stories. She also offers insights into positive parenting. Follow your sunshine by following Polly on a journey through life’s ups and downs to reach for the most authentic and loving version of yourself there is! 

Amanda Mouttaki

Amanda started her blog as a young mom looking to share both the challenges and triumphs of cross-cultural parenting. An American who moved to Morocco to be with her Moroccan husband, Amanda has a very distinct outlook on life in Morocco. Combined with a passion for food and travel, her social media and blog posts are full of character and original content! 


Business Travel Influencers

Ahmed Adly

Ahmed has been all over from Jordan and Thailand, to Finland, Greece and the UK and he has the beautiful shots to prove it.

His popularity reaches beyond Instagram and over to his Twitter profile where he takes it even further than just travel, sharing funny anecdotes, calling out societal issues and even doling out a little bit of social media marketing advice. That’s right - he’s not just your regular ole influencer (he’d probably scoff at being called that), he’s got the knowledge to back it, having worked in some of the region’s biggest social agencies.  He co-founded a content creation agency, People of the Internet, where he currently heads the social media team. 

Hadia Ghaleb

Another popular social media face whose career goes far and beyond their Instagram is Hadia Ghaleb. On a mission to build her own empire, she founded her own production house, GPH, that specializes in influencer marketing, content creation, events and digital PR.

Certainly makes sense for someone who is successful in that space to share their expertise. So much so that she was recently invited by Harvard University to speak at their Arab Conference.

So there you have it, a global fashion icon with deep roots in Egypt, globe-trotting, attending various events, and running her own business at the same time. Follow her to feel inspired to overcome challenges and follow your dreams. Or simply to admire bold fashion against the most picturesque of backdrops.


Mohamed Mekawy 

Founding your own business can be fun. But founding a business designed to entertain others has got to be some next level kind of fun! Just ask Mohamed Mekawy, founder and MD of Double Trouble Entertainment

Mohamed is an Egyptian/Lebanese entertainer, traveler and explorer. Hop on over to his channel for a healthy dose of fun and good times. 

Mariam AlYassi

A fun combination of design, beauty and travel presents itself in Mariam AlYassi’s profile. Owner of Winkbymim, a Middle East online beauty store, Mariam keeps busy between running her business, attending glamorous fashion events and - of course - traveling!


Lifestyle Travel Influencers

Sherif Fayed

Sherif is a Dubai-based American-Egyptian lifestyle influencer, actor, and model. He started out as a popular Viner but his influence now spans virtually all social media channels as well as TV (he hosts the Sadeem show).

Sherif’s recent brand collaborations see him working with Nokia phones as he captures travel  moments on the Nokia 9 and Nokia 7 Plus, as well as Spotify, amplifying their recent launch in the MENA region.  

Follow Sherif for a fun dose of travel, adventure, fitness, entertainment, and even romance!

Nadya Hasan

Nadya (thefierce_nay) is a UAE national who is passionate about fashion and luxury. Her blog, The Fierce Diaries,  is amongst one of the most influential in the UAE and features a travel section as well as others such as beauty, style, and jewellery.  She has recently collaborated with luxury brands like Aigner and Gucci. Follow her for travel tips mixed with a lot of style and luxury!

Hind Al Madani

Hind’s bio reads “I dream to travel the world” and it sure looks like her dreams are coming true. With a feed that boasts gorgeous shots from Switzerland, Italy, Turkey, Austria, and the Maldives (to name a few), Hind captures her travels in a very distinct aesthetic that screams luxury with a beautiful local Emirati flavour.



Mustafa Sheikh

When you’ve been featured on National Geographic, CNN and Forbes, you know you’ve got a travel feed to kill for. Mustafa’s feed is pure visual perfection. His blog also has a lot more where that came from as well as handy reviews of cameras, hotels, and eateries.   


Laila Mourad

1.8 million. 

That's the number of people (#Lailers) who share a huge part of Laila's life through her Youtube vlogs where she talks all things fitness, travel, culture, and lifestyle.

A Canadian, originally from Lebanon, Laila speaks to her followers in both English and Arabic and creates content that resonates with most milennials today. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter too for equally entertaining feeds! 

Anas Iskander

Anas invites his followers to join him on his trip to discover the world. Need he say more?



Lindsey Parry

Lindsey is a British expat currently based in Abu Dhabi. She loves traveling with her husband and documenting her experience on her blog, Arabian Notes. She also writes for renowned publications including Lonely Planet, BBC Travel and Time Out.

Mohammed Al Dakhieel 

They say video is the new king of content and Mohammed certainly seems to know it. His travel feed is very video-heavy and features a range of destinations from Bahrain to Bali and Egypt to the Maldives. 



Andre & Mara

Sometimes it's hard to relate to travel bloggers whose feeds boast luxury and exclusivity. That is not the case with Andre & Mara, a couple of travellers from Italy and Romania with an aptly named blog, Honest Travellers.

