Exploring the centers of luxury in the Middle East
Over the last few years, the Middle East has fast become one of the most popular global tourist destinations in the world. Travelers from all four corners of the planet are flocking to Dubai, Qatar and Abu Dhabi to bask in the all-year-round sunshine and experience the excessive extravagance these locations have to offer. This quick guide is going to explore some of their most alluring and impressive attractions.
One thing that really stands out about Middle Eastern cities is their over-the-top extravagance. This makes them ideal spots to enjoy a bit of sun, sea, sand and self-indulgence. Grandness and luxury go hand-in-hand with the sub-tropical climate and stunning exotic scenery. Everything’s big and bold; for instance, Dubai has the world’s tallest skyscraper, the Burj Khalifa, which looms over the incredible landscape at an eye-popping 829.8 meters. Contained in this impressive sail shaped structure is the world’s only 7-star hotel that boasts panoramic views across the city, personal butlers and an optional chauffeur-driven Rolls Royce.
Moreover, the city is also home to the second largest mall in the world at 13 million square feet, which of course makes it inviting for tourists who prioritize shopping on their agendas. The colossal building houses 1,200 shops, a 250-room hotel, 22 cinema screens and 120 restaurants and cafes alone. If browsing for designer brands doesn’t do it for you, then why not shop for gold and diamonds? The gold markets in the Middle East usually offer cheaper prices than elsewhere, so diamonds, platinum, silver and gold can be bought at a budget.
Aside from experiencing the glitz and glamour, there’s also plenty to do in the way of fast-paced activities. Tourists can swim with dolphins, take bumpy camel rides, get wet at water parks and even enjoy the dizzying heights from a helicopter. For outdoor-loving travelers, this part of the world also offers hot-air balloon adventures, desert hikes and rock climbing. Plus, Abu Dhabi boasts the Yas Marina Circuit if you’re a fanatic Formula One fan.
We’ve all flicked through holiday brochures and come across Dubai and Abu Dhabi, but there are other contenders on the horizon that have the potential to be the next luxury resort. Kuwait, for example, is the fourth richest country in the world per capita thanks to its lucrative petroleum exports and is quickly rising up the ranks when it comes to top-spot vacations. Situated on the tip of the Persian Gulf, the region offers lots for the curious tourist with 499 kilometers of beautiful coastline. It has its own large amusement park (Entertainment City) that has been compared to Disneyland, making it ideal for younger families too. Other activities include ice-skating, a zoo, museums, a science center and aqua parks.
The area has grown so much that well-known real estate investors such as Fahad Al Rajaan are also seeing the potential and investing in the prestigious property market that is rapidly expanding. Egypt and Oman are also catching up. In 2010, Oman was ranked as the most improved nation by the UNDP. It’s worth exploring its historical ruins, experiencing the local markets and soaking in the stunning architecture. With stretches of white sand, luscious green palm trees and miles of cloudless blue skies, it’s easy to see the appeal of the Middle East.
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