Arabia is the story of Jonathan Raban's magic carpet ride through Bahrain, Qatar, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Yemen, Egypt and Jordan. Not only does it reveal the Arabs and their culture, it also introduces us to a series of memorable individuals. Much of the book's strength is the author's gift for friendships. He brings us into markets and hotels to glamorous parties and seedy rooms, to a sheikh's fortress and the home of a Bedu family. He opens up the world of the rich and the poor and gives us the feel, the smells, the sounds, the very texture of Arabia.