This Arabic and Hebrew speaker is an expert at tailoring trips to specific interests, such as architecture, horseback riding, and Islamic culture. Her itineraries combine stays at some of the region’s best hotels, like the Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi Grand Canal and Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort, with top-flight guides at attractions like Doha’s new National Museum of Qatar. Lately she’s seen a positive shift in terms of traveler interest in the region: Requests to simply see the superlatives like the biggest and best new attractions in glittering hubs like Dubai are getting more rare, in favor of itineraries that go deeper into the culture and history of destinations across the Gulf region. She’s recently planned trips for people interested in the secular and religious architecture of the Arab world, for a family keen to learn more about equestrian traditions in the U.A.E., and for travelers interested in the Jewish history of Oman. Her partners on the ground enable Lazarov to connect visitors with the top guides and get VIP access to sites like museums and cultural centers. Of course, luxury is still a part of many of her trips. She often recommends hotels will full-service spas for a post-arrival massage and resorts top-notch gyms that have the latest equipment, including Peloton bikes, something clients often ask about specifically.
ADDITIONAL SPECIALTIES: Asia and wellness travel
Languages Spoken: Arabic, English, and Hebrew
Minimum Daily Spend: From $350 per person per day
Trip Planning Fees: From $50
firstname.lastname@example.org | 212-399-6207 | New York
"My husband was invited to attend a meeting in Dubai for several days in March, so we decided to make a longer trip and go somewhere else after being in the U.A.E. I used Travel + Leisure to find Amalia and contacted her last November to begin planning. We spoke with her about various places we could go — Cairo, Istanbul, and Jordan came up — but we decided on Oman. In January, we started planning the details. We had never been to the Middle East, so we really depended on Amalia for everything. She arranged all our flights and a day trip from Dubai to Abu Dhabi with a wonderful guide. We were able to see the Grand Mosque there, the new Louvre, and more. It was a great day. In Oman, Amalia suggested we stay in the mountains at the Alila Jabal Akhdar resort. We had a good stay there (enjoyed some hiking) and then spent our final three nights at the gorgeous Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa, just outside Muscat. For our time in Oman, Amalia had arranged with an Omani tour company to have drivers give us tours of Nizwa, a comprehensive tour of Muscat, and a day exploring the sand dunes. We felt like we got a really good taste of Oman in our five days there. Both resorts were amazing. I admit we were a little nervous about making this trip, as we didn’t know much about the culture, and certainly not the language. It was an absolutely terrific and mind-expanding trip. The people we met were so helpful and wanted to show us how much they love their countries. And the food was the best. I ate hummus for breakfast every morning — yum! We would definitely recommend Amalia to anyone planning a trip to the Arabian Peninsula, and elsewhere." - Sue Ellen and Nick Barbaro