Why you'll love it: "Live large" should be the motto of this wealthy Middle Eastern city on the Arabian Gulf. You'll find world-class designer shopping (and a lot of it), extravagant hotels, championship sporting events, and a love affair with everything gold and opulent.
Where to stay: It's hard to miss the Burj Al Arab hotel, jutting over 1,000 feet up out of a man-made island and shaped like a ship's sail. Inside this icon that's bathed in 24-karat gold leaf, hotel staffers welcome you with rose water, cool towels, dates and Arabic coffee. What follows is luxury in full blast, including a posh duplex suite, a round-the-clock butler who takes your order from a pillow menu and a special bath menu, and personalized cocktails at the Skyview Bar, created by world-class mixologists. Jumeirah.com