The Six: Camping Spots across the Middle East

Head out to one of these popular camping spots in the Middle East. (Shutterstock)
Updated 26 November 2018
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The Six: Camping Spots across the Middle East

DUBAI: As the weather cools down, it’s time to pack your bags and head out to one of these popular camping spots in the Middle East — but be sure to check the weather forecast before you head out.

Al Qudra Lakes
These man-made lakes in Dubai are popular with weekend campers who flock to the area in the winter season. The area is home to a bike path, as well as public facilities (including bathrooms and a grocery shop).

Chouwen
If you’re after stunning views of a flowing river, this spot in Lebanon’s Jbeil district is perfect.

Wadi Hanifa
Once a waste disposal site, Wadi Hanifa is now a beautiful valley in Riyadh that is easy to access and popular with city dwellers.

Thumamah Desert
This is the perfect camping spot for adrenaline junkies in Saudi Arabia, with quad bikes available for rent and camel rides and bouncy castles for the little ones.

Hajjar Mountains
Oman’s Hajjar Mountains boast breathtaking views. Considering the rocky surroundings and amount of trekking involved, this spot is ideal for more experienced campers.

Jebel Al-Dukhan
Bahrain’s tallest mountain is a favorite with the country’s outdoorsy types. Campers tend to stick to the lower levels of the imposing mountain, but the views are just as delightful.

 


Malaysia welcomes its first durian-friendly hotel

An overview of the Durian Research Center. (AN photo)
Updated 16 July 2019
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Malaysia welcomes its first durian-friendly hotel

  • Tan sees the resort’s agritourism ecosystem as a long-term goal toward creating a platform for durian research and cultivation

KUALA LUMPUR: Durians are known for their distinct, pungent smell, which many foreigners describe as a combination of rotten onions and old socks. As such, most hotels in Asia forbid the fruit on their premises.
But with the rising popularity of durians among locals and foreign tourists, Malaysia is welcoming its first durian-friendly hotel and resort.
Situated an hour from Kuala Lumpur’s city center, the beautiful, scenic Bangi Golf Resort includes a hotel overlooking a golf course, and an agriculture farm.
“When you first go into any hotels, you usually see the signs ‘durian is not allowed’ or ‘durian is forbidden’,” said Tan Ban Keat, director of the resort. “We soften the tone for the hotel to be ‘durians are allowed in durian-friendly zones’.”
Hotel patrons can buy, eat and bring durians to designated zones throughout the resort.
“We’re actually the first hotel to practice that,” said Tan, adding that he does not believe the move will prompt other hotels in Malaysia to follow suit.
“It doesn’t do anything to their business. We do it because we grow durians on the premises. We have the annual durian festival … and we’ll include the Durian Research Center in the near future,” he said.

FASTFACT

Musang Kings are considered premium durians due to their intense yet well-balanced, custardy sweet taste. They are the premier durians for export to China and other overseas markets.

Tan expressed his hope that the center, which is under construction, will become a premier research hub for better durian breeds.
“I hope to create a Super Musang King,” he said. Musang Kings are considered premium durians due to their intense yet well-balanced, custardy sweet taste. They are the premier durians for export to China and other overseas markets.
Tan sees the resort’s agritourism ecosystem as a long-term goal toward creating a platform for durian research and cultivation.
“These durian-friendly zones are created to be a platform for agriculture. Durians have a place in many people’s hearts. They’re a national treasure,” he added.