This extraordinary region lying both geographically and politically between the Far East and the West, is fascinating for its ethnic diversity, colourful bazaars and its incredible blend of modern and ancient worlds.
From the famed cities of history such as Ephesus and Petra, to the great pyramids of Egypt and the incredible mosques of Turkey, much speaks of the civilizations past. While in modern terms the capitals of Baghdad, Cairo and Istanbul frequently take the world stage, there’s the engineering feat of the Suez Canal and the bustling business centre of Dubai.
The Middle East is also the birthplace of major religions such as Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Bahai, however almost every country has a Muslim majority except Israel and speaks Arabic except for Iran (Persian), Turkey (Turkish) and Israel (Hebrew).
Cairo the capital of Egypt with the pyramids and other ancient ruins to visit. The national capital is a vast city of 19 million. Major sights include the Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx, the Egyptian Museum with a collection of ancient artefacts, the grand castle known as the Citadel and the Cairo Tower for 360 degree city views. You can also sail on a felucca down the Nile, smoke a shisha water pipe, people watch in the souq and have a coffee or two in a traditional café. You may love or hate the crowds, heat and noise, but Cairo is definitely unforgettable. Getting around is easy on crowded public buses, cabs or the metro.
The historic capital of Jordan with many historic attractions. The capital of Jordan is a rather modern city. The western part boats cafes, bars, art galleries, high rise and wealthy residences while the east is more traditional and hosts poor Palestinian and Iraqi refugee camps. While there are not the incredible mosques, bazaars and souq of other countries Amman is striking for its modernity, cultural diversity, ease of getting around and its warm welcome of foreigners. Freedom of worship is encouraged and there are no dress enforcements.
Dubai the fast expanding Middle East tourism destination in the UAE.
Read more about the Middle East
- Saudi Arabia