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discover hidden myths, taste diverse food and sleep below a sky full of shooting stars and galaxies every night
The United Arab Emirates attracts visitors with its iconic buildings, its picturesque places and its vast deserts, which in turn are also the perfect backdrop for a romantic adventure or a photo shoot before or after the wedding. Dubai presents thousands of unforgettable scenarios, dream spaces and structures with stunning views of the sea or the city.

Top Countries to Visit from Dubai in UAE

Check out the best countries to visit from UAE.

1. Mongolia


Mongolia, at the eastern end of the steppes of Central Asia, far from the sea, is a jewel of steppes and forests, remote mountains and arid plains. In autumn and spring many migrating birds come to Lake Ugii in the Uvurkhangai province.

Travel through the Karakorum, the lakes and virgin forests of Tsenheriin, Ulaanbaatar, with the overflowing nature of the Siberian region of Lake Johsvhol and ride on camels through the immeasurable Gobi desert sleeping in the typical "gers" yurts.

You can travel there for days without meeting a living soul. By riding on horseback or Jeep the immense distances of this plateau altitude, we can see antelopes, wolves, horses in freedom, yaks, camels, lakes by the hundreds, isolated villages, warm camps of yurts, the Siberian taiga and the Gobi desert.

Staying between two comfortable ger camps, you’ll venture deep into Mongolia’s vast steppe and mountain landscapes in search of Pallas’s cats and snow leopards. You might even spot native wonders like the Asiatic ibex, Mongolian gazelle or the Siberian jerboa.

Wild camels, bears, lynx, snow leopard or even argali are among the largest occupants of this huge territory, not to mention the emblematic horse Prjevalski. The small fauna is not rare either. Throughout the territory the most observant of you will be able to observe sable, marten, beaver or even otter, living testimony of the good health of the Mongolian natural environment and in particular of its fish-rich waters.

From the capital, Ulaanbaatar, almost mandatory entry point in Mongolia, you can go in all directions and experience an absolute freedom. It is true however that it is interesting to acclimatize a few days to take the time to visit the Gandan Monastery, the Museum of Mongolia or the museum of natural history.

Karakorum is a city located west-southwest of the capital Ulan Bator, about 5 hours drive. Kharkhorin will serve as a base to visit the magnificent Erdene Zuu monastery, built in 1586 by a nomad prince, surrounded by 108 sacred stupas. Huge stone turtles surround the monastery. Located northwest of Ulaanbaatar, the Monastery of Bliss is a Buddhist holy landmark in Mongolia. This Gelugpa Buddhist center is located in a steppe, surrounded by hills, not far from Mount Buren Khan.

Altai Tavan Bogd National Park is located in the far west of Mongolia. Grouping on its territory the 5 sacred mountains of the Altai, the highest point of this park, Mount Khuiten, culminates at 4374 meters above sea level. The park includes high mountain areas with glaciers and glacial rivers and then a mid-mountain area located at about 2500 meters above sea level. In addition to rich and opulent flora and fauna, you will also find petroglyphs depicting hunting scenes and numerous animals.

Khongor Dunes is unique you will soon realize when you will face this unlikely landscape. Indeed, the transition between the different natural spaces is abrupt and radical. From a green horizontal extent, you will pass to a wall of sand. The mineral of the dunes and the vegetation of the steppe will confront and assemble in a unique way to the world. Many Mongols come here to listen to the singing dunes. The wind on the sand makes these dunes sing and offers an amazing sight beside which it would be a shame to pass.

The Yol Valley is a narrow gorge bearing the name of the host of these places, the bearded vulture. You will enter an atypical area with a gorge sometimes so narrow that only two people can pass! Located east of the Gobi Desert, the mineral dominates all the space, the shade that the canyon had to offer in summer is welcome and the wind blows there often engulfing in the vein that the canyon offers.

The Mongols have been nomadic travelers for millennia. Despite urbanization, steppe traditions are still alive and well. Even in the cities, most of the inhabitants live in a yurt, a large white felt tent that can move easily, always arranged in the same way. A hike will take you to Shireet Lake, without a doubt the most beautiful in the region. Surrounded by volcanoes and coniferous forests, Naima Nuur Park is stunningly beautiful.

