Recently, the Middle East has become a more popular tourist destination and guests have been sailing from all around the world to see why everyone has fallen in love. Being the perfect change-up from your sunny Canary Islands or Mediterranean holiday, there are a variety of reasons to invest in a longer cruise. So, if you’re not enticed already, here are a few gems in the Middle East.
Starting with the most popular, Dubai has cemented itself as the most famous city to visit in the UAE. There are many draws; the city boasts a wealth of luxury artificial islands, shopping centres and skyscrapers, including the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa.
Stunning architecture surrounds the city and its sensational coastlines, with some hotels like the Burj Al Arab even occupying their own island. Finally, everything feels elegant, from the rows of eccentric villa resorts along the iconic Palm Islands to the lavish golden-draped monuments. You will quickly find out that Dubai does live the life of luxury.
As the bridge between the East and West, Istanbul isn’t as new of a tourist destination as Dubai, instead, the city has grown in notoriety for its ancient wonders. Hagia Sophia is by far one of the most beautiful monuments in the world and has stood as the centrepiece since it was built in 537 AD.
Another historical highlight that you should take a look at is Topkapi Palace Museum, a medieval castle that stands on top of the hills that surround the city. Inside guests can get a first-hand insight into the Ottoman Empire through various interconnecting courtyards, ornate fountains and opulent rooms of past Sultans’ wealthiest and most powerful soldiers.
Situated just off the eastern coast of Saudi Arabia, the kingdom of Bahrain is the smallest country on this list. But, this shouldn’t diminish its appeal at all. With sculptures dating back to the Babylonian era, this country still has its fair share of unique wonders. One of its main treasures is the Bahrain Fort; harking back to the early Bronze Age, the hidden secrets of this archaeological centre are being discovered.
For any Formula One fans this is also an ideal opportunity to combine your cruise with a trip to the Bahrain Grand Prix, offering an experience of the city along with some sporting action (at an additional fee). Lastly, as Bahrain is an island, no matter where you are during your adventure, you will be surrounded by jaw-dropping shorelines.
Drawing influences from its neighbours in the UEA, Muscat is a luxurious city that boasts gorgeous villas to rival that of Dubai. Whether you’re inclined to learn more about Oman’s wealthy heritage or take to finding the most opulent palace, unlike other places in the Middle East, Muscat is a quieter city that focuses more on its culture instead of tall skyscrapers and flashy attractions.
Famous for its market scene, selling authentic wears and souvenirs, you will have to be careful not to get lost in one of these colossal bazaars. In order to truly appreciate Muscat, you have to get involved and embrace the culture to get a full understanding of why this is such a great destination.
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