Friday

The Middle East

When you hear “travel in the Middle East” you may immediately think of all the war and political conflict that goes on in the area, but in reality the Middle East is a place of wonder and beauty offering destinations that should be on your bucket list. There is a reason that these regions have been fought over for thousands of years. Aside from the resources, there is something else that keeps people craving more of the Middle East.

Dubai
Part of the United Arab Emirates, Dubai is a city of wonder and technological marvels. Dubai is currently home to the largest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa, as well as 7-star hotel the Burj Al Arab. You’ll also find indoor ski slopes, luxurious resorts, amazing architecture, underwater restaurants and more - the skies are the limit for Dubai. There is the Bab Al Shams Desert Resort and Spa that is a hotel in the middle of the desert, an oasis if you will, but an oasis of luxury. There are plenty of things that are in the production line such as the Palm Islands and the World Island that will see major commercial and residential buildings built. There is Dubailand, an entertainment complex which is set to better anything ever seen before. In an ideal world all countries would be thinking outside the box like this, you will have to go see it for yourself to truly grasp what it’s all about.

Israel
The Holy Land that has been fought over for thousands of years - what’s all the fuss you might say? It may look like nothing but desert, but Israel is so much more. Despite its arid appearance it is one of the most fertile countries on earth. Besides all that, visiting The Old City, Jerusalem, is enough to draw in large amounts of tourists all year round, as people from all religions and cultures are drawn to this ancient site. There are many ruins, whether pre-Roman, Roman or Crusader, that have been left here by the many great empires that have fought for control of this jewel. Israel is not just all archaeological and architectural marvels - it also borders the Mediterranean. The city of Tel Aviv is on the beautiful sea and compares easily to the beaches of Greece. It’s hard to imagine that Israel has such a wide array of tourist attractions, so why not check it out.


Egypt
On the border of the Middle East but still considered part of it, Egypt may just be as ancient as Israel. With the Nile River being a major attraction, this country on the top of Africa has a lot to offer. With pyramids, the sphinx and countless temples and burial sites, Egypt is a place of wonder that would keep a history buff like me busy for weeks. Take a boat trip down the Nile as the ancient pharaohs of old did, and see how this mighty river supplied a life source to an ancient civilisation for thousands of years.

Jordan
A small country that might not be on the radar of every tourist, but those who like seeing great buildings of the past would have heard of Jordan or, more specifically, the ancient city of Petra. This ancient city was built into a rock face and carved out in the most astounding way. Many of the best spots can only be seen by taking a long hike or an uncomfortable donkey ride, but if you like to hike then it’s worth it to see places such as the monastery. In this ancient place you will be able to hear the silence (if you know what I mean) and feel as though you’ve been transported back in time to when things were far simpler.

Cale Pissarra is online guru that works in the up and coming market of South Africa. He is also a keen traveler with a keen interest in photography. See what he had to say in his latest posts about kruger national park safaris and safaris in South Africa.

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