Now, I know the United Arab Emirates probably isn't the most common "bucket list" destination, but if you like large coastal cities, you should add Dubai to your list. What? Dubai is a very fun city. Lots of high end shopping, dining, and everything is over the top. If Disney designed a major city, it would be Dubai. Transportation is reliable and affordable, the city is very clean and safe for a major city, and any imaginable luxury can be found. Where else would you find a four story indoor water fountain, the world's largest single pane acrylic aquarium, and the world's tallest building- all within a 10 minute walk from each other? Want to shop 'til you drop, hit an indoor ski slope, lay on the beach, or enjoy high tea? You can do that here!
Planning a visit to Dubai? Here are a few things to keep in mind:
If you are a "go see things" type of tourist, it will take at least 3 full days to hit Ski Dubai & Mall of the Emirates, Burj Khalifa & Dubai Mall, and Burj Al Arab & Jumeirah Beach. They are located far enough apart that it's very difficult to hit two areas in the same day.
If you want time to relax and do nothing (or have a world class spa day), you should allocate 4-5 days at a minimum.
If you want to attend tea at Burj al Arab (the world's only 6 star resort- you know, the one shaped like a huge sail with the helipad on the roof), make reservations in advance.
If you happen to be interested in a luxury fitness retreat in Dubai, then check out Mind Body Transformation. One of the owners is a long time friend, and I am sure it would be a world class experience.