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The Middle East has a wealth of exciting cities, untamed natural beauty and an appealing array of architecture and attractions. Little wonder it has become an increasingly popular location for a break.
It's hard to believe that the impressive capital city of the United Arab Emirates - Abu Dhabi - was once a small fishing village. The old fort, the Corniche and the magnificent Al-Hosn Palace are well worth visiting, and you'll find an abundance of Islamic art as you explore your surroundings.
At first glance, the famed city of Dubai is a modern centre of commerce and leisure; with world-class hotels, restaurants featuring every type of cuisine you can imagine and huge shopping malls with their annual festivals. Yet just below the surface beats Dubai's true heart, with its ancient mosques, haggler's paradise of the Gold Souk and the sight of ships unloading their exotic wares at Dubai Creek. And when it's time to completely unwind, enjoy the palm-fringed sandy beaches and clear blue waters of the Arabian Gulf.
Fujairah, on the eastern coast, is full of historical treasures, including an old town and its 300-year-old fort. And north-west in Bithna you'll find the unforgettable Long Chambered Tomb.
The neighbouring Sultanate of Oman is also a stunning country, where bronzed deserts, breathtaking mountains and luxurious beaches blend effortlessly with modern comforts.
United Arab Emirates