We understand all your ‘been there, done that’ dilemmas. Read below to find out 16 ultimate experiences to discover Middle East in new ways.
1. WINE TASTING IN LEBANON
Lebanon’s 87-year-old Chateau Musar is one of the most admired wine brands in the world. The Chateau Musar Rose is an exclusive collection of wine crafted from Obaideh and Merwah, native to the Beqaa Valley. For a collector’s edition of the bottle, visit the brand’s vineyards in the hills of Mount Lebanon, and let the passionate staff guide you.
2. PARTY LIKE A BILLIONAIRE
A new favourite in Dubai, Billionaire Mansion, brings together a restaurant, a nightclub, and a bar and lounge all under one roof. Located in the Taj Hotel, Business Bay, this new restaurant by The Italian F1 boss Flavio Briatore stands out for its live performances and authentic Italian and Japanese cuisines. Enjoy Beluga Volzhenka Caviar as dancers mesmerise you with their performance.
3. UNDERWATER TOUR
The Migaloo Private Submersible Yacht is the most expensive and luxurious submarine-super yacht hybrid in the world. It comes with a price tag of US$2.3 billion. The superyacht—with a helipad, a two-level suite, eight VIP suites, swimming pool and private lounges—can transform itself into a fully operational submarine in no time.
4. GLAMOUR UP
The Dubai World Cup is the world’s most extravagant horse race tournament. It takes place at the Meydan Racecourse in March every year. Get the best views of the spectacular event from the Sky Bubble lounge at Meydan Hotel. Be among who’s who of Dubai while enjoying unbelievable panoramic views of the racecourse from the infinity pool and bar. From US$410.
5. SKIING IN THE MIDDLE EAST
Lebanon is emerging as a top winter sports destination in the Middle East. Faraya Mzaar, 60 kilometres of Beirut, boasts 20 lifts and 80 kilometres of slopes, making it one of the largest and unique ski destinations across the world. Stay at the Presidential Suite at InterContinental Mzaar Lebanon Mountain Resort & Spa for uninterrupted views of snowcovered slopes.
6. GOLDEN PHOENIX CUPCAKE
A small boutique café at the Dubai Mall, Bloomsbury’s, prepares this gold-dusted cupcake. Prepared over two days, it uses 23-carat, edible gold leaf and comes at a whopping price of US$1007.
The spicier alternative to Israeli hummus, moutabel is one of the best dips that come with an eggplant kick. Try it at One&Only, The Palm, Dubai.
8. IRAQI MASGOUF
It is Carp slow-cooked, in Iraqi traditional method, for up to three hours. Try it at Al Adhamiyah Iraqi Restaurant, Doha.
9. DEAD SEA DEEP
Located at the lowest point on Earth, the Hilton Dead Sea Resort & Spa is the latest luxury hotel in Jordan. Strategically located on the eastern shores of the Dead Sea and 1,345 feet below sea level, the hotel comes with a floating deck, private beach, and infinity pool. Go there for Dead Sea’s saline saturated waters and mineral rich black mud. From $289.
10. DESERT YOURSELF
Ride the sand dunes of Oman’s Empty Quarter in a limousine, savour sushi in the middle of the desert, camp anywhere from Daymaniyat Islands to Muscat—a tailormade itinerary with Hud Hud Travels offers unique experiences.
11. CHEF IT UP
Three Michelin-starred Chef Massimo Bottura lays out the best of Italian cuisine at his restaurant, Ristorante Italia, in Istanbul. He imports all ingredients from Italy and plays it up with local Turkish ingredients.
12. SHOP O’CLOCK
One of the oldest luxury watchmakers, Vacheron Constantin, has launched a limited-edition collection of 35 watches for men and 40 watches for women with 84 round-cut diamonds exclusively for the Middle East.
13. SPA THERAPY
The Talise Ottoman Spa at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, Dubai remains the largest and most opulent spa in the Middle East. From its spectacular Turkish architecture to picturesque hammam rooms to exclusive treatments like the 24-carat gold mask, everything about this place redefines luxury. Go for the Thalasso therapy or step into the award-winning Snow Room or Whirlwind pool. Ottoman Escape package at US$700.
14. TRAVEL FASTER
Hire the fastest private jet, Gulfstream G650 for one whole circumambulation around the globe with just one stop. Equipped with ergonomic couches in plush grey leather, extra-large windows, Waterford crystal glassware, the G650 is the latest offering under the Flexjet Red Label programme.
15. DME PIZZA
Created at Al Jumeirah’s restaurant, Pierchic, this ‘royal pizza’ contains two ounces of gold leaves, besides saffron from Kashmir, caviar soaked in wine, Japanese matsutake and mushrooms. US$204,200.
16. GRILLED HALLOUMI CHEESE
These chewy quick bites, which find their origin in Turkey, are made of goat and sheep milk without any use of acid or bacteria for processing. Try it at Olive Restaurant & Bar, Istanbul.