An eclectic blend of ancient and modern civilization, The Middle East is a potpourri of rich culture, fascinating structures both ancient well as modern, vibrant cities, interesting history, landscapes of outstanding beauty and warm friendly locals. A trip to the Middle East widens your views into various Middle Eastern lifestyles as well as provides a multitude of unique and stunning experiences. Although the region has gone through difficult times and social tension, the Middle East presents to you some of the most astounding places in the world. If you plan to explore Middle East, here’s a list of 5 Middle Eastern cities that should be on your travel list for 2016.
1. Abu Dhabi – United Arab Emirates
The second most visited city in United Arab Emirates after Dubai, Abu Dhabi has certainly geared up to challenge Dubai’s monopoly on the best attractions of the world. The UAE’s capital is a captivating destination showcasing impressive mosques, manicured waterfront arenas and luxury retreats, and offers its visitors with a combination of plush leisure and adventurous experiences. The city is home to the Sheikh Zayed Mosque which is an architectural marvel in itself featuring 82 domes, over a 1,000 columns. The city is grand on motorsport scene and has a plush racetrack that holds the Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix annually. The Ferrari World is another main highlight of the city, which is the world’s first Ferrari themed park offering some thrilling rides including the world’s fastest rollercoaster, the biggest Ferrari Store and a range of exquisite shopping and dining experience. The Abu Dhabi Corniche is a striking waterfront arena which includes the Corniche beach, plenty of water activities, children’s play area, cafés and restaurants.
2. Dubai – United Arab Emirates
The modern hub of Dubai is an all time favourite destination of travellers and is no surprise that it has to be on the list due to its classy lifestyle, quaint charismatic heritage and plethora of attractions to entertain all ages. Home to the some of world’s firsts, Dubai takes you through extraordinary experiences, be it on Burj Khalifa, Dubai fountain or the Aquaventure and Lost Chambers of Atlantis. A shopper’s paradise, Dubai opens up a world of fashion and retail outlets through extravagant malls as well as gives you a glimpse of past traditions in trade at its well preserved Souks. The city is brilliant when it comes to accessibility and travel procedures are far simplified through online portals. For Dubai Visa requirements, all you need to do is fill up an online form and provide a passport size photograph, original passport valid for 6 months and onward and return confirmed air tickets for verification process.
3. Muscat – Oman
The pulsating heart of Oman, Muscat is a breathtaking combination of bygone era and modern face of Oman. The city is set between brown rugged mountain terrains on one side and a beautiful stretch of coastline lapped by the Gulf of Oman and covered with lush greenery. The city is crowded with posh historic buildings, beautiful mosques and Portuguese forts. The Corniche is where you get all touristy stuff with its promenade brimming with markets, beautiful sidewalks and sculptured arts. The Batinah Coast is a charming land teeming with traditional fishing villages, beautiful beaches and rugged cliffs. This picturesque charming city has caught up the attention of leisure travellers and has a choice of stunning luxury hotels at your service.
4. Petra – Jordan
A historical wonder, Petra in Jordan is famed for its half carved structures, famous archaeological marvels and gorgeous pink tinged mountains which gave it its nickname “The Red Rose City of Jordan”. One of the most remarkable cities ever built, this UNESCO heritage site is renowned for its charm and cultural heritage and is a reminiscent of ancient civilization. Petra changes its hues as the day passes and is a stunning sight to watch as night falls. The Siq is another grand spectacle to experience as you journey through a mile-long tunnel of rock cut formation that leads into the city of Petra. The famous Monastery with its 822 carved steps and intricately engraved facades with splendid views once you reach the top is one of the main highlights of the city.
5. Doha – Qatar
Projecting out into the waters, Qatar is prominently surrounded by the gulf waters and is desert laden country. Keeping its traditions intact and propelling into the new age dimensions of world tourism, Qatar has a lot to offer to its travellers. All set to showcase on the world map as a major tourist destination and in process of coming up as a future metropolis comprising of grand hotels, stunning architecture and many exiting attractions, Qatar’s capital Doha is fast gaining recognition as the “next Dubai” with its futuristic style of architecture, sleek designs and impressive innovative projects. With a splendid waterfront stretch, the Doha Corniche is popular among tourists giving spectacular views of the city skyline. The modern masterpiece, Museum of Islamic Arts charms its visitors with minimalistic yet sleek designs along with a diverse collection of finest arts and relics from the Islam world. Step into Doha and experience serene cruising, thrilling desert adventures, delve into its culture and art s and indulge in luxury and sensational entertainment and nightlife.
Middle Eastern countries have a flair of preserving its traditional roots while keeping a vision towards the future. An exciting kaleidoscope of traditional culture with a twist of modernity along with the promise to put forth some of the best attractions the world is yet to see is what makes Middle East an enticing destination for wanderers around the world. So start packing for a whole new year of extraordinary travel experiences in the Middle East.
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