It’s been a while since we’ve been out there, but the world hasn’t stopped moving. From the latest hotels to new retreats in far-flung destinations to museum openings and what’s trending, here is all the inspiration you need to inform your travel plans to the Middle East this year and beyond.
Three new hotels in the Middle East
Jumeirah Muscat Bay
Sitting in Oman’s ruggedly stunning landscape between the imposing Al Hajar Mountains and the cool waters of the Arabian Sea, the pleasure resort promises sea views, expansive and sophisticated interiors and a luxe wellness offering.
Zulal Wellness Resort by Chiva-Som
Located just 90 minutes’ drive from the capital of Doha, this stylishly understated wellness retreat will boast stringent sustainable practices and an immersive focus on wellbeing that comes with the gravitas of the celebrated Thai wellness brand.
Marvel at the Grand Egyptian Museum in Egypt
Possibly the biggest opening of 2022 will be the much-anticipated Grand Egyptian Museum. Almost 20 years in the making, and costing about $1 billion, the museum will cover some 500,000 square metres close to the pyramids of Giza and house a staggering 100,000 Egyptian artefacts. One of the largest inclusions is the 11-metre-high granite statue of Ramses the Great installed in the atrium, while the crowd-pleaser is the collection of 5000 relics from the famed tomb of Tutankhamun, displayed in its entirety for the first time.
Visit Qatar’s world-class museums
While the FIFA World Cup, which kicks off in November, is all about football, the long build-up to kick-off has resulted in the transformation of Qatar, with myriad new hotels soaring skyward from the desert sands. Eschew the games and head to Frank Gehry-designed National Museum of Qatar or the streamlined Museum of Islamic Art, the work of architect I.M. Pei.
See the Fields of Abstraction exhibition at the Israel Museum
Famed for housing antiquities such as the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Israel Museum, Jerusalem also has a small but significant modern art collection, pieces from which have been curated to create its headlining Fields of Abstraction exhibition, in place until 15 October. Works by artists such as Jackson Pollock, Helen Frankenthaler, Gerhard Richter and Willem de Kooning, to name a very few, are featured.
As-Salt named Jordan’s latest World Heritage Site
Known as ‘a place of tolerance and urban hospitality’, the Jordanian city of As-Salt, an easy journey from the capital, Amman, prospered as an important trading link between east and west. This history has left a compelling legacy of tolerance, as well as a unique architectural imprint, with the Old Town boasting some 650 historic buildings embracing Art Nouveau, Neo-Colonial and local, traditional styles. Little wonder the city was recently inscribed as Jordan’s latest World Heritage site, joining the likes of Petra and the ruins of Umer-Rasas.