On the back of a camel, go for a memorable walk in the sand dunes of Elsentasarhai. Territory of breeders, the sumptuous landscapes formed by the canyons of the Orkhon and its verdant steppe make this valley of the Orkhon a must-see site to discover. Naadam Festival is a type of traditional festival in Mongolia. Locally the festival is also called Eriin Gurvan Naadam.

Every family you visit would offer you a cup of tea. Most probably you wouldn’t like it. You might have lactose intolerance. But do not refuse the cup! You can sip a little bit and its perfectly ok to put the cup on the table. You don’t have to finish it. If you refuse, they would have to offer you something else, like airag, fermented horse milk. Milk tea is much easier to drink than airag.

The host might offer you a snuffbox. Do not refuse it. You might hate snuff tobacco, but take it, open a little and smell it. Return with right hand.

Some provinces such as Khovd are famous for watermelons and melons. So you can get plenty of those in the markets.

2. Kazakhstan


Kazakhstan is a huge country located almost on the Asian continent, but with a small region belonging to Europe, something similar to what happens with Russia, a country with which it borders on its northern area. It is also border with countries such as China or Uzbekistan, and has access to the Caspian Sea.

Kazakhstan invested billions of dollars into building the most surreal artificial city the world has ever seen. Everywhere it’s big, flashy signature buildings, all wearing their architects’ names like fashion labels.

As the main attraction of this country you can find the capital, Astana. In it you will discover different places of interest to visit such as the spectacular Mosque of Nur-Astana, which stands out for its incredible four towers and its colorful golden dome. You can also visit buildings of particular architecture such as the Saltanat Sarai or the Shabyt Palace of Creativity.

You can not miss the appointment with the Khan Shatyry, a spectacular tent that functions as a venue for shows. Another mandatory visit is to the beautiful Synagogue of Beit Rajel-Jabbad Liubavich, which you will love for its unique light blue facade. In addition, the capital is one of the best cities to know and discover the local cuisine, as it has many places and restaurants where you can try the fabulous traditional dishes of the country.

One of the greatest symbols of the city, and of the country, is the sculpture of the Soldier of Gold. This sculpture commemorates the ancestors of the country known as Saks. To learn more about its history, we recommend that you visit the Issyk Tomb, a city near Almaty where you can find the archaeological and historical remains of this civilization.

You can not miss the opportunity to explore the natural surroundings close to the city of Almaty, such as the Ilí River, a perfect place to spend the day with the family and enjoy the sports activities you can do there, or the Park National of Ile Alatau , where you can enjoy a day outdoors while walking through spectacular natural landscapes.

To finish your tour of the country, we advise you to go to places like the Grand Canyon of Charyn an impressive landscape worthy of photography, or the fabulous Burabay Spa, where you can relax and rest before returning home. Another of the most important cities in the country is Almaty, which served as the capital of Kazakhstan until 1997.

This city is perfect to know as it has many places to see and areas that you must visit on a mandatory basis.

There is magic in the wind here. Bend an ear, and you will hear the echoes of hooves long past, the soft stirring of strings on a Kobyz, and the majestic voice of the Steppe - a silent and overwhelming roar.

And once Kazakhstan has awed you with your own insignificance, go back inside, sit down on a plush carpet, and wrap your hands around a steaming mug of chai. At last, you're warm, you're comfortable, and you're surrounded by those you love.

3. Iran


No, you wouldn’t have thought of that one. Despite its political reputation, it is home to ancient civilizations, and if you don’t think you like Muslim architecture, Iran’s monuments are often covered with turquoise which makes them fabulously beautiful. Iran is one of the culturally rich country and to the attractions such as skiing, gastronomy, architecture, museums, and more!

It has a lot of sites dating back to BCs and has a lot of UNESCO world heritage sites! Mount Damavand, the highest volcano in Asia is in Iran.

Add it with its rich history and uniqueness, you are bound to get an unique experience for sure! Iran’s historic capital city was Esfahan. Ladies, you will have to cover yourselves (but they want to promote tourism and a simple shawl on your head will do). It is better to take an organized tour.

If you plan to travel to Iran, it is very possible that Tehran will become your gateway to the country. Despite being less spectacular than Isfahan, Shiraz or Persepolis, the capital of the country also has its charms. You cannot miss the Tabiat bridge. In Tehran there are two towers that are iconic like the Azadi tower and the Milad tower.

