10 top destinations to visit in 2015

Located along Nassau’s famed Cable Beach, Baha Mar is expected to send ripples across the Caribbean when it opens to the public in late spring 2015 with a grand gala produced by music and entertainment legends Jamie King and Emilio Estefan.

The event is meant to herald the arrival of a new Riviera — one full of 21st-century entertainment located right in Florida’s backyard.

MORE: 10 most affordable Caribbean hot spots

Mons, Belgium

Mons, Belgium, has a population of just 93,072 people, but the small city expects 2 million visitors to ply its medieval streets when it hosts more than 1,000 cultural and artistic events in 2015 as the offical European Capital of Culture.

Highlights of the yearlong celebration include an illuminating new Van Gogh exhibit, three multidisciplinary arts festivals, numerous public installations and art-infused parties.

Moreover, Mons will unveil not one, not two, but an astounding five new museums in April, including The Artotheque (art library) and Mons Memorial Museum.

Think of 2015 as a coming out party for this former mining and industrial center that’s completely reinventing itself.

More than a dozen new ships from a half-dozen companies (including Viking, Haimark and Avalon Waterways) will set sail in 2015 on journeys through Myanmar or across the Vietnam-Cambodia border from Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap.

For those who always wanted to see Southeast Asia, but didn’t want to deal with the hassle of tuk-tuks and touts, there’s never been an easier (or more comfortable) way.

Abu Dhabi

Dubai may have exploded into a theme park of superlatives, but its oil-rich neighbor Abu Dhabi has steered a different course in a multibillion-dollar bid to become the cultural capital of the Middle East.

At the heart of Abu Dhabi’s reinvention is the 24,000-square-meter Saadiyat Island Cultural District.

This intellectual playground is set to house the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi in 2017, the Zayed National Museum in 2016 and, if all goes according to plan, the first Louvre Museum outside Paris by the end of next year.

Add to the mix a performing arts center designed by Zaha Hadid, and it’s clear that both the skyline and city below are about to get a lot more inspiring.

MORE: Building the new Louvre: Turning the desert into a cultural jewel