The Middle East is a gateway to exotic markets, golden deserts, ancient cultures, and an array of world-firsts, but it is also known for its lavish hospitality. A luxury holiday in the Middle East will allow you to make the most of each new experience.
With camel rides along sand dunes, helicopter tours over the sapphire seas, a reputation for fine dining, and some of the world's finest luxury hotels, the Middle East is where adventure meets relaxation. Dubai, the iconic City of Gold, is a great example, boasting the world’s tallest skyscraper, the Burj Khalifa, as well as vast designer shopping malls. Add palm-shaped islands like Palm Jumeirah, and landmarks of pure spectacle like the Dubai Fountain, and you'll see why Dubai is a must.
Next up, Abu Dhabi, another innovative and modern city. Discover the fastest roller coasters at Ferrari World and explore Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, the largest mosque in the country and a beauty wrought in white marble. As the capital of the UAE, Abu Dhabi also makes room for attractions like the White Fort and Heritage Village in amongst its impressive skyscrapers.
If sun, sea, and sand are what draw you to the Middle East, then visit Zighy Bay in the Sultanate of Oman. Zighy Bay is a true beach paradise, with dramatic mountain ranges on one side and soft white sands and turquoise waters the other. A short drive away, you’ll find Ras al-Khaimah. Here, visit Bedouin camps and discover ancient forts.
The Middle East has a desert climate and is typically dry and sunny. A popular time to visit the Middle East is over the winter season, and in the shoulder seasons of autumn and spring. During this time you'll find the weather is ideal for sightseeing in.
Once summer in full swing, the mercury can rise to around 40 degrees celsius, but all of the hotels are climate controlled and you'll have access to opulent pools and welcoming seasides if you need to cool off.
Middle Eastern cuisine is a extravagant affair, with much-loved staples like dolma, kebab, shawarma, and baklava all on offer. You'll also find that the Middle East is expert in creating fine dining experiences, and you can enjoy food on rooftop bars, cooked by Michelin-starred chefs, or perched at the top of Burj Khalifa.
You can also find plenty of delicious international options, like Italian pastas, and Chinese noodles. Remember, if visiting during Ramadan, it’s polite to avoid eating and drinking in public until sunset as Muslims fast during daylight hours.
You should carry some identification with you at all times and it's also a good idea to keep a photocopy of your passport. A tourist visa is required on arrival. Visit GOV.UK for more advice on passports, visas and travel.