Top 3 Middle Eastern Eco-Cities to Visit in 2011

"tel aviv beach"Planning out your vacations for the new year ahead? Beirut, Tel Aviv and Abu Dhabi make the cut.

A few months ago, world-renowned travel guide company Lonely Planet made a list of its top 10 cities for 2011.  Tel Aviv made the prized 3rd place spot (after New York and Tangier, but before Valencia, Delhi, and Chiang Mai).  Tel Aviv tops a Green Prophet list as well: the list of Middle Eastern eco-cities to visit in 2011 (or as soon as you possibly can).

Besides Tel Aviv, our list includes Beirut and Abu Dhabi.

Tel Aviv

"tel aviv market"Israel’s cultural capital, this city has a lot of green street credit too and is steadily becoming more and more sustainable.  Listed recently by the Miami Herald as one of the hottest new green destinations, Tel Aviv has a great deal to offer in terms of sustainable food options, markets, transportation, design, fashion, and more.

Check out the weekly organic farmer’s market in the southern part of the city (at the old Turkish train station) for a bite, or hop up to the northern part of Dizengoff Street to do some shopping at Cotton, an all-organic fashion boutique.  Fashion not your thing?  There is also a growing number of sustainable designers, including Junktion which transforms junk into treasure.

Beirut

"beirut lebanon walking tour"Also becoming greener of late, eco-tourism in Beirut is becoming easier.  BeBeirut offers eco-friendly tours in the city, either on foot or in your jogging sneakers (check out one of their tours above).  Alternatively, rent a bike and use one of Beirut’s new bike paths.

Hungry?  Check out the popular local farmer’s market, Souk el Tayeb.

Abu Dhabi

"abu dhabi green map"Abu Dhabi may get a lot of criticism for its oil-based wealth, but the city is not without its green side.  Check out the Abu Dhabi Eco-Chicks’ green map of the city for some ideas, including organic cafes, sustainable fish markets and restaurants, bike routes, and recycling spots.

Read more about eco-tourism in the Middle East::
Eco Tourism in the Middle East: Syria
Eco Tourism in the Middle East: Jordan
Eco Tourism in the Middle East: Egypt

Images via: anjci, austinevan,

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