A rich and important aspect of UAE history and culture is pearl diving. Many of the riches and traditions that still exist in the nation today are a direct result of it. Even if pearl diving is no longer done for profit, it nonetheless contributes significantly to the industry and continues to attract tourists! Here are a few things you should know if you’re planning to do it.
Why is pearl diving so popular in the UAE?
In the past, pearl diving was a thriving industry in the UAE, supporting numerous prosperous careers. It frequently established the solid financial groundwork for numerous affluent Arab families. In the UAE, pearl diving is still regarded as a precious tradition and a significant aspect of local culture and is one of the most popular tourist activities in Abu Dhabi.
Where to go pearl diving?
From Yas Marina, travellers will board an authentic Emirati dhow and set sail toward a diving site one nautical mile away. You can join the hosts in singing along to classic Emirati songs while listening to legendary tales about pearl diving. After you’ve anchored at the diving location, you’ll be instructed in the traditional techniques for harvesting actual oyster shells from pearl beds in the Arabian Gulf.
Places to stay in Abu Dhabi
While admiring the city’s fantastic high-rises, which appear to defy structural logic, take advantage of a variety of beautiful beaches, gardens, and promenades to stroll or cycle. Several top-notch restaurants and shopping opportunities are nearby, from chic malls to souks. You can find many luxurious accommodation options such as Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Al Sahel Villa Resort.
How did the commercial pearl diving industry decline?
In the 1920s, the Gulf pearl business started to decline. By the late 1920s and the early 1930s, it had further deteriorated. At that point, the Japanese had developed a method for creating perfect artificial pearls. This was the primary cause of the pearling industry’s downfall. Pearl divers in the UAE lost business as a result of the start of the Great Depression and the decline in returns from the pearl banks.
Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE is not only a commercial city known for its skyscrapers and oil exports but is also an active tourism destination offering an excitement-filled vacation to travellers all around the world. Kayaking has become a recent favourite among the many activities offered to visitors in Abu Dhabi and here are some of the top kayaking spots in the city to explore.
Kayaking in the Mangroves
A vacation at Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Al Sahel Villa Resort is a guaranteed pass to plunge into a range of water sports. Therefore, kayaking in the mangroves has become one of the most sought-after activities in Abu Dhabifor leisure and entertainment. Kayaking through the mangroves is a doorway to catch glimpses of migratory birds, rare animals, mammals and vibrant marine life.
Private kayaking adventures can often be organised by the resort, hotel or tour company by contacting a help desk. A tailored tour to glide your way into kayaking is perhaps the best method to explore the waters at your own pace. All private kayaking adventures will be guided by a professional who will allow tourists to move at a comfortable pace and offer advice on adventure goals and interests based on one’s experience level.
Sir Bani Yas Island Kayaking
Sign up for some nature-based sightseeing in Sir Bani Yas Island as you kayak your way to aquatic pleasure. The waterways amid the thriving mangroves of Sir Bani Yas Island reconnect with the sea, offering breathtaking sights of rare creatures, and migratory birds, as well as a sneak, peek into the marine life along the way.
Louvre Abu Dhabi
The routes, packages and tours that offer kayaking experiences to tourists are many. Louvre Abu Dhabi is not only a museum that represents the contemporary Arab world but also a hub of excitement for its visitors. The museum offers guests an opportunity to go kayaking around the museum in the stillness of the Arabian Sea. This unusual tour offers a new perspective of the museum as one circle around this marvellous structure.
Are you an adventurer with a penchant for outdoor activities? Abu Dhabi is the place for you! Read on to find out how you can get your heart pumping on the sand dunes and beyond, on your next holiday to Abu Dhabi.
Whether or not you’re an equestrian, riding the expansive dunes of the Empty Quarter, also known as the Rub’ al Khali will be a thrilling and unforgettable experience. Gallop in this wilderness which extends over an astonishing 250,000 square miles to enjoy the beauty of a wilderness like never before.
Explore a Fort
The Liwa Forts are an age-old stronghold in Abu Dhabi which are worth a visit. The Fort offers stunning panoramic views of the Liwa Oasis and the undulating sand dunes which lie beyond it. These 7 watch towers served as the guard of this oasis which was and continues to be the lifeline of the area.
Kayaking among Mangroves
The Mangrove National Park which is a protected reserve on the outskirts of the Emirate is a great place for some kayaking. A must-see for the outdoorsy type or the wildlife lover since this habitat is home to a wide variety of species from flamingos to dugongs!
Lying off the coast of Abu Dhabi is the enchanting island of Sir Bani Yas which apart from sublime seclusion and beachside bliss, offers lots of outdoor escapades for the whole family.
