Abu Dhabi, with its crystal clear beaches and yearlong sunshine, is a top tourist destination. Which is not surprising considering the way the city blends old world mystique with the latest of modern conveniences. You can drive through the ancient desert In air conditioned comfort; have your pick of Bedouin handicraft or the latest offerings from Paris or Milan and absorb the beauty of traditional architecture nestled comfortably with futuristic buildings. The range of things to do can be dizzying at times, especially when you realise that there are about 200 islands associated with the emirate of Abu Dhabi.
Sir Bani Yas Island is one of the largest natural islands under the emirate of Abu Dhabi. The island is home to Arabia’s largest wildlife reserves and spans almost half the island! The park is a testament to the efficiency of the ‘Greening of the Desert’ programme. Keeping the park covered in lush, native flora is an ongoing effort. The wildlife reserve serves as a home to many different species of birds and animals that can only be found in the Arabian peninsula.
A desert safari on Sir Bani Yas is an experience to remember. The island has many activities to satisfy even the most seasoned of travellers. Beat the heat by joining the dolphins in the Sir Bani Yas Bay for a memorable swim. Or you can try your hand at archery or explore the island by kayak. Take a walk along special nature trails and you might come across the very rare Arabian Oryx, which no longer exists in the wild. You can also opt for a wildlife drive aboard special 4WD. On the tour you will be able to view some amazing, natural rock formations and fascinating archaeological sites. Remember to keep an eye out for cheetahs and the various birds that are found on the island. End the day with a relaxing cruise at sunset.
There are flights to the island and you can opt for either a passenger aircraft or a sea plane which offers a more scenic flight. You can also drive down to the Sir Bani Yas jetty and hop a boat to the island. Getting around the island is easy as all travel inside the island is by luxury coaches or by chauffeur driven 4WD’s.
Abu Dhabi resorts are among the best in the best in the world and you can find all the facilities of an Abu Dhabi resort on the island. Desert Islands Resort & Spa by Anantara is the first hotel to open up on the island and offers luxurious accommodations with some gorgeous views of the Arabian Gulf. If you would rather be pampered you can stay at the hotel and familiarise yourself with the spa. There are a variety of treatments offered ranging from Ayurvedic ones to those that are inspired by Bedouin culture. So if it’s adventure you seek or just a place to lie down and relax, Sir Bani Yas has something to offer everyone.