Yas Marina Circuit, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi

The Yas Marina Circuit is a race track that hosts the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Formula 1 since November 2009, it is located on Yas Island, half an hour from Abu Dhabi. The same company that built the circuit, has also built a theme park on the island, the Ferrari World; a marina, residential areas, sports and leisure facilities as well as hotels and resorts. The circuit is 5.55 km long with 21 corners, a long straight and a pin, between the marina and the sand dunes. The stands are quite spacious and the  exit of the pit lane passes under the track through a tunnel. The departure takes place day and night of arrival and cars go in the anticlockwise direction. The lighting is done through powerful illuminated projectors. Apart from Formula 1, the circuit is used for many other activities such as karting, motorcycle, marathons, etc. There is also a conference room that can be rented for events.

Tips

If you want to attend the Grand Prix, you have to make reservations well in advance, especially if you also want to stay in a hotel next to the circuit. For the various activities and events, check out their website.

Petra, Jordan, Middle-East, Asia

Petra, name Semitic or Raqmu or Rekem, is a pre-Islamic Nabataean city of present Jordan located in Wadi Rum, World Heritage of UNESCO. Located halfway between the Gulf of Aqaba and the Dead Sea, at 3 hour drive from Amman, the Jordanian capital. Founded in ancient times towards the end of VIIIᵉ century BC by the Edomites, then it was occupied by the Nabateans in the sixth century who took advantage of its position on the caravan route to transport incense, spices and other valuable goods between Egypt, Syria, South Arabia and the Mediterranean. Unfortunately, two centuries later, it was seen in the gradual abandonment by its inhabitants due to earthquakes and changing trade routes. In 1812, Swiss explorer Jean Louis Burckhardt rediscovered the site. In 1830, the site became a place to visit, additional religious pilgrimages and source of profits for many heads of neighboring tribes.
The numerous buildings, including the monumental facades are directly cut into the rock, make it a monumental and unique set surrounded by a National Archaeological Park.
The situation of Petra, hidden between rocks and steep walls with a safe water supply makes it an ideal location for the development of a prosperous city. The place is accessible only by a narrow mountain trail from the north-west or east through a canyon of about 1.5 kilometer long and up to 200 meters deep, the Siq, access main, which in the narrowest point, has only two meters wide. Collection and water distribution facilities to store and transport water by overcoming the steep terrain are still visible today.
Tourism began after the Second World War, in the past, the city was only accessible to tourists and researchers, accompanied by local guides and armed escorts. The Bedul nomads living in the ruins of Petra until 1980; they are now tourist guides or traders established around. But unfortunately, the tourism sector is dependent on economic and political stability of the region.

Tips

Before departure obtain your required tourist visa at the embassy or consulate or upon arrival at the airport in Amman ( you have to pay in local currency) .
You have more than twenty hotels to choose for your visit.
The entrance to the site is paid. A night tour of Petra, under the lights is possible, to discover the city from another angle .
UNESCO and the authorities advise against walking back offered animals as dust raised by the animals encrusted in the cracks and crannies of the Siq and ruins, damaging them.

Bethlehem, West Bank, Palestine

Bethlehem is a town in West Bank, a region of Palestine, important religious centre, about 10 km south of Jerusalem, which has 30,000 inhabitants, mainly Muslim Palestinians. The city has a small community of Palestinian Christians, one of the oldest Christian communities in the world. For Jews, the name is Ephrata and is the place of birth and Coronation of the King of Israel David. Regarded by Christians as the birthplace of Jesus of Nazareth. It is a place of pilgrimage that generates an important economic activity in the Christmas period. The city is also the seat of a place holy to Judaism, Rachel’s Tomb, located at the entrance of the city. Since 1995, the city is under the administration of the Palestinian Authority. There is also the Church of the Nativity with his famous star and the cave of the milk. The Christian assertions are not corroborated by archaeological discoveries in Bethlehem where no trace of contemporary habitat of Jesus was last updated so far. Between 1992 and 2003, the Israeli archaeologist Aviram Oshri led rescue excavations in the homonymous village of Bethlehem in Galilee, 6 km west of Nazareth. It has been the remains of a Jewish occupation of Herodian time, those of a Christian Basilica and issued the hypothesis that the Galilean village of Bethlehem would be the true birthplace of Jesus.
The city is now partially surrounded by the Israeli barrier in the form of an 8-metre wall built by the Israeli authorities.
Bethlehem received in 2000 the visit of Pope John Paul II to commemorate the 2,000th anniversary of the birth of Christ.

Tips

You can go by bus from Jerusalem, at the Damascus Gate and it will leave you in front of the wall, at the Israeli checkpoint. You will need to submit your papers and get a permit from the authority to enter, after crossing the wall, you can take a shared taxi to the city. To return with the same bus, you will need to pass a control where you present your papers again.
Alternatively, you can take a taxi to Jerusalem. If the driver is Arabic, he may cross the wall, arrange a tour with a local guide and take you back to Jerusalem.
If you rent an Israeli car, it cannot penetrate in the territories.
A half-day visit to the Basilica of the Nativity and the old town is needed.