The cradle of civilization, the nations of the Middle East has a difficult past that continues to inform the present. In spite of these difficulties, however, the lands of the Middle East continue to lure the traveler with a myriad of sensory delights, historical attractions and centers of spirituality. Jordan’s lost city of Petra, the fairy chimneys of Cappadocia and the awe-inspiring pyramids of Egypt speak to the region’s deep historical presence, while the holy sites of Israel are the epicenter of three of the world’s major religions. Where else but in the Middle East (Dubai) can one ride a camel, drive a formula race car and ski down an all-indoor ski run in one afternoon, afterwards retiring for the evening to the confines of a 7-star hotel? Be it stunning natural beauty, spiritual fulfillment, action, adventure, luxury or glamor, the Middle East continues to defy the odds.