It has an octagonal base that symbolizes traditional Persian architecture and has two panoramic observatories, one exterior and one interior. In addition to telecommunications facilities, it has a luxury restaurant and an art gallery. The entire complex has a congress center, a hotel, a shopping center and a business center.

Darband, which in Persian is translated as the door to the mountain, is literally a place to leave behind the bustle of the city to be able to look out to nature. It is full of small cafes and restaurants and is an ideal place to spend an evening.

To obtain the visa before the trip you must have completed an application form, have the authorization code, two passport photographs. Keep in mind that the passport does not have an Israeli stamp. The Iranian hotel offer is varied and for all budgets. In cities such as Kashan or Yazd it is common for old mansions to become hotels.

The traveler can also find shelter in the old Caravanserais, the accommodations that were built along the silk route. In the restaurants find different varieties of the tasty Persian kebab, served as a skewer and served with fresh bread. The Bademjan, a stew of eggplant and tomato, is also another dish of the most common, as well as the Tahchin, a kind of crispy rice.

Although not everyone can afford a Persian carpet or beluga caviar, being native products, they are cheaper. In a more modest price range (although do not expect bargains), Iranian pistachios and saffron are products that enjoy a great reputation. Another typical product is the printed fabrics or qalamkar of Isfahan, which can be found in the bazaars of the city.

Iran also has many beautiful Armenian churches, and generally beautiful Iranian architecture and it was worth mentioning. Holy Savior Cathedral is an Armenian Apostolic church located in Isfahan, Iran. The interior is so beautiful and masterfully crafted that it deserves to be mentioned. In Iran alcohol is forbidden, so you better get used to the idea that there will be no fresh beer after a long day of travelling in Iran.

The fabulous ruins of Susa (Shush) comprise a castle, an acropolis and the remains of a palace, as well as the nearby and impressive ruins of Shushtar. Travellers walking through the old town of Shushtar (city of Juzestan province) are attracted by a nearby ripple coming from the eastern part of the city.

Rasht: This northern Iranian city could be somewhere in Eastern or Central Europe locked in between the hills of the Baltic Sea, but again it’s in the Middle East. It’s located in Iran’s most greenest region Gilan.

Iranian food is pretty amazing. Every region, city and village in Iran has its own specialties, often dishes that are not made anywhere else. Fezenjan is prepared with pomegranate molasses and walnuts. This dish is traditionally served with duck, but more often with chicken. Rice is typically accompanied by a little saffron brewed and mixed with some of the rice, then added to the top.

It is also typically accompanied by Tahdig, which can be bread, rice or potato slices put on the bottom of the pot to cook to crisp, then rice on top of it. Barbari bread rises a little, has small traces of egg on it, and is very delicious and crispy. Then there's the Lavash flatbread which is now famous all around the world. This bread is prepared very fast and baked quickly. Typically used as a wrap or for smaller portions of bread.

There's Taftoon bread which is the more prepared brother of Lavash bread. It has more texture and substance, and is much tastier than Lavash. And then there's Sangak bread, the king of all breads, which is a whole grain wheat bread with a lot of substance and is baked in stone ovens over a few thousand tiny stones (the stoney texture). This is more expensive and also larger, typically about $1 PPP.

An Iranian bread portion would typically involve half (or one full) Sangak or Barbari, or 2-4 Taftoons or a few Lavashs, but usually only one of them. Gheymeh is a very famous and popular Iranian dish, served with saffron rice, is a curry made of a few lamb (or beef) cubes, sautéed with small-chopped onions, fried potatoes, yellow split peas, dried limes and tomato paste, plus the typical Iranian spices.

Ghormeh Sabzi (literally Gourmet Vegetables), is probably the most popular Iranian dish. It is a mixture of vegetables that are hard to find outside Iran, all chopped down and sautéed slightly, then mixed with red beans and meat cubes. Ash Reshteh (a type of noodle soup) is also a very famous, typically vegetarian dish. It's ingredients are a particular noodle, a mix of vegetables, chickpeas and beans. It is typically decorated with curd and fried chopped onions.

This dish is very common in northern areas of Tehran, among the mountain cafes, as it is served hot and is very tasty. And then there is Abgoosht (literally meat juice/water meat), a very tasty and popular Iranian dish. This dish is very flavorful and simple, but is a little hard on the stomach so is not frequently eaten.