Andre and Mara are just like you and me. They travel with their smarphones, a GoPro and a reflex camera. They don't go too crazy with photo editing because they believe the beautiful locations around the world simply don't need a filter. And if you scroll through their feed, you'd certainly agree. 

Based out of Dubai, they jump at the chance to travel for a long weekend or a well-earned holiday. Follow them for candid stories, unbiased reviews and practical travel tips.

Abdullah Jumah

Travel. Learn. Play. Eat. Repeat. 

We could all get behind this life motto of Abdullah’s. 

Abdullah is a best-selling Saudi travel writer and TV host. I’ll let his interactive and stunning feed do the rest of the talking.



Omar Alrashood 

His handle says it all. Omar is a Saudi traveler who has been to 45 countries...and counting! He is passionate about sharing his experiences on social media, whether that’s Instagram or Snapchat.



Myla Laurel-Smith

Myla started her travel blog in 2011 where she uncovers hidden travel gems with her husband, Ricky. They strive to share helpful advice and unique content with the readers, especially their fellow Kabayan expats living in the UAE.

Ayoub Alayoubi 

Ayoub is a Saudi-based travel photographer. His feed features some captivating photos of his life in Jeddah but also stunning travel shots from different corners of the world.



Monika Momčilović

Ever wonder what it would be like to live in Morocco as an expat? Monika has all the answers for you. Through her blog, she explores the “real Morocco” and shares practical advice for expats about to embark on a new journey and start a life in Morocco. 





Fashion Travel Influencers

Kat Le Brasse

In her own words, “fashion is a lifestyle choice and travel is a necessity.” Follow Kat for a curated fashion and lifestyle portal detailing her journey as a Dubai-based Aussie who lives like every week is fashion week and the world is her runaway. Don’t forget to check out her blog too.

Sara Kirat

Sara is a Dubai-based content creator who uses her social accounts and blog to discover old gems and new attractions alike. From fashion and beauty to dining and fitness, her blog covers a lot more than just travel! Follow her to experience what traveling as a lifestyle is all about. 




Sonam Lakhani 

Sonam shares her travel experience on her carefully curated Instagram page as well as her very own travel guide blog. Recently, she’s featured guides from her trips to Capri, Ubud, and Kerala. She’s also got your whole travel experience covered complete with food recommendations and fashion picks that will help you take that perfect shot for your own Instagram! 



Lama Alakeel 

Are you looking for inspiration for what to wear when on holiday? Or maybe where to shop? Lama’s feed has all the answers you need. It’s practically a one stop shop for all things fashion and beauty with a global spin!

Mahmoud Sidani

Mahmoud, better known as Mr Moudz, is not just popular for his distinct eye for fashion but also for his travel posts! He documents his various trips to fashion weeks and trade shows in his personal style that combines streetwear and high fashion.

Expect a dose of a fresh quotes and heartwarming family photos when you follow him as well. You can also check his website if you’re interesting in a wide range of fashion consultancy services.

M. Gazal Shaikh

IAMGAZAL is a Qatar-based fashion, lifestyle, and travel blog. She uses her social channels and blog primarily to encourage, educate and inspire women across the globe through her fashion tips and trends, lifestyle, and beauty secrets.  

She has worked with plenty of well-known brands including Rolls Royce, Victoria Secret, Massimo Dutti, Versace, Hyundai, Swissline Skincare, The Pearl Qatar (UDC), and West Elm. Follow her for a guaranteed aesthetically-pleasing feed! 

The ultimate instagram marketing strategy checklist

Inspiring Travel Influencers

Michelle Karam

As she puts it, Michelle (traveljunkiediary) is a philanthropist with a camera. In  this interview with Entrepreneur Middle East, she talks about how her travel blog started as a platform for her to share inspiring stories from her travels and grew into the travel-centered enterprise it is today. For instance, take the TJD Series, her experiential adventure movement that invites people to join group trips to remote destinations, pushing boundaries and  fostering a communal sense of togetherness. Follow her if you fancy an adventure or heart-warming stories from foreign excursions.



Haifa Beseisso

Haifa (flywithhaifa) is passionate about travel and cross cultural interactions. So much so, that she quit her job to follow her dream of traveling the world. While her following is largest on Instagram, she also has an engaging YouTube channel, where she posted a viral and entertaining video combating stereotypes about the Middle East as part of YouTube’s #CreatorsForChange initiative. She recently collaborated with Etihad Airlines to promote plastic-free flights.

Follow Haifa not just for the travel posts but also the humanitarian and inspirational ones!

Carly Neave

Carly is a Dubai-based writer and content creator with a focus on travel and wellness. She is on a mission to discover hidden gems - whether they be food, unique destinations, or fitness hacks. From a cleanse detox retreat in Phuket to a  luxury wellness experience at Six Senses Kaplankaya in Turkey, Carly’s travels may take her far and wide but she always keeps wellness at the heart of her journey. Follow her Instagram account or blog for real and honest insight into her everyday life and inspiration to lead a healthy lifestyle.

