Russian shoppers are staying away from the Dubai Shopping Festival, but visitors from elsewhere are still coming.
Iran is a destination with more to offer than you might think - you just have to ask, writes Mike O'Connor.
"In history, Bethlehem and Jerusalem were always twin cities. Now, Bethlehem is being isolated."
Armchair travellers can visit the world's tallest skyscraper and inspect one of the largest shopping malls.
The city of Jerash in northern Jordan is an empty Roman outpost that even now feels alive.