Dubai Marina, United Arab Emirates

Middle East

Step into a golden land of wonder and mystery, where East meets West, and ancient pioneering empires flourished.
Millennia ago, the Middle East was the centre of civilisation, where the first cities were built, humankind began to write, and three of the world’s major religions came to be. A region coveted for its knowledge, trade routes and treasures, brought waves of conquering empires that left a lasting impression. Remarkably preserved ruins, artefacts and relics now lie scattered throughout the sandy landscape of the Middle East, bringing awe to all those who visit. Egypt and Jordan hold one of the Old and New Seven Wonders of the World, the Pyramids of Giza and the ancient Nabatean city of Petra, while neighbouring Lebanon has spectacular Phoenician, Greek and Roman temples in cities like Tyre and Baalbek. Iran is home to the archaeological remains of the ceremonial capital of the Persian Empire, Persepolis, and just across the Gulf, centuries-old settlements remain untouched in many oases of the Arabian Peninsula.
This rich history and heritage is engrained in Middle Eastern culture and has shaped today’s way of life. Cities across the region stay true to their roots, with age-old souks and bazaars buzzing with trading spirit, and coffee and kebab shops bringing people together. But while the past is faithfully honoured, the future is not overlooked. Ground-breaking cities like Dubai lead the way in terms of technology and infrastructure, with skyscrapers, man-made islands and other massive projects shaping the landscape and the lifestyle of millions of people. And like Dubai, other Middle Eastern cities also stand as shining beacons amidst some of the most extreme, yet beautiful natural scenery. Endless rolling dunes meet pristine sandy beaches and turquoise seas. Craggy mountains hide lush wadis and persevering rivers lined with greenery make their way to palm tree filled shores.
From its fascinating natural and urban setting to its history, culture and people, the Middle East stands as a destination like no other, and one that should truly be explored.