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Hottest Travel Destinations of 2012

Courtesy of YAS Viceroy Hotel

Abu Dhabi

Move over, Dubai: The capital of the United Arab Emirates is booming, with starchitect museums and high-design hotels on Saadiyat island and beyond remaking the skyline.

Guggenheim Abu Dhabi (2014): Frank Gehry’s new Guggenheim will be the foundation’s largest location, and will recall Arabian wind towers and courtyards.

Louvre Abu Dhabi (2014): Created by Jean Nouvel, the floating domelike structure will showcase a range of international artwork on loan from the Paris flagship.

Zayed National Museum (2014): Five soaring, wing-shaped towers designed by London-based Foster & Partners will house an exhibition on the UAE.

St. Regis: Overlooking miles of white sand, the just-opened resort includes 377 spacious rooms and seven restaurants and lounges. stregis.com.

Park Hyatt: The new Park Hyatt is surrounded by an 18-hole golf course and a protected turtle-nesting habitat.

Rocco Forte Hotel: The wavy, blue-and-green glass building created by WS Atkins & Partners, of London, mirrors the colors of the gulf.

Yas Viceroy Hotel Made up of two steel-and-glass towers linked by a bridge, this futuristic hotel, built by Asymptote Architecture, is now part of the Viceroy chain.

Monte-Carlo Beach Club: Saadiyat’s first beach club has a spa, poolside cabanas, and gulf-front restaurants. —Vinita Bharadwaj

The Breakdown

Who It’s For: Design junkies; business execs in need of downtime.

When to Go: Nov.–Feb.

How to Do It: Both American and Etihad Airlines fly direct from the U.S.

Exotic Factor: Foreign


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