1. Ancient City of Qalhat, Oman


Located on the east coast of the Sultanate of Oman, this site includes the ancient city of Qalhat, surrounded by inner and outer walls, as well as necropolises. The city developed as a major port on the east coast of Arabia between the 11th and 15th centuries and was key in the trade links between the east coast of Arabia, East Africa, India, China and south-east Asia. Fly Air Arabia from Sharjah to Muscat, from about Dh700 return.

2. ChaIne des Puys, Limagne, France

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This site, in central France, comprises the Limagne fault, the alignments of the Chaine des Puys volcanoes and the inverted relief of the Montagne de la Serre. It is an emblematic segment of the West European Rift, created in the aftermath of the formation of the Alps 35 million years ago. This is an exceptional illustration of continental break-up. Fly Air France from Dubai to Auvergne, Clermont Ferrand, via Paris, from about Dh5,300 return.

3. Gobekli Tepe, Turkey

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These megalithic structures in the Germus mountains of south-eastern Anatolia were erected by hunter-gatherers in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic age. They were probably used in connection with funerary rituals. Fly Turkish Airlines from Abu Dhabi to Sanliurfa via Istanbul, from about Dh2,400.

4. Neo-Gothic/Art Deco Ensembles, India


Having become a global trading centre, the city of Mumbai implemented an ambitious urban planning project in the second half of the 19th century. It led to the construction of ensembles of public buildings bordering the Oval Maidan open space, first in the Victorian neo-gothic style and then, in the early 20th century, in the art deco idiom. Fly Emirates airline from Dubai to Mumbai, from Dh1,000 return.

5. Medina Azahara, Spain

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The site of a city built in the mid-10th century by the Umayyad dynasty as the seat of the Caliphate of Cordoba. It was laid to waste during the civil war that put an end to the caliphate in 1009-10. The remains were forgotten until their rediscovery early last century. With roads, bridges, water systems and buildings, the site provides great insight into the now vanished Western Islamic civilisation of Al-Andalus. Fly Etihad Airways from Abu Dhabi to Malaga via Rome, from about Dh3,000 return.

6. Naumburg Cathedral, Germany


The Cathedral of Naumburg, whose construction began in 1028, is an outstanding testament to medieval art and architecture. Its Romanesque structure is flanked by two Gothic choirs; the western one reflects changes in religious practice and the appearance of science and nature in the figurative arts. Fly Lufthansa from Dubai to Leipzig via Frankfurt, from about Dh3,900 return.

7. Fanjingshan, China


Located within the Wuling mountain range in Guizhou Province (south-west China), Fanjingshan ranges between 1,640-8,430ft above sea level, favouring highly diverse types of vegetation and relief. It is an island of metamorphic rock in a sea of karst, home to many plant and animal species that originated in the Tertiary period, between 65 million and two million years ago. Fanjingshan has the largest primeval beech forest in the subtropical region. Fly China Southern Airlines from Dubai to Tongren via Guangzhou, from about Dh2,900 return.

8. Tehuacan-Cuicatlan Valley, Mexico


Located in the Mesoamerican region, this area has the richest biodiversity in all of North America and is one of the main centres of diversification for the cacti family, which is endangered worldwide. The valley harbours the densest forests of columnar cacti in the world, shaping a unique landscape that also includes agaves, yuccas and oaks. Archaeological remains demonstrate technological developments and the early domestication of crops. Fly United from Dubai to Puebla with stopovers at Toronto and Houston, from about Dh7,500 return.

9. Sansa, South Korea


The Sansa are Buddhist mountain monasteries located throughout the southern provinces of the Korean Peninsula. The arrangement of the seven temples, established from the seventh to ninth centuries, include the madang (open courtyard) flanked by four buildings (Buddha hall, pavilion, lecture hall and dormitory). These monasteries are sacred places, which have survived as living centres of faith and daily religious practice to the present. Fly Korean Airlines from Dubai to Seoul, from about Dh7,000 return.

10. Ivrea, Italy


This industrial city in Piedmont was developed as the testing ground for Olivetti, manufacturer of business products. It was designed over four decades from the Thirties to express a vision of the relationship between industry and architecture. Fly Lufthansa from Dubai to Turin with a stopover at Frankfurt, from about Dh3,400 return.