5 December, 2022

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4 exciting city breaks in the Middle East


Credit: Journaway Rundreisen – Unsplash

From mind-boggling cityscapes to historical hubs, and even white sand beaches, the MENA region is an all-round destination for an exciting city break. So, whether you’re in for a shopping spree or a trip to the museum, these four cities are the perfect stopover for a Middle Eastern weekend escape.

Muscat, Oman

Contrary to its flashy Gulf neighbours, Oman rarely makes the news for extravagant architectural projects or world-famous events. And yet, this peaceful sultanate is the very definition of a hidden gem.

At the crossroad of cultures since the dawn of time, Oman was moulded by the Arabs as much as the Ottomans or the Portuguese. Therefore, its capital city offers many layers of history, from stunning mosques to medieval fortresses. Some buildings, like the Al Alam Palace, even seem to have sprung straight from an Arabian Nights tale. 

Nature is never too far from Muscat, either. Thus, you can easily extend your trip to hike in the mountains. If you’re craving a soak, why not go for a dip in a desert oasis? But if it’s white sandy beaches you’re yearning for, the Salalah coastline has got you covered.

Dubai, UAE

Dubai is now one of the most attractive cities in the world for foreign tourists. And from glamorous hotels to luxurious dining experiences, the capital of the Dubai Emirate is the place to go to have the time of your life. Not to mention that Dubai is a dream come true for all shopaholics. So, why don’t you head out to the world’s largest shopping mall?

A trend-setter like few others, Dubai has broken many other records. Downtown, the Burj Khalifa stands as the tallest skyscraper on planet Earth. The Burj Al Arab palace is the world’s first and only 7-star hotel. And it was built on a man-made archipelago! In short, anything seems to be possible in this futuristic metropolis.

And there is much to do in Dubai beyond shopping. Thus, would you rather dine under the stars in the desert, or perhaps go indoor skiing? You could also grab a picture of the most Instagrammable places in Dubai, from the Jumeirah Mosque to the Creek Harbour.

 


Credit: Nick Fewings – Unsplash

Abu Dhabi, UAE

Abu Dhabi might be less touristy than Dubai. But the capital of the United Arab Emirates is catching up fast with its influential neighbour. What used to be a small fishing village is now the cultural heartbeat of the Gulf area. The Louvre Abu Dhabi is arguably the most astounding museum in the Middle East. Covered in white marble, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque also stands out for its modern touch on Islamic architecture.

Abu Dhabi isn’t all about culture, though. With a coastline rimmed by fine sand beaches, you can always chill out after an exhausting day of visit. The city also boasts several theme parks to catch a break from museums. Sports fans can even attend a Formula One’s day-night race during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Just like in the rest of the MENA region, though, sports betting is prohibited. You won’t find brick-and-mortar casinos to get your entertainment fix either. That is why gambling experts have scoured the internet to offer players a way out. From the UAE to Kuwait, Middle Eastern gamblers can wager safely online. The best online casinos like ArabianBetting offer secure payment options that guarantee their user’s anonymity. The most reputable platforms even provide efficient customer support in both English and Arabic. Plus, generous bonuses make it easy to enjoy a range of classic games, from poker to slots.

Cairo, Egypt

You’ve seen the iconic Pyramids on paper, haven’t you? But what if you marvelled at them up close? We recommend you book a hotel in Giza and bask in the beauty of the Pyramids as soon as you start your Egyptian adventure.

Cairo, indeed, is the perfect introduction to a trip back to ancient times. The city even boasts the world’s oldest display of Pharaonic antiquities at the Egyptian Museum.

But the Egyptian capital has much more to offer. So, head to the old Cairo and soak in the quiet atmosphere of the Coptic district. Then, climb to the top of the Citadel to get a commanding view of the Nile. The Islamic Cairo is another must-see, with its alluring mosques and medieval caravanserais.

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