Dazzling, glitzy—maybe a bit nuts—the UAR is a theme park for the whole family. Phoenix-like, it rises from desert and sea, impossibly clean and advanced; here you’ll find astounding five-star hotels and some of the most intense shopping on the planet. We especially love the UAR as a highly civilized recharge between adventures in older, grittier Near-East cities.
Dating only from 1909, Israel’s largest city evinces a sexy, bohemian, anything-goes vibe we dare you to resist. Its nightlife, art and beach scenes are world-famous, but we also dig the city’s Bauhausian architecture and the amazing culture surrounding museums like the Haaretz. Do not fail to poke around Carmel Market or boat over to ancient Jaffa.
With history stretching back five millennia, its streets peppered with Roman ruins, Jordan’s capital city is a traditional, hospitable oasis—and heaven for shoppers. High-end retail abounds in Jabal Amman, the city’s highest point; but for our money, nothing compares to getting lost in local markets and haggling for that Levantine treasure you’ve just got to have.