Goosht Koobideh (literally beaten meat) consists of lamb and chickpeas cooked patiently in water for hours (or an hour in a pressure cooker), with a considerable amount of fat attached to the meat, which will dissolve in the water over time. Half a potato is added later, and sometimes a tomato as well to the pot.

The water is first separated from the rest of the ingredients, and then some good bread is cut down by hand piece by piece, and added to the meat-water, creating a mixture called Tilit. At the same time, a mighty warrior will mash the rest of the ingredients (the top bowl in the image) in their separate bowl, into a mixture called Goosht Koobideh.

Doogh (a kind of diluted salty yogurt drink) is also drank with Abgoosht frequently. And then there are Kebobs (called Kabaab in Iran). Kabobs do not have a strange flavor and are consumed by almost everyone in Iran. Since meat is a little expensive in Iran, Kabobs are a kind of a delicacy (specially the lamb ones).

Kabobs are made in all shapes and types, but the most famous three are Joojeh Kabob (literally chicken kabob), Koobideh (lit. mashed) which is made with ground beef and/or lamb, and Barg which is made with beef or lamb tenderloin. Koobideh, the least expensive of all kabobs. It has a good amount of fat in it when ground, and requires a master kabob maker to make it look intact and taste good.

It is common to find Koobideh that is not very well made, and that would not be the best thing to eat. That's why even though thousands of Koobideh places exist in Iran, in every neighborhood only a few are popular and enjoy long queues! Joojeh Kabob, typically served with grilled whole tomatoes, is made of marinated chunks of chicken breast or leg. It can be consumed either with bread or rice or even on its own!

Barg is the expensive kind of kabob, made of lamb tenderloin. It is the most tasty, the most tender, and the most pricey of all kabobs. For example, if a rack of Koobideh costs $5 PPP, and a rack of Joojeh costs $8 PPP, a quality rack of Barg might cost between $15 PPP and $40 PPP. Kabobs are typically consumed with onions and fresh vegetables as sides.

4. Syria


The Umayyad square is the most distinctive scene of Damascus. Mount Qasioun overlooks the whole city. The temple of Jupiter, built during the ancient Roman era is right across from the Umayyad mosque. Bab Sharqi, translates to eastern gate is one of the 7 gates that enclose the old town.

Al Hamidiya market is a historical covered market in the old town. It dates back to Roman times. It was named after an Ottoman sultan. The holes in the ceiling are actually bullet holes that were pierced by the machine-gun fire of French planes in 1925 during the french mandate of Syria. Khan As'ad Pasha is a beautiful public resting spot in Damascus. It was built during the Ottoman era. It perfectly reflects Syrian architectural style.

Most people don’t know about the world’s largest restaurant as it’s in the most unexpected place; Damascus. It’s called Bawabet Dimashq which translates to Damascus gate. It served different types of cuisines including Indian, Chinese, Iranian, and, of course, Syrian and Middle Eastern cuisines.

It had 6 themed sections and many decorative features such as waterfalls, fountains, replicas of famous archaeological ruins in Syria, and a big children’s playground. It had the potential to serve 6014 guests all at once. It occupies 54000 square meters. The kitchen itself is 2500 square meters. During the peak times in the summer there would be around 1500 employees to serve the customers that could reach up to more than 4000 at once.

The restaurant’s kitchen was said to resemble a mini production factory. The equipment and the preparations’ dynamics made it possible for each chef to serve up to 30 of the popular dishes such as hummus in one minute which means a plate was filled every 2 seconds.

Even though it was quite successful back in the day, it has been closed since 2012 as the area was affected by the armed conflict and was occupied first by the opposition fighters and later by the military forces who used the abandoned restaurant as a base for their operations. There are a few restaurants in that area getting refurbished and might re-open soon.

So, who knows? The biggest restaurant in the world might be open to the public again soon. Damascus used to receive a lot of tourists during the summer, especially from Arab Gulf countries since its weather is cooler and it’s a cheap tourist destination.

5. Israel


Israel is not an unknown place but people who have never visited don’t have a clue about how Israelis are very open-minded and how Israel is really a modern country where you find tech hubs, and many trendy places in addition to the historical monuments. Tel Aviv is more similar to Miami or Barcelona than any other city in the Middle East, and Jerusalem also has interesting places to visit.

