Dubai and Egypt are enduringly popular Middle Eastern holiday destinations, but holidays to the Middle East also offer much more that may not immediately spring to mind, with destinations such as Oman and Jordan seducing more and more tourists visiting the area with their striking natural landscapes and ancient traditions. The Middle East offers many destinations in which foreign tourism is on the rise.
Dubai has always served as a bridge between East and West. In the past, Dubai's trade links stretched from Western Europe to Southeast Asia and China. The result was the creation of one of the most protean societies in the world. Nestled in the very heart of Islam, Dubai remains unique in its embrace of the West. Bedouin may still roam the desert, but Dubai also plays hosts to international tennis and golf tournaments.
The port of Safaga, Egypt, has become a popular Egyptian seaside resort specializing in water sports and diving holidays. But Safaga's real lure is being the gateway to Egypt's mighty and mysterious past, the great Temple of Karnak, the vast necropolis known as "The Valley of the Kings," the ruins of Luxor Temple, and Ramses II's great temple at Abu Simbel in Aswan.
On the tip of the Sinai Peninsula lies Sharm El Sheik, snorkellers and divers will revel amidst reefs swirling with tropical fish; almost as bright are the stalls of Bedouin handicrafts back on dry land.
Located in southern Jordan, Aqaba is a tourist's paradise, where the astonishingly blue Red Sea gives life to breathtaking coral reefs. The coastal city also serves as a gateway to Jordan's ancient wonders, including the revered city of Petra and historic sites in Wadi Rum.
Israel's largest sea port, Ashdod is your gateway to Jerusalem, a world-renowned city of great religious significance for the Jewish, Christian and Muslim faiths. Ancient sites are scattered throughout the holy city, with the golden Dome of the Rock peeking out above its skyline.