Eco-City in the Desert: a Visit to Masdar, UAE

You might not expect to find an eco-city in the middle of the desert but Masdar, just 11 miles from Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, is just that. In fact, the contrast between endless miles of sand and the gleaming high-tech city is just one of many seeming...

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Camel Racing in the UAE

Camels seem to be a bit of an obsession in many of the Gulf States. So much so, that a teacher told me that, when he asked his students what they most prized, they all said 'camels'. They were quite definite that they favoured camels even above their cars (women, of...

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Qatar prepares for tourism

I started trying to write an article about the historic sites of Qatar, but gave up because I found myself writing "it is closed for redevelopment", or "you used to be able to go there, but you can't any more". When we went on our trip to the north of the country our...

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Eating out in Doha

It is possible to eat very well in Doha, whether you want Arabic or international food. The large number of expat workers in the city means that a cosmopolitan cuisine is available, and there is a wide choice of outlets, from hotels and restaurants, to cafés and...

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Abu Dhabi’s Desert Hinterland

Yesterday we took our hire car and drove through the desert. I say desert, but actually the first part of the journey was on a not particularly interesting motorway between Abu Dhabi and Tarif, with what seemed like never ending construction and industrialisation for...

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A Trip to Al Ain, UAE

Al Ain is an oasis city on the border between the UAE and Oman. For tourists the main sights are the UNESCO sites of palm oases and prehistoric remains. Less obvious attractions are the camel market and the nearby camel races. But for me, one of the more memorable...

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Eating Out in Muscat, Oman

Although Muscat is growing as a holiday destination, most tourists confine themselves to the coastal area of Qurm and find their culinary needs well catered for in the many hotels. However, for anyone who chooses, as we did, to venture further afield, eating out in...

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