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Overview to the Middle East: Travel Guide and Tourist Information

The Coast of Dubai, UAE

Lying at the meeting point of Africa, Asia and Europe, opinions are somewhat divided as to what countries actually make up the Middle East. But despite disagreements over where the region actually is, one thing is never queried: how much it has to offer by way of travel and rich cultural heritage.

Egypt remains an outrageously popular destination, with many people heading for Cairo and the illustrious Pyramids of Giza. Some of the most well-known landmarks in the world, the pyramids are visited by hundreds of thousands of travelers every year.

However, while they're an obvious attraction for visitors, Egypt is filled with other jaw-droppingly impressive ancient monuments from the temples of Abu Simbel, Abydos and Karnak to the stunning Red Sea Monasteries and the subterranean tombs of Kom es-Shoqafa.

Egypt also offers some wonderful beaches and, in the Gulf of Dahab, world-class diving. Out to the west of the country, meanwhile, the dunes of the Sahara make for a truly awe-inspiring spectacle.

But the Middle East is also the birthplace of the three great monotheistic religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam – and, naturally, is one of the world’s great spiritual destinations. And in this respect, Israel, with the Holy City of Jerusalem to the fore, is almost unbeatable.

Jerusalem itself is an incredible place. Its Old City is a maze of ancient streets and bustling markets punctuated with staggering monuments like the Wailing Wall and the Temple Mount. Tel Aviv offers a complete contrast to Jerusalem: a lively city of restaurants, clubs, pubs, bars and long stretches of white sand.

To the north of the country, the fortress of Akko is an absolute must-see, while Tzipori is scarcely any less important. Then there’s the unique experience of floating on the Dead Sea…

In many travelers’ minds, Jordan will always be famous for just one thing: the magnificent complex of Petra. But in reality, the country is studded with impressive monuments including the citadel of Amman, the castle of Karak and the extensive Roman ruins of Jerash.

Situated on the far east coast of the region, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is one of the smallest countries in the Middle East. But as a result of its months of sun and varied and dramatic landscapes, it’s fast becoming one of the more popular travel destinations.

It's made up of a union of seven sovereign sheikhdoms which were merged when the British withdrew from the gulf in 1971. Like its (even tinier) neighbor, Qatar, the UAE offers practically everything you could ever wish for – white sandy beaches, deserts, mountains, camel racing and the cheap duty-free shopping of the city of Dubai. And all within 51,949 square miles!

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