One of the world’s most troubled, yet fascinating regions, here’s a collection of Middle East travel stories.
Latest Middle East travel stories
Abu Dhabi, the affluent emirate
Abu Dhabi holds a whopping 9 % of the world's oil reserves, is the richest city on earth, safe, green, clean and, dare I say it, a wee bit...
Sharjah, the energetic emirate
Between Ajman and Dubai lies Sharjah, the third largest emirate - and perhaps the third best known, as well. Sharjah is also the most conservative emirate: alcohol is completely forbidden, dress codes are strict and no mixing of men and women if unwed. Not even a sheesha cafe to be found. Lively Sharjah Despite those rather medieval policies, my first [...]
Ajman, the anonymous emirate
With a quarter of a million people, Ajman wasn't as tiny as I somehow had expected. Also, it seemed much more affluent than I had expected. I suppose that says more about my expectations.
Umm al-Quwain, the unsung emirate
Going south after our failed Musandam venture, our driver (you know, the one who had forgotten his passport) tried to persuade us to go directly from Ras al-Khaimah to Ajman, and give Umm al-Quwain a miss. But in my quest to see every single emirate, that simply would not do. He finally caved. The reason for his reluctance could have [...]
Ras al-Khaimah, the remote emirate
Ras-al-Khaimah and the United Arab Emirates Ras-al-Khaimah is one of the United Arab Emirates. The UAE comprises seven states. Formerly British protectorates, the emirates (then known as the Trucial Sheikhdoms) joined together to form a federation when the UK ended the relationship in 1971. Two other British protectorates, Bahrain and Qatar, were meant to join the union as well, but [...]
Dubai, the daydreaming emirate
Dubai is a study in contrast: an old souk with wooden beamed roofs in narrow alleyways. Just across the creek, hyper-modern skyscrapers of the most futuristic designs.
The kindness of strangers
Arab hospitality is legendary. In the Middle East, I have encountered the kindness of strangers more often than anywhere else.
Dubai Terminal 2
Travelling to the UAE last April, we flew with Norwegian Airlines, a budget airline using Dubai Terminal 2. According to the Dubai Airport website, the renowned Dubai Duty Free covers 5400 sq. metres of shopper's paradise. Well, it's certainly not located in Dubai Terminal 2. There's only one shop in Terminal 2. A rather uninspiring one. That, and a few [...]
Where can you find the world's best hotel, the world's tallest building, and several artificial islands where the world has been recreated? Why, in Dubai, of course. And there's more: If you're in the United Arab Emirates, part of the travel experience is a bit of Dubai shopping. Or at least having a look at the outrageous shopping malls in [...]
2 Cool Cafes in Dubai
On our very first day in town, we discovered a cool Dubai cafe. Cool in every sense: Basta Art Café is located in the courtyard of an old wind tower. Lucky for us, it was just across the street from our hotel in the Old Bastakiya quarter, close to Dubai Creek.
I really like cats. Oh, I like dogs as well, but cats - so mysterious, beautiful and independent, a cat is always her own boss. So I thought I'd begin a new series - a sporadic one, but a series nonetheless: Cats of the world. First out are these cool Kuwaiti cats. Going through photos from my jaunt through bits of [...]
PhotoFriday: The Sands of Arabia
I'm drawn to the desert. So much that I sometimes wonder whether I was meant to live in it. In one way, the desert is the complete opposite of the snow and ice of home - the temperature and the relationship with the sun. In another way, the landscapes are the same: forceful, sometimes brutal, and magically beautiful.