Qatar is the first Arab nation to host the World Cup and the fourth wealthiest country in the world by GDP per capita. While culturally part of the Middle East, Qatar sits in West Asia geographically. It is a peninsula of 11,500 square kilometers with a long coastline on the western Arabian Gulf. Qatar has a population of 3 million – only 500,000 of which are Qatari – and represents 200 nationalities! Doha is its uber modern capital.
Lifestyles of the rich and religious abound in the United Arab Emirates, particularly in the wealthiest of them all: Abu Dhabi. It is dripping in oil with richesse second to few. Home to the UAE’s largest mosque and the world’s first governmental artificial intelligence department, Abu Dhabi invests in both religion and science. In the nearby desert lies gold in the form of fine sand, which hosts dune and camel cruising, Bedouin camps, whirling dervishes and belly dancers. All of it shakes up your mind in the land of sheikhs.
Dubai in the United Arab Emirates is a luxurious, surreal city-state that’s home to many of the world’s largest infrastructures. It is literally rimmed in gold and just about any indulgence you can imagine. It also intersects vastly different Muslim and ex-pat cultures. But they are united in living large.
Noah’s Ark purportedly landed in the Caucasus, a region between the Black and Caspian Seas where the Caucasus Mountains divide Eastern Europe and Western Asia. The latter in the South Caucasus includes Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia, where fire, earth, water and air are “biblical.” No wonder the ark survived.
While Easter has been a Christian celebration for centuries, it began as a non-religious spring festival. And the Easter bunny hopped to America from another country. Moreover, the first Christian state in the world was in West Asia. Discover a basket of “eggs-cellent” facts …
Istanbul is one of the most fascinating cities in the world, physically located on the European continent but dominated culturally by the Middle East. These worlds collide in amusing ways in Turkish baths known as hammams.