A blend of modernism and art is what makes Tel Aviv your next destination. Tel Aviv is a city that grows on you. The lady in black would have been a Gothic model turned immigration officer, with enough number of piercings, rings and bracelets, all in black, beyond counting. She was one piece of art. Tel Aviv will be for sure referred as the Art capital of the world in times to come.

Religious tourism is, by far, the main reason for tourists who usually travel to Israel. Keep in mind that during the trip you will have the opportunity to see places that are part of one of the cradle of humankind.

You can sign up for a guided tour of Jerusalem, an excursion to see the Masada fortress and the Dead Sea or a trip to Bethlehem, or focus only on a trip to the Dead Sea. And another alternative would be to sign up for a 7 day tour of the best of Israel from Tel Aviv, visiting Jerusalem, Caesarea, Haifa, Tiberias, Nazareth and other prominent places in the country.

Inside you can move freely even in a rental car, although you must first request authorization from the Israeli authorities to access the areas managed by the Palestinian Authority. You will only have free access to this area, without prior authorization, if you are going to visit the religious enclaves of Bethlehem and Jericho.

The Ein Gedi nature reserve is part of the eastern end of the Judean desert, in Israel. It is located on the shores of the Dead Sea, near Masada, and includes two small valleys of Arugot and David through which water flows throughout the year as well as four springs. This high availability of water in such an arid environment favors plant and animal abundance.

Israel is not Thailand or Mexico, but if you’re not accustomed to hot stuff, be wary. Many street vendors sell really hot food, and everyone loves the headless chicken dance people do once bitten by a Yemen hot sauce. Fusion is the local specialty, so try as many restaurants as you can, you will not regret it.

There’s a great selection of dishes for vegetarians, vegans, lactose intolerant, Gluten-free, diabetic-friendly and tree-nut allergy safe dishes - just be clear when ordering about food restrictions.

Kibbutz Degania Aleph is the first kibbutz ever. It is located on the Jordan river, just as it flows out of the Sea of Galilee. There are several Kibbutzim (plural for kibbutz) that are are worth visiting.

6. Jordan


Bekam Hada? - you must have figured out what this means if you're going to Jordan. And if you haven't, not to worry!

Petra is one of the world’s most incredible archaeological sites. Petra is also one of the New Seven Wonders of the World that can be visited by car or bus from Amman. To Reach Petra you have to walk through a gorge for around 1.2 km. Petra's most impressive monument is Ad Deir Monastery which is scenically perched above the city in the Petra Hills.

Aqaba is situated on the tip of the Red Sea on the Gulf of Aqaba. It is known for its pristine sandy beaches, clear waters studded with marine life. It’s a great place for water sports. Try parasailing, water skiing, and fishing and enjoy it with friends or family. You can also visit Wadi Rum, Jerash, Madaba, Ajloun Castle during your visit to Jordan.

Wadi Rum is a valley cut into the sandstone and granite rock in southern Jordan. It is a protected area and famous for its stunning desert landscape, spectacular sandstone mountains, desert valleys, canyons, dunes, arches. It is also known as the valley of the moon. Wadi Rum has been used as a filming location in Lawrence of Arabia, Prometheus, The Martian, Star Wars and other movies.

Dead Sea has the most salty water on the surface of the earth. It is 60 times salty than a normal ocean. Dead Sea salt is 8.6 times saltier than any sea or ocean water; no water on earth that nears its salt make up, not even, Lake Assal in Djibouti; Garabogazkol in Turkmenistan; and McMurdo in the Antarctica.

The sea is located between Israel, West Bank, and Jordan has a 423-meter or (1,388 feet) surface and shoreline areas; below sea level making it, earth’s lowest elevation. The Dead Sea is the lowest point on the surface of Earth. It is known as the Dead Sea as no one can live in, no fishes, seaweed or plants. No single life lives in the water because of high concentration of sodium chloride.

The best part about the Dead Sea is come what may, you'll float nevertheless, thanks to its salty waters. The salt content of the water increases water density, which makes floating humans possible. No drowning, no sinking. The mineral content prevents pollens and allergens in the atmosphere, which help reduce ultraviolet rays; more important, the higher atmospheric pressure make the sea have specific health effects.

