The island archipelago of the Maldives spills out across the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. It’s no surprise that so many wish to visit, staying in luxurious overwater bungalows where glass floors afford living room views of exotic marine life, the perfect place to escape from the stresses of modern urban living.

4h30m to Abu Dhabi

4-7,Abu Dhabi

Don’t be fooled into thinking Dubai has the biggest and best of everything in the UAE. Abu Dhabi can beat it in many ways: as the capital city, it’s thrown up more modern skyscrapers than its more populous neighbour. The visitor can ride the world’s fastest roller coaster, experience the greatest lean of any leaning tower and stay in a hotel that straddles Abu Dhabi’s F1 racetrack. This is a city that’s rich, not just in monetary terms, but also culturally.