Brilliant Beirut

The Lebanese capital knows how to party, with stylish hotels, sizzling nightlife and plenty of bling – and Bentleys – on show. But equally distracting are the cultural landmarks that surround the city.

A child's-eye view of an ancient land

Scrolling through Jordan from the Dead Sea to the Red Sea brings Classical civilisation to life for young travellers – with plenty of thrills on the way

A return to the Emirates: Mishal Husain's journey back to the UAE was a family holiday with a difference

A trip down memory lane is a little tricky if, like me, yours was an expatriate childhood. Mine was spent in the United Arab Emirates – 10 happy years from 1975, when I was two years old – which makes it the first home I can remember. But the UAE isn't somewhere I pass through much these days and my friends from there are scattered across the globe. Even if I did venture back, the ever-changing urban landscape is more than likely to have rendered once-familiar locations unrecognisable.

The Hedonist: Dubai

What to see and where to be seen

Trail Of The Unexpected: Sharjah

Chris Leadbeater is impressed by the cultural charms of Sharjah

The pearl fishers: The waters surrounding the island of Bahrain harbour untold hidden wealth

It's 8.30am and Bahrain's gentle winter sun plays on the water as our boat pulls away from the jetty. Our hopes are high for a good catch: not of fish, but of oysters. And not just any old oysters but those with pearls in them.

Traveller's Guide To: United Arab Emirates

Ultra-modern malls meet mosques, mountains and markets in this oil-rich corner of the Middle East.

The two-wheel guide to a troubled land

The Peace Cycle offers a new brand of tourism, revealing Palestine's historic sights while getting up close to its people. Lauren Booth hit the saddle

Oman: Going for gold, frankincense and myrrh

With the help of a few wise men, Matthew Teller tracks down three ancient treasures in Oman

Dubai: Winter on the beach

This ostentatious emirate may be in financial crisis, but that could spell a bargain bonanza for tourists. Jo Fernandez offers a guide

Does the sun still shine on Dubai?

The emirate has been making news for the wrong reasons recently. But Jim Krane says now is the time to visit the city – and the desert beyond

The Traveller's Guide to the Red Sea

Blue skies, golden sands and a rainbow of dazzling colours beneath the surface make this body of water the ideal winter warmer. Matthew Teller dives in

On the path of righteousness in Jordan

An eco-tourism initiative has sprung up on the trail followed by Abraham 4,000 years ago. Amar Grover steps out

On The Road: The kindness and spontaneity of Syrian strangers

I feel like I've been taken hostage, but in a good way. True, I've been bundled into a car and taken to an unknown destination somewhere in the old city section of Homs. But there are no dank cells or handcuffs here. Instead it's just endless cups of tea and a table groaning under the weight of huge plates of food. This is Syria and, yet again, I've been befriended by a local family and brought home for lunch. This is a nation that takes hospitality very seriously.

Dune roaming: Discover the real Arab culture in Abu Dhabi

Matthew Teller heads out of the city to the villages and oases where the traditional Emirati way of life still holds sway
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