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6 Great Middle-Eastern Cities Everyone Should Experience

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6 Great Middle-Eastern Cities Everyone Should Experience

Are you an avid traveler? Or perhaps an adventure seeker? If the answer is “yes”, then your next destination should be the Middle East. Known for its desert sands and extravaganza, this part of the world will leave you breathless. However, you may ask what it has to offer. Well, perhaps the long, rich history might draw you in. Or the untouched beauty that awaits your arrival. The mountains, deserts, deep blue seas – you can find it all here.

Additionally, if you are more into relaxing and living large, then the stunning Middle-Eastern cities would be a great travel choice. From mountains, across the sands, to the seas, the Middle East has it all. Moreover, these places are interlaced with different cultures and people, which only make it more exotic. This is why you should definitely visit this part of the world, at least once. In case you do not know where to go, here are six great cities of the Middle East, that should satisfy your travel taste:

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1. Dubai

Known for its luxurious residents and over-the-top buildings, Dubai certainly deserves to be on this list. It probably is the most popular, and the richest of Middle-Eastern cities, and for a reason. It rose from the sands of the Persian Gulf, and developed quite quickly into the city of the future. Not only is it known for its modern architecture, with the tallest building in the world, the breath-taking Burj Khalifa, but it is also known for impressive feats of engineering in the shape of the Palm Islands. Seemingly, Dubai has everything you need. With just a little bit of money, you can have the best travel experience in your life. So hurry up, set your travel arrangements in order, and join the fun in Dubai!

2. Abu Dhabi

The capital of the United Arab Emirates, the city has been in Dubai’s shadow for years. Luckily, this is starting to change, as more and more tourists go to Abu Dhabi. And why shouldn’t they? The city boasts with great architecture and culture. There are also gorgeous parks and gardens for relaxation and some family time. However, one of the most popular landmarks is the Sheikh Zayed Mosque. The mosque stands tall with pride, bathed in a pure white color and golden ornaments, which only add to its beauty.

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3. Doha

Just like the previous two cities, Doha, too, offers modern buildings in its skyline. Luxurious hotels, shopping malls, and everything else a person might need. If you are more into culture, you can visit the Museum of Islamic Art. The building is constructed in the ancient Islamic architecture style with a little bit of a modern flare. You can find manuscripts, sculptures, and other artefacts inside the museum. Also worth a visit is the Katara cultural village.

4. Tel Aviv

Perhaps the opposite of Jerusalem – the holy city – Tel Aviv is a vibrant, holiday-ready metropolis. If you want to have fun while in Israel, this is where you should be. Located on the Mediterranean coast, Tel Aviv is perfect for relaxing by the beach and enjoying life 24/7. It has a variety of architectural styles, from Bauhaus to skyscrapers. Moreover, the tourists can enjoy a day at the beach, or in one of the beautiful parks such as Hayarkon Park or Dubnow Park.

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In addition to this, there are many museums, too. According to Wikipedia and CNN, Tel Aviv has the highest number of museums per capita of any country. Also, for those who like to party, there is a great night life scene in the city. All these offers can only mean that you will never be bored in this city. There is always something to do here. Finally, it can be said that Tel Aviv is a city that never sleeps.

5. Istanbul

Istanbul – a city split between the East and the West. History, culture, different people, great style, stunning attractions, and amazing food – you will find it all here, in one place. Visit places such as Hagia Sophia or the Blue Mosque. Walk around some of the many bazaars and witness the interesting culture of this remarkable city. Plus, you will have a great shopping spree. By walking through Istanbul, you will get drunk on the mixed spirits of the old and new, of the modern west and traditional east. Without a doubt, you will enjoy Istanbul and you will want to come back many times.

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6. Amman

The last city on this list is the capital of Jordan – Amman, a home to multicultural history, people and architecture. The central business centre, which boasts with modern buildings, is surrounded by traditional architecture that has stood there for centuries. If you are a true tourist, you would enjoy attractions such as the Citadel or the Roman Amphitheater. These are the places where you can see the remnants of the long history of Amman. There are other sights, as well.

Nevertheless, if you are not into history, you can always visit shopping malls and parks around the city. Or maybe have a delicious lunch in some restaurant because you should definitely have a taste of Amman’s multicultural cuisine. Be sure that it will leave you speechless.

