Destinations Middle East

Middle East

For those who love culture and food, this is the ultimate area for you to travel. By visiting these countries you have the chance to step back in time and immerse yourself in history that we can either view through stories that are whimsical, beautiful and unique, or a harsher reality of civilisations who may never be able to come together peacefully. The past of this region is distinct, yet the future has also come to life.

The countries of the Arabian Peninsula offer an array of experiences.

Oman will offer wildlife amazing sand dunes at Wahiba Sands, the green water pools of Wadi Shab, visit Misfat Al Abriyeen and stay in the local mud village, explore mountain ranges or stay in upmarket cities. As a country, it is truly a contrasting destination. Dubai and Abu Dhabi have man made sights that will amaze.

Abu Dhabi with its Ferrari World, Warner Bros Movie World, Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque ( visit as the sun sets), the Louvre and beaches is a fantastic option for those who do not want the more bustling area of Dubai. And only being an hours drive down the highway, this keeps both cities accessible.

Dubai is a standout in the Peninsula however. The opulence oozes from the Royal stables, from the gold souq and from 6 star hotels ( think of Burb Al Arabs “Diamonds Are Forever” cocktail at around AUD $1700.00).

This city is a man made mirage in the middle of the desert. The tallest buildings and a futuristic skyscape. Suitable as a stopover for a few days, a family holiday destination or to start or finish a cruise. There are beaches, waterparks, indoor snow skiing, huge shopping malls, the desert dune safari which most people will do once. But with all of this flash and pizazz, you can still experience the Arab culture, wander the low rise areas where you can order authentic felafels or Palestinian kunafa ( so sweet, so cheesy, so good) from the market traders in their red and white keffiyehs, or Meena Bazaar’s ‘Little India’ and the old Persian quarter of Bastakiya.

Turkey, Israel, Jordan and Egypt are some of the highlighted countries that would take up too many pages to describe. All are magnificent countries that can present small challenges, but the reward is meeting people who are passionate about their ancestry, embrace life and know how to celebrate.

From Hot Air Ballooning in Cappadocia and visiting Butterfly Valley in Turkey, the awesome site of Petra (yes Indian Jones did do this justice), The Grand Egyptian Museum in Cairo (you need more than a day here) or dive The Lost City of Heracleion, to the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem or the funky café and boutique shopping on Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv ; all such an incomparable experience.

You will come home with full bellies, from mounds of hummus, flatbreads, olives, dates, grilled meats and vegetables. Stews, fresh fish, rice and salads, traditional Middle eastern food is healthy and filling.

Just watch out for the sweets, syrupy baklava or fresh rosewater Turkish delight are hard to resist.

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