The Amman skyline

B&B and Beyond: By the Lemon Tree, Amman

Family drinks parties and an elaborate breakfast spread help to make Matthew Teller feel at home in the bustling capital

Leading light: The 17th-century Blue Mosque and its six minarets dominate the Istanbul skyline

Turkey's finest: Istanbul is the most popular kid on the 21st-century global block

If you want a metaphor for modern Istanbul, look no further than the Marmaray tunnel. It's currently being dug under the Bosphorus to link Sirkeci Station, near the Grand Bazaar, with the ferry port of Uskudar on the Asian shore. The work will take three years to finish; maybe more because workmen keep discovering ancient objects that have to be removed and lovingly catalogued.

Oman oasis: Nakhal Fort

Oman: On the balcony of an ancient land

The most spectacular way to explore Oman's rugged Hajar mountains is to reach for the top, discovers Amar Grover

Jubilation in Jordan: The top of the peak felt like the end-of-the-world - but what a view

The sign said, 'The end of the world'; as did the look on my three-year-old's face. Below us, the dusky pink desert canyons and dimpled, rocky mountains of the Jordan Valley stretched west towards Jerusalem. And somewhere, far, far below the precipice we'd scaled to 'Sacrifice View', a bright blue cap was now swirling away, whisked off my son's head by the sharp wind that greeted us at the summit.

An ill-timed tour of Syria: Amid the ancient sites, an uprising takes root

It was the morning after the UN voted to bomb Colonel Gaddafi out of Libya that I made my way to Gatwick Airport. Hosni Mubarak had fallen as Egypt's leader just a month before. Tunisia had been swept up in revolution, Yemen's Day of Rage was turning into weeks of bloodshed, and even little Bahrain was stirring with protest.

Palestinian dancers perform outside the Church of Nativity

O little town with big ideas: Welcome to Bethlehem

Come all ye tourists: that's the message from Bethlehem, which is having some success in overcoming high unemployment and the Israeli blockade, writes Matthew Kalman

Pool with a view: the Melia Hotel

48 Hours In: Dubai

The searing heat of summer has mellowed in the Gulf states, making this Emirati city an appealing choice for some winter sun, says Nick Boulos

Corniche cool: Doha’s Museum of Islamic Art

Head to the souq for a taste of Doha

The Qatari capital is a vision of gleaming modernity and luxurious ambition. But is it possible to get a real flavour of the city?  Andy Lynes dines out

Traveller's guide: Jordan

The sights of this wild frontier will stay with you long after you've left

Where's hot? September in Dubai...

Perhaps the question might be better phrased as "where's not so hot?". Dubai simmers down in September, the searing heat of summer subsiding to a more comfortable average in the low 30Cs.

The jewel of the Arabian Peninsula

Whether you want a beach holiday, a bustling city break or a desert adventure, the unique destination of the Sultanate of Oman can provide it all

Saline solution: The remains of the fortress of Masada

Highs and lows: Simon Calder visits the dramatic Masada fortress in Israel's Negev Desert

The fortress was built by King Herod beside the Dead Sea's shores – the lowest dry land in the world.

The Hedonist: Tel Aviv

What to see and where to be seen

Travel Challenge: Luxury Dubai

Each week we invite three companies to offer us their best deal for a specific holiday. Today: a five-night luxury break in Dubai. Prices are per person, based on two people sharing. Each package includes breakfast and flights from Heathrow on Thursday 1 March.

Up creek: From the Shindagha neighbourhood, it's a short walk along Dubai Creek to the Dubai Museum

Traveller's Guide: Dubai

With desert, beaches and audacious architecture, the emirate has plenty to entice visitors.

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