Sara Omar 

Sara is a Saudi TV host on MC and co-founder of El Makkan, an initiative dedicated to planning non-traditional travel trips. Their trips encourage people to go beyond just being tourists. With a unique selection of destinations and experiences, they promise travelers a one-of-a-kind opportunity to uncover hidden gems in various areas across the globe.

Laura Alho

Laura started a personal blog documenting her expat life in Saudi Arabia. Not only does she do a great job of showcasing a different side of the Kingdom, but she also inspires people to step out of their comfort zones and explore, having been to 72 countries herself. As a Finnish national, she aims to bridge cultural gaps between the east and the west and find humour in the differences. 

Taimour Othman

Often, we forget that travel doesn’t always have to entail leaving your home country. Internal tourism can be an equally fascinating and enriching experience.

Taimour certainly proves that to Egyptians with his breathtaking feed featuring various beautiful locations in Egypt. Check out his website for a more indepth experience that will inspire you to start thinking about exploring your own country. 

(Warning to non-Egyptians: this feed might have an opposite effect and inspire you to pack your bags and book a flight to Egypt!)




Mazen Yassen 

Mazen quit his corporate job to trot around the globe and spread postivitiy. Oh, and he got insta-famous somewhere along the way. He creates his content using a GoPro and displays some fantastic skills editing his videos as well. 

Mazen also aspires to shed light on incredible musical talents through his account letsgobigmusic. If you think you’ve got talent, simply DM a video over to him for a shot at going big! 



Culinary Travel Influencers

Lady Anne

Lady Anne is a Filipina expat living in Dubai. She is a full-time healthcare worker with a strong passion for travel and food. Her food and travel blog, Lady and Her Sweet Escapes, is actually a product of her and husband’s teamwork. Can’t ask for a better travel and blogging partner, can you?

Crave Food In Style

Food and travel are a match made in heaven. And if you are someone who plans their trips around where to eat - firstly, join the club, and also, I guarantee you’ll love this feed!

Fatma Bint Mohamed

When luxury, dining and travel meet, you basically get Fatma’s Instagram feed. London, Kuwait, Italy, Switzerland - you name it, she has the enviable Instagram feed for it!


Ishita’s culinary travel is that much more enjoyable because it comes with a blog that goes deep into the yummy details.

Sally Prosser

Real food and authentic travel are what Sally is all about. Her feed gives away her expertise at food styling and her blog provides a lot more where that came from. If you’re looking for new recipes to try out or tips delivered to your mailbox regular, she’s got that too!

Lavina Israni

More world food inspiration can be found on this mouth-watering feed by Lavina Israni.

Download the full list of 400+ Middle East influencers!

3 key guidelines for working with your travel influencer  

Now that you’ve found the travel influencer (or several) who fits with your brand identity and persona, someone you can see yourself and your brand building a human connection with, let’s talk about some basic guidelines for working with them.

1. Define your own KPIs before you define them for your influencer

What are you looking for from this influencer partnership? Is it simply for brand awareness and perception? Are you looking for an influencer who can create content that you can then leverage on your own social channels? Or are you expecting them to have a direct impact on increasing your sales? If so, do you have a plan in place to track conversions from the influencer’s pages? And are your expectations in line with the average engagement rates of the influencer?

An influencer could have millions of followers without having a lot of influence over them. They could have bought likes and comments - i.e. fake engagement. They could also have a limited but highly targeted and engaged niche follower base that is ideal for your brand.

If you want to deliver on your influencer marketing campaign, you need to start by measuring your own needs and ensuring they align with your influencers and social media platforms of choice.

2. Be crystal clear about all aspects of the partnership...without infringing on your influencer’s creative license


While the connection you want to build is personal and human, don’t forget that this is ultimately a business transaction. For the partnership to achieve its maximum potential, you should ensure that you are on the same page as your travel influencer. A formal agreement or contract is best practice as it allows you to clearly outline expectations or deliverables and gives your travel influencer a clear action plan that allows them to map out their content ideas and activities as best suits them without interfering with their creative autonomy.


Your agreement should cover:

  • Duration of the partnership/campaign

  • Expected compensation, if any (consider the format of payment - barter deal, fixed amount, or percentage of direct conversions?)

  • Exclusivity (of brand affiliations, influencer content usage, etc.)

  • Quantity and type of influencer content (photos, carousels, videos, blog posts. etc.)

  • Approval rights and process (indicate whether the content needs to pass through the brand manager for certain approvals before posting)

3. Closely monitor the analytics - pre, during, and post campaign

Don’t fall into the trap of using analytics only at the start of your influencer campaign. The role of analytics doesn’t end with vetting the influencer’s social performance and history before partnering up with them.

After both you and your travel influencer put a lot of hard work into the partnership, you need to be able to assess what worked and what didn’t and report on results. It’s very important to have a powerful analytics tool that empowers you to analyze and optimize your influencer marketing performance.

So, while you’re here, why don’t you give Talkwalker analytics a go?  

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