Would You Stay At This Hotel?

Sharjah, UAE sits on the warm waters of the Persian Gulf, and its beach hotels are rather popular bases for exploring this emirate as well as the neighboring emirate of Dubai. I’ve seen many hotels around the world, but one I saw while in Sharjah blew me away. Not because of its exquisite rooms, unique […]

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5 Luxury Dubai Hotels Which I Never Saw

During my three months in Sharjah, UAE, I made many, many trips into the neighboring emirate of Dubai. I’m really not into glamour and glizt, so my jaunts into Dubai were short because, frankly, I was a little bored. I never once walked through the doors of any of the hotels for which Dubai is […]

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The Sounds of Friday Worship in Sharjah, UAE

Five times a day across the Middle East, people are reminded to pray when the call to worship emanates over loudspeakers from the many mosques that fill the land. I am Christian but find the lilting, echoing song of the iman quite enchanting. As Friday is the day of worship for Muslims, at approximately noon […]

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An Arab Beauty Standard and How It Improved My Face

In my culture skin darkened by the sun is considered far more desirable than pale complexions. So popular is tanned skin that many of us will not wait until summer sun is available to taint us with its rays, so we shell out significant amounts of money to lie in cancer-causing tanning beds that paint […]

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A New World – From the Northeast to the Middle East

Shifting from the cushy comfort of Connecticut to the gritty solemnity that is the Middle East has brought eye opening newness to my life. Though I’ve been settled down here for three months, still I am not entirely accustomed to the sights that greet me every day. Each time I look out the window or […]

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An Oasis in the Middle of a Desert City

Exercising outdoors in the midst of a congested city is a joyless function. I deeply love almost all aspects of throbbing city life, but exercising on crowded sidewalks directly next to four lanes packed with cars spewing forth chemicals is one activity I would like to never again undertake. Greater than my love of cities […]

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The Sounds of Sharjah

A rooster crows most every morning at half past six somewhere outside my window. I look for it in the direction of its trumpeting screech, but instead my eyes always meet swerving taxis speeding past men in long, flowing cotton clothing who ride bikes with fat wheels past tall buildings of light brown plaster and […]

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Two Hours at the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi, UAE

Mosques in the Middle East vary in size from as small as a house built for one to as large as a town of 100. One of the largest and most architecturally magnificent is the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. I traveled there a couple of weeks ago and found that this mosque […]

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UAE Decency Laws and Hotels That Cater to Westerners

You know you’ve been in a conservative Muslim country for a long time when seeing someone walk down the street in shorts shocks you. I received a mild shock when I took a taxi to the other side of Sharjah to work out at a gym and then hang on the beach at a hotel […]

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A Hot Time at the Blue Souk in Sharjah

While whipping around the streets on a typical back breaking bus trip from Dubai back to Sharjah, I spotted two massive buildings with rounded rooftops. Each was identical and a couple of city blocks long, connected one to the other with a second-story skywalk. This, I said to myself, must be the Blue Souk. Days […]

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Dubai’s Spice Souq – Photo Essay

On my first trip into Dubai, the same day that I visited the famous gold souq after which I got almost hopelessly lost off the beaten path, I navigated through the far more colorful and enchanting spice souq nearby. Here, at the Deira Old Souq, a/k/a the Dubai Spice Souq, I found that the shopkeepers […]

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Off The Beaten Path in Dubai – An Accidental Find

In today’s travel world, ever-multiplying numbers are intent on climbing off the tourist track and onto hidden paths in the heart of nowhere. I am very much about exploring the unknown and am constantly plotting out journeys to offbeat spots. The first time I headed from Sharjah into the very much on-the-beaten path city of […]

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