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Clearly, there is a lot to be seen and lived through in the Middle East. Even though it may not be so popular or well represented in the world, which is unfortunate, this part of the world most certainly deserves the opposite. Not only is it essential for its historic importance, but it is also crucial for the future of the world. As evidenced, many cities have only started to develop, therefore, there is a lot of life in front of them. Because of this, you should go there and see it all for yourself. Maybe even leave a mark of your own. Who knows what the trip to the Middle East can bring you. That’s why you should head out there and see what it has in store for you.

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Nemanja Manojlovic

Editor at MyCity Web

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Last Updated on January 27, 2022

5 Reasons Why Food is the Best Way to Understand a Culture

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5 Reasons Why Food is the Best Way to Understand a Culture

Food plays an integral role in our lives and rightfully so: the food we eat is intricately intertwined with our culture. You can learn a lot about a particular culture by exploring their food. In fact, it may be difficult to fully define a culture without a nod to their cuisine.

“Tell me what you eat, and I’ll tell you who you are.” – Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1825).

Don’t believe me? Here’s why food is the best way to understand a culture:

Food is a universal necessity.

It doesn’t matter where in the world you’re from – you have to eat. And your societal culture most likely evolved from that very need, the need to eat. Once they ventured beyond hunting and gathering, many early civilizations organized themselves in ways that facilitated food distribution and production. That also meant that the animals, land and resources you were near dictated not only what you’d consume, but how you’d prepare and cook it. The establishment of the spice trade and the merchant silk road are two example of the great lengths many took to obtain desirable ingredients.

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Food preservation techniques are unique to climates and lifestyle.

Ever wonder why the process to preserve meat is so different around the world? It has to do with local resources, needs, and climates. In Morocco, Khlea is a dish composed of dried beef preserved in spices and then packed in animal fat. When preserved correctly, it’s still good for two years when stored at room temperature. That makes a lot of sense in Morocco, where the country historically has had a strong nomadic population, desert landscape, and extremely warm, dry temperatures.

Staples of a local cuisines illustrate historical eating patterns.

Some societies have cuisines that are entirely based on meat, and others are almost entirely plant-based. Some have seasonal variety and their cuisines change accordingly during different parts of the year. India’s cuisine is extremely varied from region to region, with meat and wheat heavy dishes in the far north, to spectacular fish delicacies in the east, to rice-based vegetarian diets in the south, and many more variations in between.

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The western part of India is home to a group of strict vegetarians: they not only avoid flesh and eggs, but even certain strong aromatics like garlic, or root vegetables like carrots and potatoes. Dishes like Papri Chat, featuring vegetable based chutneys mixed with yoghurt, herbs and spices are popular.

Components of popular dishes can reveal cultural secrets.

This is probably the most intriguing part of studying a specific cuisine. Certain regions of the world have certain ingredients easily available to them. Most people know that common foods such as corn, tomatoes, chili peppers, and chocolate are native to the Americas, or “New World”. Many of today’s chefs consider themselves to be extremely modern when fusing cuisines, but cultural lines blended long ago when it comes to purity of ingredients.

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Black pepper originated in Asia but became, and still remains, a critical part of European cuisine. The Belgians are some of the finest chocolatiers, despite it not being native to the old world. And perhaps one of the most interesting result from the blending of two cuisines is Chicken Tikka Masala; it resembles an Indian Mughali dish, but was actually invented by the British!

Food tourism – it’s a whole new way to travel.

Some people have taken the intergation of food and culture to a new level. No trip they take is complete with out a well-researched meal plan, that dictates not only the time of year for their visit, but also how they will experience a new culture.

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So, a food tourist won’t just focus on having a pint at Oktoberfest, but will be interested in learning the German beer making process, and possibly how they can make their own fresh brew. Food tourists visit many of the popular mainstays for traditional tourism, like New York City, San Francisco, London, or Paris, but many locations that they frequent, such as Armenia or Laos, may be off the beaten path for most travelers. And since their interest in food is more than meal deep, they have the chance to learn local preparation techniques that can shed insight into a whole other aspect of a particular region’s culture.

Featured photo credit: Young Shih via unsplash.com

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