You can see the sparkling crystal salt clusters. These clusters are mineral salts. The salts have power and therapeutic qualities which are used in local spas for various body massage. Don't miss out a massage from the Dead Sea salt that will help you rejuvenate. There are a couple of ground rules though. DON'T shave before entering the waters (salt, it's gonna burn) and don't attempt to swim - just relax, float and grab a newspaper while you're at it.

And you have to wear your shoes while swimming because the ground is incredibly rocky, it hurts your feet to walk on it. And if you have any open wounds, hard luck! And do not stay in the sea for more than 20 minutes because it gets really itchy/ burns after that. However, if you do it right, it is a wonderful experience. You float like you're on top of a raft, except without one. It's magical.

It appears to have formed in a rift - a part of the earth where one tectonic plate pulls away from the other. Usually, such rifts fill with water from the sea, but the Dead Sea is totally isolated from the nearest large bodies of water.

The surface of the sea is about 1,400 feet below sea level, making it much deeper than any other similar depression, such as Death Valley in California (which has mountains between it and the Pacific Ocean). Not only that, the Dead Sea is about 900 feet deep at its deepest point, making it deeper than the two other notable inland salt lakes, the Caspian Sea and the Aral Sea.

However, because of diversion of its water source, the Sea of Galilee (which is actually a fresh water lake), the Dead Sea is slowly shrinking.

Does Jordanian food make vegetarians suffer? The moment you step into a meat lover's paradise, that's the first question that comes to your mind. What if I find just meat everywhere? As a vegetarian, do I have any good options? Or do I have to stack up on food from home? Relax. There aren't just good vegetarian options that are lip-smacking delicious!

7. Saudi Arabia


Cradle and spiritual headquarters of Islam, Saudi Arabia has many tourist attractions like Mada'in Saleh, a pre-Islamic city that, like Petra, was inhabited by the Nabataeans. Riad is a jewel of modern Saudi Arabia. Jedda combines modernity and old with a captivating old center with coral buildings and the coast of the Red Sea offers first-class diving options.

With almost 2000 petroglyphs and cave paintings, this country is one of the richest open-air museums in the world. And for the Muslim travelers, Mecca and Medina suppose the most sacred destiny. Another tourist attraction is the Asir region, culturally and geographically close to Yemen. It is a mountainous region that breaks the desert stereotype of the country.

The coastal region of Yizán, near Asir, also offers some appeal. Specifically, the Farasán Islands offer cultural and scenic assets.

Located in Mecca, the Abraj Kudai is a mammoth of a hotel. This massive $3.6 billion project offers an unprecedented level of luxury and brilliance and spans a massive 1.4 million square meters. Or, in other words, around 262 American-sized football fields. Now, what does exactly will you find within this mega hotel?

10,000 rooms, 70 restaurants, 4 helipads, a bus station, a whole shopping mall, a ballroom, the largest dome atop a hotel, and a conference centre among other things. The hotel has 45 stories, along with five floors dedicated entirely to the Saudi royal family. It has not been completely built yet, but once it is, it will carry the title of the world’s largest hotel, beating First World Hotel, Malaysia, which has 7,351 rooms only.

The hotel will be open for the public to stay in at a cost of potentially £4,000 per night or $5250 approximately.

After coming here if you want to go out for shopping or eating then plan ahead according to timings of salah (prayers) because all businesses would close during prayer timings (five times a day). If you are coming from November to January then you will find most of the places cool or pleasant weather. In other months of the year you will find it very hot so pack your bags accordingly.

If you want to visit the country to have fun then remember you won't find any night clubs, bars here.

8. Kuwait


Once an oasis in the desert, Kuwait has exerted for centuries as a magnet, attracting Bedouins from the interior. The Towers of Kuwait, the most famous icon of the country, deserve a visit for the panoramas offered of the sea and the city.

9. Tajikistan


Tajikistan is a landlocked Central Asian republic, a bit bigger than Greece. Its Soviet-style capital, Dushanbe, lies on the confluence of two rivers, in the backdrop of high mountains. Speaking of mountains, Tajikistan is one of the world’s highest nations, on average. With an average elevation of 3,180 metres, only Bhutan and Nepal surpass it.

The many mountain ranges of Tajikistan make it arguably one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Hiking into the mountains along the path of a beautiful river with a sublime shade of blue, listening to the gushing sound of water is quite therapeutic.

