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Exploring the Middle East

Updated: Oct 29, 2020

Roman Ruins

Experiencing the Middle East

Masada, Israel

MASADA, ISRAEL: Since its rediscovery in the early 19th century, this UNESCO – listed site — a lofty monolith towering 1,476ft above the Dead Sea — has become a symbol of both resistance and the pursuit of freedom, and its remarkable history and striking physicality have helped make it one of Israel’s most popular attractions.

PALMYRA, SYRIA: Set against a desert oasis backdrop, it offers the historical splendors of colonnades, temple ruins, and funerary towers dating back to the 2nd century AD.

TEMPLE OF BAALBEK, LEBANON: Lebanon houses evidence of the oldest urban settlement on earth at Baalbeck, which is home to the awesome remains of the Temple of Jupiter, alongside the Temple of Bacchus — commonly cited as the best-preserved Roman temple in the whole of the Middle East.

BAT TOMB S, OMAN: Take a tour to discover the Bat tombs scattered throughout this UNESCO International Heritage Site. Dating back to 3,000BC, around 20 beehive-shaped tombs can be found perched on a ridge in front of the Jebel Misht near the village of Al Ain.

Qal'at Al-Bahrain, Bahrain

QASR AL-HUSN, ABU DHABI: Built-in 1761, this white palace fort is Abu Dhabi’s oldest building and was the home for the government from the 18th century until 1966. The palace showcases painted friezes, carved wooden doors, and elegant courtyards. Informal tours can be booked by calling the Cultural Foundation.

BARAQISH, YEMEN: Located in the Wadi Fardha, this ancient walled town is the country’s best-preserved archaeological site. With walls once reaching up to 14 meters high and sporting more than 50 towers and two gates, this was an epicenter for the incense trade.

KUWAIT TOWERS, KUWAIT: The three needle-shaped Kuwait Towers dominate the skyline of Kuwait City. The main tower is 187 meters high and is a restaurant and water tower, with a viewing sphere turning 3600 every half-hour. The towers were built in 1979 and have recovered from heavy damages inflicted in the 1990s.

BETHLEHEM, PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES: Known as the City of the Nativity, Bethlehem is the little town where Jesus was born. Sacred Christian sites include the Church of Saint Nicholas and monasteries throughout the region.

Petra, Jordan

AL AHMADIYYA SCHOOL, DEIRA, DUBAI: THIS was Dubai’s first conventional school that introduced the teaching of literature and sciences alongside religion. With the oldest part of the two-storey building dating back to the 1890s, the school was renovated in 1995 and is now a museum of education.

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