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Dubai is a cosmopolitan oasis, a futuristic cityscape that towers over the... more
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Dubai
Dubai is a cosmopolitan oasis, a futuristic cityscape that towers over the Arabian Desert. This is a city of superlatives, home to the world’s largest dancing fountain; tallest building (Burj Khalifa); only 7-star hotel (the Burj al-Arab); largest artificial islands (the Palm Islands); and largest natural flower garden (the Miracle Garden). Rent a dune buggy for a desert adventure, bargain at the open-air market, or cheer on your favorite humped hoofer at the Camel Race Track.
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Diverse marine life and hundreds of Red Sea coral reef sites make Sharm El... more
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Sharm El Sheikh
Diverse marine life and hundreds of Red Sea coral reef sites make Sharm El Sheikh a magnet for divers and eco-tourists. The tourist economy of this Sinai Peninsula city has grown quite rapidly over the last few decades, resulting in an upcrop of first-class resorts and posh nightlife. The waters of Ras Mohamed National Park are abundant with schools of fish and, oddly, toilets – thanks to the bathroom fixtures being transported by a cargo ship that sank during a 1981 storm.
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A youthful, modern metropolis with a diverse population, Tel Aviv dates back... more
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Tel Aviv
A youthful, modern metropolis with a diverse population, Tel Aviv dates back only to 1909. Clubs, bars, a thriving arts community, gay life and beaches attract artists, musicians and young professionals to Tel Aviv's more secular scene. Its UNESCO-designated Bauhaus architecture has won the city the moniker "The White City." Walk, drive or catch cabs between the cultural exhibition pavilions of Haaretz Museum, historic Independence Hall Museum, bustling Carmel Market and Old Jaffa's boardwalk.
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Cairo’s an ancient city that also happens to be a modern metropolis—it’s one of... more
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Cairo
Cairo’s an ancient city that also happens to be a modern metropolis—it’s one of the biggest cities in the Middle East and has the traffic and noise issues to prove it. But as long as you’re not looking for solitude, Cairo—the City of the Thousand Minarets—is a splendid place to explore Egyptian history and culture. (Editor's note: Our list was compiled before political unrest prompted many countries to issue travel warnings for Egypt. If you're currently planning a trip to Egypt, please consider the risks and monitor your government's travel alerts.)
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This former Bedouin fishing village is now a popular tourist... more
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Dahab
This former Bedouin fishing village is now a popular tourist destination—especially for serious windsurfers, who'll find some of the best conditions in the world off Dahab's beaches. Long known as a laid-back, backpacker-friendly town, Dahab is becoming more developed, yet retains a casual vibe. Finally, Dahab is also home to the Blue Hole, the world's most dangerous dive site. Only very experienced technical divers should attempt passage through "The Arch" here; if you're a novice diver, stay close to the surface. (Editor's note: Our list was compiled before political unrest prompted many countries to issue travel warnings for Egypt. If you're currently planning a trip to Egypt, please consider the risks and monitor your government's travel alerts.)
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Religious pilgrims have been traveling to Jerusalem for centuries, yet you don’t... more
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Jerusalem
Religious pilgrims have been traveling to Jerusalem for centuries, yet you don’t have to share their zeal in order to appreciate this city’s profound cultural and historical significance. Plan on seeing the major sights, but also leave plenty of time to walk through the streets and simply immerse yourself in the daily life of such an ancient and revered place.
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Atmospheric backstreets paint a very different picture to first impressions of... more
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Abu Dhabi
Atmospheric backstreets paint a very different picture to first impressions of Abu Dhabi. The often slick and modern capital of the U.A.E. presents a fascinating mixture of tradition and progression. Tracing its rich history back to around 3000 B.C., Abu Dhabi maintains a more distinctly Arabian ambiance than glitzy Dubai. Taxis are a safe, reliable way to get around sites such as The Corniche Park, the White Fort, the Heritage Village, which offers glimpses into Bedouin life, and the Women's Craft Centre.
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Stunning coral reefs and turquoise waters perfect for windsurfing have made... more
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Hurghada
Stunning coral reefs and turquoise waters perfect for windsurfing have made Hurghada, on Egypt's Red Sea Coast, a busy resort town. Within easy reach of the stunning Giftun Islands and the Eastern Arabian Desert, Hurghada has seen enormous amounts of development in the past decade—and yes, it does seem overrun with tourists at times. But it’s a relatively easy beach escape for Europeans, and some of the world's best diving and snorkeling sites are just offshore. Walk or catch a cab to explore the old quarter, El Dahar.
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The Luxor in Las Vegas is to the actual CITY of Luxor, Egypt, as marshmallow... more
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Luxor
The Luxor in Las Vegas is to the actual CITY of Luxor, Egypt, as marshmallow fluff is to fois gras. (We’re sure you knew that. We just enjoy analogies.) Sure, the hotel/casino in Vegas might have a beam of light visible from space, but we bet you'll find a hot-air balloon ride over the Valley of Kings much more illuminating. (Editor's note: Our list was compiled before political unrest prompted many countries to issue travel warnings for Egypt. If you're currently planning a trip to Egypt, please consider the risks and monitor your government's travel alerts.)
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The shining jewel of Qatar, Doha is a multicultural city, home to most of the... more
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Doha
The shining jewel of Qatar, Doha is a multicultural city, home to most of the country's population as well as expatriate communities from a range of origins. Shopping abounds in the city's plentiful malls, while the Corniche impresses visitors with picturesque architecture and dazzling views of the harbor. Doha boasts myriad cultural facilities, including the futuristic Education City and the National Museum. Having hosted the 2006 Asian Games, the city is home to many sports complexes as well.
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