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This month on Inside the Middle East

Internationally renowned Lebanese couturier Zuhair Murad takes IME on a tour of cosmopolitan Beirut, his home town and inspiration.
Internationally renowned Lebanese couturier Zuhair Murad takes IME on a tour of cosmopolitan Beirut, his home town and inspiration.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Inside the Middle East is in Oman
  • On deck with the captain of a historic recreation of a 9th century Omani spice ship
  • Lebanese couturier Zuhair Murad explains how his home, Beirut, inspires his designs

(CNN) -- Host Zain Verjee takes viewers through Oman's diverse terrain -- sailing the seas in a sleek racing boat and driving through oasis towns en route to the rugged mountains of Jabal Al-Akhdar. Plus:

The 'Jewel of Muscat'
Omanis' relationship with the sea goes back generations and sailors have traveled and traded on the water for centuries. Inside the Middle East watches the launch of the "Jewel of Muscat," a reconstruction of a 9th century spice ship. The sewn-plank ship has been faithfully reconstructed from handmade coconut fiber ropes and wood -- and without a single nail. The "Jewel of Muscat" will follow old trading routes stopping in India, Sri Lanka and Malaysia before arriving in Singapore in July. Inside the Middle East goes on deck with the captain ahead of the ship's historic launch.

Your IME diary
We bring you highlights from the Tour of Oman where cyclists rode for six days on a 700 km route in a race that is the first of this kind in Oman. At a Muscat art gallery we meet contemporary artist Hassan Meer and he describes his abstract paintings and photography. We also explore the exotic scents at the House of Amouage where CEO David Crickmore gives us a tour of the luxury perfumery. From the UAE we bring you the flavors of Gourmet Abu Dhabi as we report from the kitchen.

My Beirut with Zuhair Mourad
Drawing inspiration from the blue of the Mediterranean and the green of Lebanon's valleys and mountains, fashion designer Zuhair Mourad has made his name internationally in couture. Mourad most recently made headlines at the Brit Awards red carpet with a gold corset mini-dress worn by singer Florence Welsh who went on to win Best Album. Mourad says he is inspired by the many civilizations that have left their mark on his country -- from Byzantine to Ottoman, from French to "modern Lebanese" -- he shows us around the city where he was raised, Beirut.