The Saratogh river forms Iskanderkul, named after Alexander the Great after his stay at the lake. It is a mountain glacial triangular shaped lake due to congestion of waters in the mountains and the outflow of the lake is in the form of a very turgid river named 'Iskander Darya'

Many of its tourist destinations are in the Fann Mountains, such as Iskanderkul Lake. Iskanderkul means Lake of Iskander, with Iskander being the Persian name for Alexander the Great.

While it might seem like a remote, backwater country, Tajikistan is home to some seriously impressive engineering feats. Along the Vakhsh, you can find the towering Nurek Dam - 300 metres in tall, it’s the world’s second-tallest dam. It has a concrete core beneath about 54 million cubic metres of rock and earth.

In the soaring Pamir Mountains of Tajikistan, you can find the world’s longest glacier outside the polar regions. Named Fedchenko Glacier, its extends over some 77 kilometres, and is over a kilometre deep in some places. It was discovered in 1878, but never really explored until 40 years later, as part of a German-Soviet expedition. The glacier gets its name from Alexei Pavlovich Fedchenko, a Russian explorer who never actually went there.

10. Qatar


Qatar has become one of the most visited destinations in the Middle East. Doha, the capital, concentrates the main tourist attractions such as the Museum of Modern Art or the Museum of Islamic Art. The State Grand Mosque is the greatest symbol of the ostentation of Qatar and a place of worship for the Qataris.

In the Katara Cultural Village, full of theaters, concert halls and galleries you can meet several global cultures and the Heritage Village presents the history of the country in the pre-oil period. To relax, walk along the Doha Corniche promenade in the Doha Bay.

Lovers of shopping have at their disposal the Souk Waqif, the municipal market. The best beaches in Qatar are Al Ghariya, Maroona, Khor Al Adaid, Ras Abrouq and Fuwairit. Finish your Qatar itinerary with a visit to the most elegant neighborhood of the city, the Pearl-Qatar, where you will feel a true oil tycoon with so much splendor and ostentation.

11. Oman


Al Ashkharah beach is particularly popular among Omanis. At the end of the afternoon or on weekends (Friday and Saturday) they like to come to the wide beach of almost 15 km long for swimming and picnics in the stone pavilions. The long beach with great conditions of kitesurfing and surfing is less popular among tourists due to its remoteness from a big city, although in reality it deserves more attention.

The Masirah island is located off the west coast of Oman and is known primarily by water sports enthusiasts. Because it is possible to surf and dive all year round in front of the beaches of the discrete island. But the island is also perfect for pure beach tourists, as the sunset walks along the long beaches of Masirah are especially suitable.

It is better to get to Masirah by car. Since there is no railway system in Oman, it is essential to have a car. From the capital, Muscat, it takes about 6 hours to reach Shannah. From there, ferries depart several times a day to the Masirah island.

In the province of Al Sharqiya, 220km from Muscat and its airport, the city of Al Wasil, located 11 km from the slopes, is the gateway to the Wahiba Sands desert. You can sleep in several desert camps in the Wahiba sands, lost in the depths of the desert with true Bedouin tents (without air conditioning) for a total desert experience.

Musandam Governorate is one of the most unique biospheres in the world, which cross the limestone mountains of Haja, being its unsurpassed beauty and incredible marine life in the area. Your visit is made through a cruise with a duration of four hours, which is available with departures from Dibba and Khasab, both in the neighboring country of Oman.

So it is required to carry your passport and depending on the nationality the processing of a visa. During cruises with departures from both ports, we stop for swimming, snorkeling, kayaking and fishing. If I had to choose one of the two, I would take the cruise that leaves from Khasab, because on most occasions you can see dolphins.

The landscapes, once you pass the border of Oman to Khasab, are impressive, with mountains on one side and the sea on the other.

12. Yemen


For the Romans, Yemen was Arabia Felix (happy Arabia). Gilgamesh came in search of eternal life. Noah threw his ark here. The Queen of Sheba ruled the territory, and the incense trade brought incredible riches. The One Thousand and One Nights aura of its capital Sanaa in the west has multiple layers, colors and drawings.

There are the mud skyscrapers in the east, the beautiful mountains of the north, the unusual and fantastic landscapes of Socotora in front of the south coast. The traveler can tour the cities like sand castles of the strange and beautiful Wadi Hadramaut, where once giants wandered and scorpions flanked the entrance to the underworld.