Wildlife Drives & Nature Walks
The key attraction is the Arabian Wildlife Park home to over 17,000 free-roaming animals. Those staying at properties like Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Al Sahel Villa Resort can enjoy guided wildlife drives and nature walks here to spot some of these amazing creatures; highlights include the iconic Arabian oryx as well as giraffes, gazelles, ostriches, flamingos, hyenas, mountain sheep and even cheetahs.
Other Popular Activities
Of course, Sir Bani Yas offers many more captivating activities in Abu Dhabi; you can embark on wadi walks traversing past imposing rock corridors and striking salt domes, ride the dunes atop Arabian stallions or mares or use pedal-power to explore off-road trails while mountain biking. Resorts here also offer archery, a great way to get in touch with your inner Hawkeye or Robin Hood!
Archaeological & Natural Attractions
Apart from wildlife, the island is also home to 42 distinctive archaeological sites as well as natural wonders that make the landscape here even more intriguing. You can go on a guided exploration of such attractions including a Nestorian Christian monastery that is said to go back to 600 A.D; don’t miss seeing the salt domes too which are around 20 million years old!
In the Water
There are lots of fun-filled things to do on Sir Bani Yas Island amidst the surrounding waters as well. An activity the whole family can try, snorkelling offers a glimpse of a fascinating underwater world home to protected reefs and thriving fish species. You can also look to go kayaking amidst the mangroves to spot diverse birdlife and enjoy more exploration while stand-up paddleboarding as well.
Horseback riding has been in our societies for longer than we can imagine. What does it take to saddle up and go hopping about on a fine sunny day? Be it the English style or Western style, riding a horse is an art that takes time to master, but a worthy investment as you may discover your lifelong partner in crime, in a horse.
Set Up Safety Measures
Saddle up! Choosing a well-reputed and reliable stable that offers utmost safety to new riders is essential. Your checklist should include a certified instructor and a clean and legitimate establishment of good repair conditions. If you browse through the activities in Abu Dhabi for tourists, The Stables, which shelters over 30 horses is located within the premises of Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Al Sahel Villa Resort, designed for tailormade safe horse-riding facilities.
Dress to Ride
While you must dress the part when setting off on your maiden horseback ride, it is important to keep in mind that each element of the attire serves a purpose. Do ensure that your stable provides a helmet for safety. Dress up in long pants so that your legs will be protected from chafing against the saddle. A simple shoe tip: close-toed shoes with a heel will work wonders to keep your foot from slipping out of the stirrups.
If you are a novice at horse riding, be sure to arrive at the stable well in advance to get to know your riding companion. This riding companion is none other than the horse that you will be assigned to. As horses are believed to have small brains, riders are advised to stand in front of the horse, towards the left side, during their first encounter.
If you are a first-timer, the assistance of a mounting block will be required to climb onto the horse. Move with the horse as it walks, while relaxing in the saddle. The best way to begin is to get the horse walking, and not trotting or galloping. However, keep in mind that the horse is your friend, and therefore, be gentle with the reigns as you pull them to steer and stop it.
Sir Bani Yas Island, located on the Arabian Gulf is one of the largest natural islands of the United Arab Emirates. The Island, located off the shores of Abu Dhabi is home to around 36 archaeological sites, including a 4000-year-old circular tomb, a watch tower, a mosque amongst others. Sir Bani Yas Island forms one of eight other islands which form the Desert Islands. Owing to be an ideal retreat, the island provides adventurous activities catered to by Sir Bani Yas Island hotels, where visitors can choose from archery, land sailing and mountain biking. Most hotels, like Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Al Sahel Villa Resort, would provide a designated riding route which will be categorized into a non- strenuous path or a path that is more suitable for advanced riders.
Mountain biking through the rugged Arabian wilderness has become a popular past time of visitors to the island, as they are treated to spectacular sceneries of towering mountains and wild animals. Sir Bani Yas Island has been developed as part of Sheikh Zayed’s ‘Greening of the Desert’ programme, which was designed to provide a safe habitat for the country’s endangered wildlife species, where thousands of trees were planted and animal species like Gazelles, Oryx, Llamas and Ostriches were introduced to the island’s wildlife preserve. Therefore, bike riders are sure to see some of these wonderful beasts in their habitat.
Mountain biking is, therefore, the best way to explore the island as riders can cycle through wadis or access some of the lesser travelled paths, while simultaneously working out. Most bikes are complete with a carriage which allows for children under five to partake in this activity as well, ensuring that the entire family has a great time.
Be sure to always wear the helmet provided, and carry sunscreen as the Arabian sun can be harsh and is no friend to unprotected skin.
Auburn Silver is a travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world. Google+