World first for Martin Randall?

World first for Martin Randall?

In what (to my knowledge) is a world first, luxury tour operator Martin Randall Travel – known for running fully escorted cultural and historical tours on highbrow themes, chiefly to destinations in Europe – has announced a tour for March 2012 focused exclusively on Palestine. Click here for tour details. The eight-day tour’s key selling-point is that…

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Weather or not

Weather or not

Ahead of a forthcoming trip to Palestine and Israel, a couple of days ago I went to check the weather on my iPhone’s preinstalled Yahoo weather app. Tel Aviv loaded fine, but it was when I did a search for Jerusalem that the oddness began. I started by typing “Jerus” – waiting for Yahoo’s database…

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Blue pencils and red lights

Blue pencils and red lights

A recent flurry of articles continues: after 48 Hours in Tel Aviv, something about the deserts of Abu Dhabi and the Traveller’s Guide to the Red Sea (all published in the Independent in the last month or so), my non-travel feature about gay and lesbian issues in Israel appeared in the Independent’s Saturday magazine over…

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Centenary cities

Centenary cities

Which is the most ethnically diverse city in the Middle East? Go on, have a think. What’s your best guess? Dubai? My guess might surprise you. If you discount Mecca during the haj – which hosts 3 million people from seemingly every country in the world – I’d say the answer is Tel Aviv. I…

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Best airport in the Middle East

Best airport in the Middle East

Consultancy firm Skytrax surveyed 8.6 million passengers at 190 airports for its World Airport Awards 2009. Incheon (S Korea), Hong Kong and Changi (Singapore) led the list – but it was the regional award for best airport in the Middle East that caught my eye: Tel Aviv, followed by Bahrain and Dubai. Tel Aviv? Were…

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