The 24-hours news channel CNN has named Abu Dhabi one of its top 10 travel destinations for 2015, alongside places such as Milan and Singapore.

The UAE capital is in a bid to become the “cultural capital of the Middle East”, CNN said, pointing to the Saadiyat Island Cultural District plans.

“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 centre designed by Zaha Hadid, and it’s clear that both the skyline and city below are about to get a lot more inspiring.”

The article also listed the so-called Bahamian Riviera, the US$3.5 billion resort development Baha Mar in the Caribbean that includes plans for a golf course, pools and a casino.

The city of Mons, Belgium, earned its mention for being named next year’s European Capital of Culture. The Faroe Islands, a self-governing archipelago in the kingdom of Denmark, were mentioned for being one of two places that will witness a total solar eclipse on March 20.

The network named Coober Pedy in Australia a top destination for being the leading exporter of opal, while Salta province in Argentina earned a place for its eco-tourism plans and mountain views.

The Mekong and Irrawaddy rivers in Southeast Asia are featured for being top destinations for river cruises next year.