ART & CULTURE
As the spiritual heartland for three world religions, the Middle East has countless historic sites to explore. In Israel, the World Heritage Site of Acre tells of Christian crusades to the Holy Land. You could visit the Garden of Gethsemane in Jerusalem. Then walk up to the Dome on the Rock shrine – a dazzling example of traditional Islamic art. Lebanon has a wealth of ornate Byzantine churches and Roman ruins to discover. While in Saudi Arabia, the National Museum in Riyadh is filled with ancient artefacts and historic handicrafts.
From elegant plazas to twisting cobbled lanes, lively clubs to laid-back beaches, the cities of the Middle East are an experience to savour. Tel Aviv is the place to sit back and enjoy Israel’s relaxed café culture, seek out contemporary art or join in with the celebrated nightlife. Beirut is renowned for its stylish beach resorts and scenic Corniche promenade. While in Riyadh in Saudi Arabia, you’ll find a thoroughly modern metropolis with an old soul. One of the most popular events here is the King’s Camel Race, which has turned a local pastime into a popular sport.
Make room in your suitcase – you’re sure to leave the Middle East with mementos of your travels. When in Israel, delve into a treasure trove of antiques and jewellery in the markets of Tel Aviv. Beirut’s vast souks have been transformed into a maze of designer shops and sleek cafés – but there’s still a lively bazaar stocked with locally made goods. Finally, the Sky Mall in Riyadh is a must-visit for those in search of high-end brands and exclusive boutiques.