The city of Shibam, known as the Manhattan of the desert, is one of the highlights of the valley. The former capital of the ancient kingdom of Saba is considered the most beautiful archaeological attraction in Yemen. Currently, the immemorial domains of the Queen of Sheba are home to Bedouin tribes. One of the most fascinating areas of Yemen is the province of Marib, which was the famous kingdom of Saba.

Rising steeply in the humid coastal plains of the Red Sea, the Jabal Haraz mountains of steep slopes have been for centuries a cultural stronghold that protects the heart of Yemen.

13. Iraq


1500 acres of graves, millions of buried dead, this is Wadi-us-Salaam. World's largest and probably the oldest cemetery has graves from Noah's times and what look like houses are actually family pits where members of the same family are buried. This town of the dead lies parallel to the surprisingly modern and bustling holy city of Najaf in Iraq.

Despite its size, it's the city's neighbourhood graveyard where you will find advertising billboards and souvenir shops mostly selling a special kind of moonstone called Durr-e-Najaf. It is a clear stone that is believed to be formed by raindrops being trapped in the sands of Najaf for years.

14. Lebanon


Lebanon has a reputation among Arab countries of being the most European country both in terms of attitude and fashion. Beirut is just a perfect example of that.

15. Turkmenistan


It is located near the center of Asia at the cross-roads of civilizations and was once part of the ancient Silk Road. Ashgabat, its capital city, looks like a city straight out of a sci-fiction movie. It is also filled with bizarre monuments made of white marble. It holds the Guinness World Record for the city having the highest density of white marble-clad buildings.

16. Uzbekistan


Uzbekistan is a gem from the central Asia! It's a part of the historically significant silk route. So it's bound have a rich culture, heritage, warm people with some of the amazingly beautiful mosques in the world! Equally beautiful architecture will be found especially in Samarkand, the grand city of the Silk Road, and capital of Tamerlane.

17. Azerbaijan


Did you know there’s a city that looks very similar to Dubai in many ways that most people have never even heard of? Let me introduce to you Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan. The first thing that’s unusual about Baku is that it’s the lowest lying national capital in terms of sea level and also the largest city below sea level.

But what’s really unusual about Baku is its architecture. After all in how many cities can you find historic Islamic buildings right next to skyscrapers? And the modern architecture is stunning! Where do you start? Okay maybe the 597 foot flame towers, which are absolutely beautiful at night? Or how about the innovative Heyder Aliyev Center?

18. Afghanistan


Afghanistan is home to some exciting history. Buddhism is probably no where as old and evident as it is in Afghanistan. The remains of the 53 and 37 meters tall Bamiyan Buddhas, the thousand year old and 70 meters high Minaret of Jam, the magnificent fort of Herat and the Blue Mosque of Mazar-e-Sharif top the list.

You won't be disappointed with a culture represented by aesthetic handicrafts, comfy carpets, beautiful pottery and a hospitality that frankly can get too annoying but only because it is too abundant. Afghanistan is largely mountainous and rocks do tend to get fearsome and beautiful in that part of the world.

The lush green valleys of Kunar and Nuristan are unsafe for visitors but Salang, Hazarajat and Badakhshan continue to mesmerize visitors. Afghanistan is home to the most amazing natural lakes of the world. Just ask for Band-e-Amir and be there. You won't regret it. People can be interesting everywhere but what Afghanistan can offer is a rather diverse set of many different types of people.

You can interact with a chatty Kabuli in the capital who might be so nice you couldn't trust him. Then you could be in Parwan where your Tajik host will present you super spicy pancakes while bragging about his adventures and wars. You could hang out with a nice Pashtun fellow who could feed you so much food that you wouldn't be able to move.

A Mazari Uzbek will break the Pashtun man's record by feeding even more to his Yakhshi/Good friend. During the trip you will constantly see faces ranging from a light brown Indian or probably even a Greek or Italian to one who looks like a Chinese, a Kazakh, a Pakistani, or even an ambiguous race like yours truly. You will encounter people who might sound like Iranians or Indians, Central Asians or even Turks.

Take out your passport and visa and get going.
Kalyan Panja Kalyan Panja Author
Erica jones said...

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