If there's one positive to come from the recent tension between the West and the Islamic world, it's a renewed fascination with the Middle East. While Africa can claim to be the cradle of mankind, the Fertile Crescent incorporating latter day Israel and Palestine, Jordan, Syria, Turkey, Iraq and Iran remains the place where sophisticated societies first evolved.

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Top picks for Middle East

Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi

Middle East

With an almost guaranteed 300 days of sunshine a year, Abu Dhabi is the ideal winter break destination.

Where to go

Abu Dhabi
Wadi Rum

Wadi Rum

Jordan

Explore the vast, hugely romantic swathes of desert made famous by 'Lawrence of Arabia'.

What to do

Wadi Rum
Egypt

Egypt

Middle East

Egypt is rightly famous for its extraordinary ancient world heritage: the pyramids and Sphinx at Giza and the temples of Luxor and Abu Simbel are among the world’s great cultural attractions.

Where to go

Egypt
Alma Hotel & Lounge

Alma Hotel & Lounge

Israel

In the running for best boutique hotel in Tel Aviv, the Alma Hotel & Lounge sits pistachio pretty in the heart of Tel Aviv’s famed Bauhaus White City district.

Where to stay

Alma Hotel & Lounge
Oman

Oman

Middle East

A wonderful destination combining beautiful beachfront properties and dramatic mountain and desert landscapes to explore.

Where to go

Oman
The Norman

The Norman

Israel

With apologies to Normans everywhere, the funkiest new luxury hotel in Tel Aviv could have come up with a cooler name. Moniker aside, we are extremely excited about the opening this August of The Norman – great location, iconic Bauhaus exterior (created from two 1920s buildings), Israeli contemporary art adorning the walls and immaculate rooms. Oh, and a rooftop pool.

Where to stay

The Norman
Dolphin and Whale spotting

Dolphin and Whale spotting

Muscat

The waters of the Arabian Gulf are home to a staggering number of dolphins and migrating whales.

What to do

Dolphin and Whale spotting
Dubai

Dubai

Middle East

Shop the souqs and the malls, stay in a luxury hotel and enjoy water sports and a desert safari.

Where to go

Dubai
Iran

Iran

Middle East

Yes, seriously. Set aside your misconceptions and consider visiting one of the most fascinating countries on the planet.

Where to go

Iran
Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa

Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa

Dubai

The resort was designed to resemble a Bedouin encampment, and overlooks open plains and dune belts, with the Hajar Mountains in the distance.

Where to stay

Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa
Mamilla Hotel

Mamilla Hotel

Israel

Just because a city is ancient in the extreme doesn’t mean the accommodation there needs to be, and the funky Mamilla Hotel in Jerusalem is a contemporary case in point.

Where to stay

Mamilla Hotel
Le Gray

Le Gray

Lebanon

Gordon Campbell Gray's hotel in Central District has created a real buzz in Beirut and is a real vote of confidence in the city's rebirth.

Where to stay

Le Gray
Israel

Israel

Middle East

It's time to visit one of the most vibrant destinations in the Middle East.

Where to go

Israel
Tel Aviv Art Tours

Tel Aviv Art Tours

Israel

In celebration of Tel Aviv’s flourishing art scene our Expert-Led Art Tours taking travellers off the typical tourist trail on an intimate exploration of the city’s underground art scene and emerging cultural offerings.

What to do

Tel Aviv Art Tours
Jordan

Jordan

Middle East

For a small country, Jordan packs an impressive punch in terms of history, culture and scenery, and the proximity of its key sights makes a holiday to Jordan ideal for the time-pressed traveller.

Where to go

Jordan
Diving Oman

Diving Oman

Oman

Oman has some excellent and – relatively – unspoilt diving along long stretches of its coastline, and there are sure to be new dive sites discovered in the coming years.

What to do

Diving Oman
Floating on the Dead Sea

Floating on the Dead Sea

Jordan

The lowest point on Earth lies at 1,200 feet below sea level, where the Jordan River empties into the Dead Sea.

What to do

Floating on the Dead Sea
Falconry

Falconry

Dubai

You can witness displays of falconry if you are staying in one of the two excellent desert hotels, Bab al Shams or Al Maha.

What to do

Falconry
Petra

Petra

Jordan

Petra was carved from pink sandstone cliffs by the Nabataeans some two millennia ago, and left undisturbed until its rediscovery in 1812.

What to do

Petra
Lebanon

Lebanon

Middle East

Back with a vengeance, Beirut is the ultimate party town, and there's plenty more to do besides in Lebanon from skiing to cultural sites.

Where to go

Lebanon
Albergo

Albergo

Lebanon

Located in the heart of old Beirut in the district of Achrafieh, the Albergo is one of Beirut’s finest places to stay, and by far the best heritage hotel.

Where to stay

Albergo
Driving Safari

Driving Safari

Jordan

After seeing the sites of Amman, explore the King’s Highway with a knowledgeable driver or guide.

What to do

Driving Safari
Jerash

Jerash

Jordan

One of the finest preserved Greco - Roman cities in the Middle East and within easy reach of Amman, it truly is a place to let your imagination run wild and to lose yourself in history.

What to do

Jerash
Beresheet Hotel

Beresheet Hotel

Israel

The beautiful but stark Negev desert was once somewhere to observe from the window of an air conditioned car on route to Eilat and the Red Sea, but the opening of the Beresheet Hotel in 2011 has changed all that.

Where to stay

Beresheet Hotel

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