A Persian paradox: An accidental tourist in Iran

When a planned tour of the country's nuclear sites went awry, Anne Penketh discovered instead the enigmatic splendour of the Iranian city of Esfahan

Hotel of the week: Al Qasr, Madinat Jumeirah

Dubai is the ultimate tourist playground. And they know all about how to make your stay a pleasurable one at the Al Qasr, Madinat Jumeirah. We're talking serious excess here...

Dubai, UAE

Shop for spices, gold and perfume in the atmospheric souks or just lie back on the white beaches in this vibrant Gulf

Doha, Qatar

Its mix of traditional souks and modern luxury hotels is helping to turn this seafront Gulf city in Qatar into a must-see destination

Jordan: The Shifting Sands Of Time

The land around Jordan holds many surprises - not least, says Adrian Mourby, the constantly changing landscape of the Dead Sea

Muscat, Oman

Having soaked up the atmosphere in a souk, go dolphin spotting or relax with a fresh mango juice in Oman's capital by the sea

24-Hour Room Service: Emirates Palace Abu Dhabi

The Emirates Palace is not the place to run out of suntan lotion. It may be home to 300 fountains, 114 domes, 1,002 Swarovski crystal chandeliers and 6,000sq metres of gold leaf, but dealing with such an ordinary issue in such a luxurious environment may well induce an unwelcome reality check. It is far more appropriate to indulge in a seven-course Persian feast, sip a vintage cognac or take a stroll through the landscaped gardens than attempt to track down a bottle of factor 30.

48 Hours In: Dubai

With its duty-free shopping, year-round sun and spectacular beach hotels, this ancient port is ahead of the pack, says Frank Partridge

Fujairah: full of eastern promise

You've heard of Dubai. Even Abu Dhabi. But what about Fujairah? It doesn't trip off the tongue of even a seasoned traveller. Yet this little Emirate could be the next big story from the region. Sankha Guha heads for the sun to test this desert state's brand of beachfront luxury

The complete guide to the Red Sea

Exotic souks, clear waters, pristine coral reefs, and lots of winter sunshine. Harriet O'Brien finds the best resorts and tours for those in need of an Arabian adventure

Five Best: Moroccan riads

Aoife O'Riordain scours the medinas for the most stylish places to stay

Travel Special: December -Dubai

Though we had all been allocated seats for the 50-minute hop from Bahrain to Dubai, half the passengers formed an anxious queue. An hour before departure, they pressed together like toast in a toast-rack. The rest of us sprawled in the airport lounge, but we were the first to be allowed on the plane. We may all have been heading for the same place, but our destinations were very different. My wife and I had come for a spot of sun and sand in Dubai, like 650,000 other Britons each year. Our less privileged travelling companions, drawn from the Indian subcontinent, were there to put the place up.

48 Hours In: Jerusalem, Israel

To find out what Christmas is really about there's nowhere better to go than the Israeli city's holy sites - and, of course, the neighbouring town of Bethlehem. Jeremy Head reports

Grand canyons at the Dana Nature Reserve

Thanks to careful planning and education, Jordan is leading the Middle East in eco-tourism- and Dana Nature Reserve is at the vanguard. Just go easy on the trekking, warns Matthew Teller

48 Hours In: Dubai in association with Emirates

Cosmopolitan, chaotic, cheap and hot, this fast expanding Middle Eastern city is the perfect winter destination - and not just for shopping. Simon Calder reports
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