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Middle East Holidays Making Solid Steps

With countries such as Oman selling themselves on their history and culture, more people than ever are opting for cheap holidays in the Middle East.

Many holiday experts have made this claim of late and the most recent is travel guide publisher Lonely Planet, which declared this week that holidaymakers are increasingly planning trips to the region – especially countries such as Oman, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Jordan.

Lonely Planet contributor Tom Hall noted that the Oman capital of Muscat is especially popular – and has been mentioned in his Best in Travel 2012 guide as one of the top ten cities to visit next year.

Mr Hall said that Muscat was a “great example” of the Middle East’s potential as a fascinating and fun holiday destination, pointing out that the city “has a huge amount of history and a lot of heritage with the port, which has been a world trading post for centuries.” Other attractions in Muscat include the ever-growing number of custom-built resorts and its recently-opened opera house.

The Oman tourist board and the Omani Student Society are planning a joint exhibition in London next month to promote the country as a great choice for cheap holidays. The free exhibition takes place on 3 December at Imperial College London’s Queen’s Hall, and is being held as part of Oman’s 41st National Day celebrations.

Visitors to the exhibition will leave far more clued up about the nation’s history, culture and natural wonders, and can pore over examples of traditional Oman clothing, arts and crafts, art and photography. They can also show off their own talents at the exhibition’s photo studio, sample Oman’s film industry at the cinema area, receive some traditional body decoration at the Henna tent and taste the country’s delicacies in a dedicated food tasting zone. The show begins with an introductory video, at which guests will be given strong coffee, dates and the regional confectionery halwa.